Ford has unveiled two new taxis at its home market in US, with an aim to save the operators’ money.
2019 Fusion Hybrid Taxi
The first one is the first-ever Fusion hybrid taxi, based on the 2019 Fusion. It shares parts with the Ford Police Responder Hybrid for improved durability (police vehicles come with many heavy-duty chassis parts, like wheels and suspension).
Ford is projecting EPA-estimated ranges comparable to that of the aforementioned Police Responder Hybrid, which is 40 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 38 mpg combined.
The Fusion Hybrid Taxi also includes a police-tuned suspension with increased ride height and calibrated high-performance brakes, plus steel wheels.
It features heavy-duty cloth seating or optional vinyl seating, vinyl floors, available School Bus Yellow paint, a standard rear-view camera, and a mounting plate on top of the instrument panel to secure taxi meters and other fleet equipment.
2019 Transit Connect Taxi
The second one is the 2019 Transit Connect Taxi van. Ford is targeting an EPA-estimated highway rating of at least 30 mpg. However, final EPA-estimated ratings will be available early 2019.
The Transit Connect Taxi offers seating for 5 with a flexible interior. Ford says that the vehicle features more than 60 cubic-feet cargo volume behind the second row, more than the Nissan NV200 Taxi.
Features include a recessed second-row seat, a taxi upfit wiring harness, first-row side curtain airbags, optional roof access hole for signage and a reverse sensing system. It is also available with School Bus Yellow paint.
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.
Both the 2019 Transit Connect Taxi and 2019 Fusion Hybrid Taxi will be available with 1.5-liter EcoBlue diesel, and will go on sale by the year-end.
“Taxi operators want vehicles that are reliable, efficient and comfortable,” said Imran Jalal, brand and communications manager for Ford fleet marketing. “Transit Connect Taxi and Fusion Hybrid Taxi offer all three with special attention to potentially help lower fuel costs. Plus, Fusion Hybrid underscores our commitment to introduce even more efficient and capable hybrids in the future.”