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New York 2008: Mark Fields hails a Transit Connect Taxi Concept

Posted Mar 19th 2008 11:41AM by Frank Filipponio
Filed under: Concept Cars, New York Auto Show, Commercial Trucks, Crossovers/CUVs, Ford

Click above for a high-res gallery of the Ford Transit Connect Taxi

Where better than New York for Ford to show off a taxi cab? And what better platform than the company's new Transit Connect van? Ford's Mark Fields and designer J. Mays were on hand for the unveiling of the Transit Connect Taxi Concept, and both were somehow amazed at the applause the concept generated. Seeing as how there were only a handful of us there and that the rest of the crowd consisted of Ford employees, we find it hard to believe there wouldn't be applause aplenty. Seriously though, this is one fun cab. After spending some time in the regular fleet of bumblebee-colored Crown Vics this past week, we can attest that the Transit Connect Taxi has a lot of things that make it a natural improvement over current standard taxis. Our favorite was the panoramic roof that allows passengers to take in tall buildings with a single glance, but we also liked the flexible seating and cargo configurations, as well as the funky interactive infotainment system for the back seat. Although it looks a bit large in photos, the Transit Connect Taxi Concept actually has a small footprint vehicle and seems like it could go four-wide where the Vics can only manage three abreast. Check out the press release after the jump and all of our live high-res pics in the gallery.

So Ford pretty much owns the market with the Crown Vic and now the Escape Hyrbid Taxis,

-What happens when the CV goes out of production in the next few years?
-Would the Transit Connect even be an option if NYC wants to go all Hybrid by 2012?



 

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Re: Transit Connect Taxi= NYC wrapped around Ford's little finger?

I think its perfect. Sure it isn't pretty, but this seems like a better choice then the Prius.
Hopefully they'll make this thing a hybrid asap.
 

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Re: Transit Connect Taxi= NYC wrapped around Ford's little finger?

I love the glass roof.
How cool is that to drive in NY and look up on a sunny day.
Wow, Ford has a hit here.
 

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Re: Transit Connect Taxi= NYC wrapped around Ford's little finger?

The can use this and the Escape Hynrid as taxis to deal with the city's obnoxious emissions rules (really the state, but NYC is the biggest population center). Better this then switching over to a Prius.
 

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Re: Transit Connect Taxi= NYC wrapped around Ford's little finger?

This is DOA unless they put the hybrid powertrain in there.
 

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Re: Transit Connect Taxi= NYC wrapped around Ford's little finger?

"panoramic roof that allows passengers to take in tall buildings with a single glance" ?

What a great idea! :D

I have to agree with everyone else though: if it's not a hybrid, it's very unlikely to sell in droves to NYC taxi companies (unless Ford all but gives it away).
 

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Re: Transit Connect Taxi= NYC wrapped around Ford's little finger?

I think Ford's really on to something!

Transit Connect = the Checker of the 21st century!

Those huge side rear windows are just begging for those new advertising graphics (the see-thru from the inside type that I see on all the new city busses here).

And I don't see why the Escape's hybrid powerpack wouldn't slide right into this puppy...
 

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RIP Crown Victoria? Ford took its Transit Connect van from Europe and reworked it for taxi duty. The van's small footprint and tall roof make it ideal for livery duty, Ford says.

From Autoweek.com:









 

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I think it's a worthy replacement for a Crown Vic or Impala. I notice that this is smaller in overall size yet has more interior room. I said a while back that someone could make a fortune on a car designed for taxi service if it was affordable, roomy, easy to manuver, and good on fuel. I guess this might be NYC's verison of the London Taxi- but those drivers need to be pushed, because they won't change on their own.

Throw in a hybrid powertrain from the Escape and NYC taxi drivers can keep the streets quiet and clean. I'd support it.

The only reason they rejected the Prius is because you can't get one at an auction for $12,000 bucks, and you can't get them to go 200,000 miles without serious work. They are cheap...and you can bet that they won't want the manual because they like that their jobs are just steering around.

I think the Transit looks better than the crown vic too. If taxi drivers switch to this and police switch to the Charger and G8....there will be no reason for the Crown Vic (no one else buys them).
 

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This may not replace the Crown Vic Taxi cab as much as it may supplement the Escape hybrid taxi. Unlike Police Cruisers, Taxi cabs are not public assets therefore the company running them tends to burn them into the ground to maximize profits (the same goes for all contractor vehicles). Crown Vic was ideal for that because salvage parts where everywhere from the mothballed units. Police cruisers are replaced every 40k miles so as long as they can last a punishing but brief life, any vehicle will work. I've always thought the Explorer would make an Excellent police cruiser but I think the cost is too high.
 

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That's a great idea. They're used for work in Europe so they're certainly tough little buggies. The plastic floor is easy to hose out, and the seats could be easily enough changed if they wear out. Tons of cargo room. Really an ideal taxi vehicle for the city.
 

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These lil' Transit Connects are really begining to grow on me. They are very cavernous for their size. I'm thinking about going into business for myself over the next couple years and this would be ideal for what I want to do. It's been mentioned before but does anyone know when these will be available stateside and/or what powertrains will be offered? I would imagine a 4 cylinder engine will be the norm but a diesel would be nice.
 

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Re: Transit Connect Taxi= NYC wrapped around Ford's little finger?

This is DOA unless they put the hybrid powertrain in there.
It is a two liter inline 4 engine, gets great milage as is, if they need better milage they should bring the diesel versions here
 

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Re: Transit Connect Taxi= NYC wrapped around Ford's little finger?

It is a two liter inline 4 engine, gets great milage as is, if they need better milage they should bring the diesel versions here
yeah, but even a 4 cylinder uses gas at idle. hybrids dont.

this is a great idea. isnt the transit basically a fleet van to begin with? which means it wont kill the imageof a car. nice job ford.
 

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that reminds me inside and out of the Johnny Cab from the movie total recall.
:clap: 5,000,000 bonus points to you sir!

Johnny Cab: "Hello.. you're in a jonny cab..."
Ahnuld: "S--T! S--T!!!!!!!"
Johnny Cab: "Im sorry, could you please repeat the address, street and number?"
 

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Re: Transit Connect Taxi= NYC wrapped around Ford's little finger?

I think Ford's really on to something!

Transit Connect = the Checker of the 21st century!

Those huge side rear windows are just begging for those new advertising graphics (the see-thru from the inside type that I see on all the new city busses here).

And I don't see why the Escape's hybrid powerpack wouldn't slide right into this puppy...
I totally agree. This looks to be the perfect cab for NYC.

I expect to see this guy driving it:
 

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Re: Transit Connect Taxi= NYC wrapped around Ford's little finger?

yeah, but even a 4 cylinder uses gas at idle. hybrids dont.

this is a great idea. isnt the transit basically a fleet van to begin with? which means it wont kill the imageof a car. nice job ford.
Ford has a 2 liter 4 cylinder gas engine that is PZEV (partial zero emissions vehicle) compliant, so they can use that instead, but I would still prefer a diesel
 
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