(from Ford Press
Release) FORD TRANSIT CONNECT FAMILY ONE CONCEPT: SMART,
GREEN, FUN FOR CHILDREN, PARENTS ALIKE
-- The Transit
Connect Family One is a forward-looking concept vehicle that
combines high-tech and high-touch amenities to keep a youthful
family connected, engaged and entertained
-- Transit Connect Family One could help young families to drive
green, built on a spacious yet compact global platform, with
potential to host a wide array of fuel efficient engines
-- Aimed at small business commercial applications, the Transit
Connect goes on sale in the U.S. this summer, starting at
$21,475, including destination, rated at 22 city, 25 highway
miles per gallon.
ANN ARBOR, Mich., April
3, 2009 – Ford is listening to the unique wants and needs of
families and responds with the Transit Connect Family One concept –
a space that’s all about helping parents and engaging children.
“Transit Connect is a versatile vehicle that can be adapted to a
wide variety of applications,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of
The Americas. “The Family One concept delivers fun with function.
This fun, cool space is for parents and small children alike,
combining fuel efficiency with advanced technologies that can help
keep families connected on the go.”
Designed for “the coolest mom”
The Family One concept
is based on the Transit Connect, a global Ford platform adaptable to
a wide variety of applications, both personal and professional. This
concept vehicle represents Ford’s first effort in showcasing the
versatile Transit Connect for personal use.
“The customers we envisioned when developing the Family One are
cosmopolitan parents in their mid-30s with highly refined design
sensitivities,” said Ford Designer Chiwei Lee. “They waited until
they were ready for children and see parenthood as adding to their
aesthetic portfolio, instead of smashing it.”
Transit Connect has a utilitarian form that offers 135 cubic feet of
space on a compact platform, with agile driving dynamics ideally
suited to urban driving and tight spaces. The vibrant color scheme
and expansive greenhouse area combine to give the Family One concept
friendly visual character and a bright, airy interior space.
“For children, the conceptual intent of the vehicle is to be as
engaging and entertaining when parked as it is on the go,” added
Lee. “The Family One easily transitions from functional family
mobility to ‘base camp’ when the coolest mom puts the shift lever
into the park position.”
The second-row seats in
the concept provide youth passengers with ample room to get
comfortable, enjoy projected digital media entertainment on the
bulkhead-mounted sunshade screens or look through the expansive
windows. Side rear inner door panels are water-pen friendly and
easily wipe clean for the next round of creative inspiration.
Clever, family-friendly features include built-in hand sanitizer and
sunscreen dispensers, family walkie-talkie radios that charge when
docked, an integrated first-aid kit and cargo door-mounted folding
twin scooters. The storage area beneath the rear floor holds a
folding stroller and an integrated awning extends from the open rear
cargo doors. Seat covers are removable, washable and can be changed
to redecorate and evolve with changing preferences.
The Transit Connect
Family One concept vehicle uses in-dash computer technology to keep
a family organized, on-schedule and properly equipped with
everything from diaper bags to sporting goods, back packs and
homework folders that populate the active family environment.
The Family One concept employs radio frequency identification (RFID)
technology to keep track of all the items the active family needs to
stay organized. When the driver enters the vehicle with children,
the in-dash computer will provide notification that Timmy’s hockey
equipment is still in the front hall closet. Using predictive
algorithms to “learn” based on past usage, the system will identify
missing musical instruments or homework on the way to school and
will remind parents if they haven’t packed clubs for a scheduled
Saturday golf outing.
The system is designed to be intuitively easy to operate, with
minimal menu scrolling and programming. It also plays a role in
safety – adding to peace of mind – as the system integrates with
sensors to notify the driver if a child seat is improperly attached
The technology is designed to seamlessly integrate with the parents’
Fun and Fuel Efficient
The Family One concept
is powered by a 2.0-liter I-4 engine – delivering 22 city and 25
highway miles per gallon – and features SmartGauge™ to help parents
drive more efficiently.
Looking forward, the global Transit Connect platform has capability
to host any one of several efficient engine alternatives, including
EcoBoost™ power and battery electric propulsion.