Ford Introduces Two Taxis with Hybrid and Diesel Powertrains

AutoInformed.com on Ford Taxis

While Ford purports to be exiting the car business, vehicles in late stages of development are being introduced. When they become orphans it’s likely the trade-in value will decrease.

Ford Motor today introduced two Taxi versions of existing platforms, a new 2019 Transit Connect Taxi and what’s claimed to Ford’s most fuel-efficient, purpose-built taxi ever – the 2019 Fusion Hybrid Taxi.

The Transit Connect Taxi with an optional 1.5-liter EcoBlue – in marketing babble – diesel engine is projected to return an EPA-estimated Highway rating of at least 30 mpg. How the estimate correlates with actual on road economy is unknown. It likely will be less. Final EPA-estimated ratings will be available early 2019. Besides for a taxi it’s the city rating that matters.

The van-like Taxi seats five with a flexible interior. It has more than 60 cubic-feet of  cargo volume behind the second row, more than the Nissan NV200 Taxi ,which beat it to market years ago. (Gibson Guitar Mobile Repair Van is built off Nissan NV200,  GM to Rebadge Nissan NV200 as Chevrolet City Express)

Along with the newly available EcoBlue diesel engine, the new 2019 Transit Connect Taxi comes with a recessed second-row seat, a taxi upfit wiring harness, first-row side curtain airbags, optional roof access hole for signs and a reverse sensing system. It is also available in School Bus Yellow paint.

Standard dual sliding side doors provide riders with a wide entrance and exit. A low vehicle floor helps step-ups and step-downs. The new taxi can be made wheelchair accessible through the Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier program. The modification features an easy-to-deploy ramp that doubles as a deck for cargo when stowed in the back.

Fusion Hybrid Taxi

The first Fusion Hybrid Taxi shares parts with the Ford Police Responder Hybrid (Ford Police Interceptor Sales Up after Crown Vic Gaffe ) for improved durability in a livery duty cycle. Police vehicles police vehicles come with many heavy-duty chassis parts, as well as stronger wheels and suspension. Ford is projecting EPA-estimated ranges comparable to that of the Ford Police Responder Hybrid (projected EPA-estimated ratings of 40 mpg City/36 mpg Highway/38 mpg Combined). Actual mileage will vary.

The 2019 Fusion Hybrid Taxi has increased ride height and calibrated high-performance brakes, plus steel wheels. It has  heavy-duty cloth seating or optional vinyl seating, vinyl floors, available School Bus Yellow paint, a standard rearview camera, and a mounting plate on top of the instrument panel to secure taxi meters and other fleet equipment.

The 2019 Transit Connect Taxi and 2019 Fusion Hybrid Taxi can be ordered now. The 1.5-liter EcoBlue diesel on 2019 Transit Connect will be available to order soon. Both Ford taxi models go on sale by year-end.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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