Here in the U.S., vans aren't typically a big deal, and haven't been since, oh, the A-Team. That's a shame, because some are pretty cool. Ford's relatively new Transit Connect has revived a little van-love, but it has a bigger brother that's bound our way soon to replace the E-Series van. This isn't it, but it's the Transit's European cousin, or a preview of it.
America's Transit is coming, however. It will be built in Kansas City in both light-duty and heavy-duty versions, confirmed to Motor Authority by Ford. It'll also be at least 25 percent more fuel efficient and 300 pounds lighter than the current E-Series. But back to the version that's coming to Geneva.
Called the Tourneo Custom Concept, the new van looks pretty funky to American eyes, but will likely fit right in on the streets of Europe and Asia, where it's destined to do business. Ford's Kinetic Design language is visible in the front end, but with proportions we're not particularly fond of.
That said, the Tourneo does offer some solid specs for a van: eight-seat configuration for personal use and executive shuttle applications; claimed car-like handling dynamics; a driver-focused cockpit; and Ford's love-it-or-hate-it SYNC system (we like it, actually, quite a lot).
The concept version of the Tourneo (which will be called Transit in production guise, though again, not the same Transit we'll get here in the U.S.) even offers Ford's latest driver assist systems, including lane departure warning, SYNC-enabled emergency assitance, and a rear-view camera integrated into the mirror.
Power comes from a 153-horsepower 2.2-liter Duratorq turbodiesel engine. That's not likely enough to make the Tourneo feel peppy, but it'll move the goods, or people, as needed.
Ford's also touting the Tourneo's car-like interior, an aspect that could also come to America's Transit vans, in certain applications.
We'll be on hand live at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, so stay tuned for all the live photos, videos, and news the show brings--it's just under two weeks away.
(c) 2012, High Gear Media.