Fleet News

Ford first with diesel CVT

CONTINUOUSLY variable transmission has been harnessed to diesel power for the first time in a move by Ford to win more business with urban-based fleet operators.

A new version of the C-MAX will mate a German ZF electronic CVT system with a 1.6-litre TDCi motor for corporate drivers who want less stressful travel in congested areas, says the company.

A spokesman said: 'As far as we can ascertain, this is a unique combination and one we feel will have wide appeal because it helps reduce the hassle of driving in heavy traffic. We're also expecting it to attract a lot of interest with Motability drivers.'

Priced from £16,590 on the road, the CVT will be available in LX, Zetec and Ghia trim and will give drivers the option of fully automatic mode or sequential manual operation with a total of seven 'fixed' ratios.

Claimed to provide a relaxed feel behind the wheel, the belt drive system is said to allow the 108bhp turbodiesel motor to reach the benchmark 62mph rate in 11.9 secs, provide a top speed of 112mph and return 49.6mpg economy. The CO2 emission figure is 153g/km.

Ford plans to sell about 36,000 examples of the C-MAX this year and expects 16 % of customers to specify the new powertrain, which costs about £1,100 more than manual transmission and will be shared by the next-generation Focus range, due early next year.

Also added to the C-MAX range from the end of this month is a 143bhp two-litre Duratec petrol engine. To be available with Zetec and Ghia trim and priced from £15,740 OTR, it provides a top speed of 127mph, 0-62mph acceleration in 9.8 seconds and 38.7mpg economy.

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