Ford is launching the new 2012 Ford Transit in Germany today and tomorrow. The new van has actually been ready to go for over a year now, but the manufacturer was waiting for the recession to lift and sales to rise before committing to production.
The European launch is taking place in Munich, so the chocie was BA flight to London, then change to BA flight to Munich - or, direct flight to Munich from Edinburgh, by Squeezyjet!
Despite the fact that I've had bad experiences with 3 out of 4 recent Squeezy flights, I've opted for the direct flight. It still beats hanging about an additional terminal waiting for a connection.
The current body shape of the Transit has already undergone one facelift and engineers are remaining tight lipped about the new one, but the biggest changes will be under the bonnet and the floor. There is little that can be done with such an effective and practical box shape so most effort has been concentrated on the engines and driveline.
From now on Ford will standardise on one 2.2 litre TDCi diesel, but offered initially with four power options of 100, 125, 140 and 155 PS. Out goes the old 2.4, and the most recent 3.0 litre (for blue-light applications) jobs.
The six speed gearbox will remain as standard with taller ratios to reduce consumption. And that's what new vans are about these days, lower emissions and better economy. Anyway, we'll see what it's like to drive shortly.