New York. The city of yellow Crown Victorias. What better place for Ford to present a new take on the taxi, a market it has cornered in the U.S.?
After showing a variety of commercially outfitted Transit Connects in Chicago, Ford has given one a livery makeover for the Big Apple. The taxi is still yellow, but most everything else is different in this concept. The van features dual sliding doors and more space for passengers and their cargo. It uses the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that will come in all Transit Connects.
We like the idea, as the Transit Connect is a space- and fuel-efficient alternative to the ancient V-8-powered Crown Vics roaming metropolis. It's also a lot easier to get in and out of than an Escape, a vehicle with practically no middle-seat room. We know from recent experience.
Ford also updated the roof-mounted "taxi bubble" that lights up green if the cab is available and orange when it's hired. That should help even seasoned city-dwellers who still attempt to hail occupied cabs. The interior gets a futuristic infotainment system that looks similar to the units recently mandated for New York taxis. The driver also gets an in-dash computer running Microsoft Auto software that is linked to high-speed Internet and features traffic, weather, and navigation.
Click the link below for high-resolution Transit Connect Taxi images.