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Ford has unveiled its latest version of the Ford Transit Connect van which will go on sale in the spring.

The new Transit Connect will be available with a 2-litre EcoBlue engine and for the first time ever as a plug-in hybrid model.

The Ford Transit Connect PHEV will use a 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine to that will charge a high-voltage battery connected to an electric motorwith a total power output of 150PS. Torque output will be 350Nm, and it will have a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission as standard. The Connect PHEV will be able to carry a maximum payload of 770kg, as well as tow a trailer of up to 1,400kg.

The battery can be charge at up to 50kW using a DC fast charger or with a 11kW AC charger. It features three distinct driving modes to help maximise range - which Ford claims the Transit Connect PHEV will have a 68 mile range.

Drivers can choose from EV Now for electric only driving, EV Auto for a mix between battery and petrol power and EV Later which stores the battery energy for later use.

As well as the new PHEV powertrain there will also be the option of a 2-litre EcoBlue turbodiesel engine available in either 102PS or 122PS engine outputs. The entry-level model gets a six-speed manual gearbox but the higher powered van is also available with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Ford claims fuel efficiency of up to 58.8mpg for the new Transit Connect diesel van.

Another first is the availability of an intelligent all-wheel drive system. The Transit Connect will now have an electronic four-wheel-drive system with enhanced traction control that will like prove popular in the Nordic countries.

The final new plot twist in the updated Transit Connect range is a brand new flexible seating concept. Available on the Kombi models, it allows the van to be both a passenger car with a second row of seats but also a proper panel van. The second row of seats folds forward to create a full bulkhead, expanding the usable space of the rear load compartment.

The latest Transit Connect is the third generation of the compact city van, and is based on the Volkswagen Caddy as part of their ongoing partnership that has seen the new Ford Ranger shared with the Volkswagen Amarok. Other collaboration projects will be between the Ford Transit and the Volkswagen Crafter as well as the Ford Transit Custom and the next generation of the Volkswagen Transporter. Ford has also recently upadted its Ford Transit Courier, which is not covered by the Volkswagen partnership.

The Transit Connect will go into production in spring 2024 with PHEV models arriving by the end of the year. The Kombi folding seat models will join the line-up in early 2025.

Ford's Transit Connect gets a load volume of 3.1m3 or 3.7m3 depending on wheelbase length. Payload for the Ford Transit Connect is 820kg.

The Transit Connect Kombi has a load volume to 2.5 m3 (L1) or 3.1 m3 (L2) when the seats are folded forward.

Read our Ford Transit Connect dimensions guide to see how it compares to the current model.

Interior of the new Transit Connect

On the inside, all vans will get a 10-inch digital instrument cluster as standard. There's also a 10-inch colour central touchscreen that supports wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto mirroring.

Standard safety systems include Pre-Collision Assist with Auto Emergency Braking and Forward Collision Warning, Evasive Steer Assist, and Intersection Assist . A rear-view camera and Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert are standard on higher trim models.

The trim line-up for the Transit Connect will consist of:

· Trend – available on van and kombi models, aimed at fleet and cost-conscious buyers

· Limited – upmarket van with 17-inch alloy wheels, work surface in passenger seat back

· Active – a desirable, rugged Kombi with SUV-inspired styling, LED lights and roof rails

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