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01 Oct 2009

Ford Transit minibus gets all-wheel drive manoeuvrability

Ford's all-wheel-drive (AWD) system is now available on the 15-seat Transit minibus. The AWD system automatically provides stepless torque flow to the front wheels when traction loss at the rear is detected. The AWD system costs an additional £3,995.

The AWD assists customers who frequently tackle low friction surfaces and bad weather conditions and is available with the 2.4-litre 140PS Duratorq TDCi diesel engine equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. The system is available on the rear-wheel-drive chassis cab, 15-seat minibus and the Transit panel van range including Double-Cab-in-Van. Low, medium or high roof and short, medium or long wheelbase derivatives are available.

Ford of Britain, commercial vehicles director, Steve Kimber, said: "We've had tremendous interest in AWD from construction, roadside assistance and utility companies. On top of that we know that taxi companies and schools may also benefit from extra traction in many every-day situations.    

"Being automatic in its operation, means that no special training or driving techniques are required."                                                                               

The AWD system is a mechanical arrangement  which operates automatically so that the driver is not distracted by any manual input. In slippery conditions the system provides drive to the front wheels to increase traction and inhibit wheelspin from the rear. Drive is taken off the transmission main shaft via a helical gear set towards the front differential. A system of mechanical multiplate clutches combined with an hydraulic freewheel mechanism feeds power forward when required.

Standard ground clearance is also retained as a bulky differential housing is not needed with this compact and lightweight system. Compared with the standard rear-wheel-drive Transit, the additional front axle weight is just 70kg - the rear axle weight is  just 10kg heavier.