New Ford Transit: First pictures

Ford has unveiled a comprehensive facelift for its flagship van, the Transit.

The biggest van in Ford’s light commercial vehicle range has had the most comprehensive update of the line-up, all of which have been refreshed in the past 18 months.

There are 4000 new or changed parts on the 2019 Transit, with a new look, new engines and new technology.

The biggest change, explained Transit chief engineer Mick McDonagh, was under the bonnet, with a new engine range that now offers the option of micro-hybrid (MHEV) technology.

The addition of a 48V battery boosts economy by 3% on general driving and up to 8% in stop-start situations, according to Ford. It is designed to give the engine a helping hand rather than take over and power the van on its own, so the Transit is not able to run with zero emissions as a result.

Although pricing has not yet been confirmed for this tech, a spokesman said that it will not add more in percentage terms than it will save in fuel.

The engine range gets an update, too, because each of the 2.0-litre units has been tweaked to be more efficient. A new 185hp engine joins the top of the range, with the leisure market in mind. A new 10-speed automatic gearbox is also added as an option on the rear-wheel-drive models.

The visual changes are the most noticeable, with a redesigned front and lower grille. A new bonnet not only looks different but is also one of the many weight-saving elements on the Transit – it is made of aluminium – that Ford says has helped boost the payload on the new model.

Another weight-saving measure come courtesy of the wheels, which use spun steel, and the use of a single, rather than double exhaust, plus a new composite bulkhead.

There is a variety of new technology on offer, too, with a blind-spot information system, intelligent adaptive cruise control, pre-collision assist with sensors that can identify pedestrians and a lane-keep assist. It also offers front and rear cameras with a high-mounted rear camera, cross traffic alert and a parking aid.

The interior gets a comprehensive refresh, too, and it has been brought up to the standard set by the recently revised Transit Custom. It gets the latest Sync3 infotainment system on a new tablet-like screen, more durable materials and extra storage on the top of the dashboard.

A new Limited trim is set to join the range when the Transit goes on sale in mid 2019, with pricing and spec due to be announced closer to launch.