First Look: 2009 Ford Transit Connect Family One Concept

Enough with the cargo haulers - Ford's new Transit Connect is just as well suited to being a people mover, and the Family One Concept, unveiled at this week's New York Auto Show, proves it.

While previous Transit Connect concepts served to illustrate the van's flexibility in a commercial setting, the Family One concept is designed for the family - specifically, Ford says, for "the coolest mom."

"The customers we envisioned," says designer Chiwei Lee, "are cosmopolitan parents in their mid-30s with highly refined design sensitivities." Those apparently include the need to tint the windows, apply a few floral decals, and paint the side doors bright blue. Apart from these unusual touches, the Transit Connect's exterior is mostly stock.

Instead, designers applied their touches to the van's interior, and specifically focused on entertaining those parked in the second row. Movies are projected onto a screen located above the front seats, while door panels, made from a white board, allow kids to doodle to their hearts' content. If they get any marker on the seat covers, they're easily removed, and can be washed inside the home.

The cargo area has also been tricked out with the family in mind. Both a hand sanitizer and sunscreen dispenser are built into a side panel, as are a set of walkie-talkies and a first-aid kit. A stroller fits beneath the cargo floor, and two Razor scooters hang from the cargo door.

Should any of those pieces (inevitably) become lost, Ford's equipped the Family One with its production WorkSolutions system. RFID tags, which can be placed on almost any object (i.e. toys, soccer gear, or perhaps even a small child), alert the driver if any objects are missing from the vehicle.

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