Ford E-Series - America's top selling full-size van for 29 years running - delivers an improved interior for 2009, along with new tools designed to help customers manage their fleets more efficiently, track and secure tools and better serve customers.
E-Series updates include a redesigned instrument panel and console, door trim panels with more storage, built-in auxiliary switches users can customize, wider-opening rear doors, more comfortable seats, a first-in-class factory-installed navigation system and Ford Work Solutions - a collection of technologies aimed at making business and fleet owners more productive and successful.
"Continuously listening to our customers and delivering solutions to meet their unique vehicle and business needs are the driving forces behind Ford's commercial vehicle leadership," said Kevin Koswick, director, Ford North American Fleet, Lease and Remarketing Operations. "Today, more E-Series are on the road with 250,000 miles or more than vans from any other manufacturer. Smart customers know that E-Series deliver the durability, cargo capacity, flexibility and technologies that make these the most capable full-size vans on the market."
'Built Ford Tough' E-Series Delivers More
Understanding E-Series is the van of choice for a range of customers - from small business owners to custom upfitters to larger commercial fleet operators - Ford is offering new features and technologies to make work and travel more productive and convenient. They include:
Four industry-exclusive Ford Work Solutions innovations:
An in-dash computer developed with Magneti Marelli and powered by Microsoft Auto that provides full high-speed Internet access via the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network and navigation by Garmin. It's the first broadband-capable in-dash computer in production and features available wireless accessories including a mouse and printer. This system allows customers to print invoices and access documents stored on their home or office computer networks - right on the job site.
Tool Link, a Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) asset tracking system developed with DEWALT, the industry leader in professional power tools, and ThingMagic, the industry expert on embedded RFID technology. This enables customers to maintain a detailed real-time inventory of the tools or equipment stored in the vehicle.
Crew Chief, a fleet telematics and diagnostics system, which allows small fleet owners to efficiently manage their vehicles, quickly dispatch workers to job sites and keep detailed vehicle maintenance records.
Cable Lock security system developed in partnership with Master Lock(R), the industry-leading lock manufacturer, to secure large tools or equipment in the cargo area of E-Series vans and wagons.
All four Ford Work Solutions technologies also will be available this fall on the new 2009 Ford F-150 XL, STX, XLT and FX4 trucks; F-Series Super Duty XL, XLT and FX4 pickup trucks. Transit Connect vans join the lineup in mid-2009.
A navigation system integrated into the instrument panel with a 6.5-inch touch screen display. This is available for the first time in E-Series along with SIRIUS satellite radio.
SIRIUS Travel Link, an industry-exclusive feature. When coupled with navigation, this system provides a collection of data services including real-time local traffic, coast-to-coast weather conditions and fuel price information for more than 120,000 gas stations.
Reverse Camera System, which mounts a small camera at the rear of the vehicle. It's activated when the van is shifted into reverse, giving the driver a clear view behind the vehicle. The video image is displayed in the navigation screen on vans equipped with that option or in the self-dimming rearview mirror on vans without the navigation system. The screen image includes an industry-first centerline and colored guides, which provide the driver a better perspective of the vehicle's center point and periphery.
Comfort and Convenience Built Into the Interior
For 2009, the E-Series features a tougher, more functional interior that better reflects its exterior design, which was improved for 2008. New features include:
A new, more user-friendly instrument panel and center console.
Even more storage, cleverly integrated throughout.
Redesigned door trim panels feature integrated second-bin compartments. A contents-retention strap helps secure items in the driver's door.
The instrument panel has a new storage tray above the passenger air bag.
The center console doubles the usable storage space of the previous version - and now includes three larger cup holders that can accommodate a wider variety of cup/mug sizes, an integrated clipboard holder and space for a laptop.
Four new optional user-defined switches on the dashboard and a more efficient wiring harness, which make it easier for upfitters to integrate aftermarket features such as auxiliary lighting.
An optional audio input jack on the instrument panel that connects E-Series to MP3 players and other portable audio devices.
A new glove box that provides still more storage and a second power point.
A new message center available in E-Series vans and wagons that features standard vehicle maintenance information as well as miles-to-empty and fuel economy numbers. The message center is standard on vans equipped with the 6.0-liter Power Stroke(R) V-8 Turbo Diesel engine and includes an engine-hour meter that keeps a running total of engine use, even during idling.
"Customers let us know what an important tool their E-Series can be taking care of business, and that's why we've continued investing in these vehicles, building on the suspension and chassis improvements, new cargo management system upgrades and improved exterior design we delivered on E-Series for 2008," Koswick said. "Beyond these new technology-based solutions, though, we haven't overlooked ways to improve the essential elements of E-Series vans."
Core upgrades include:
A new door system that makes it easier to move the rear doors to their full-open position. A detent in the system allows the doors to be held open at 95 degrees and when needed, they can be opened to 172 degrees with a simple push. This allows full access to the rear cargo area.
More fueling options. E-Series full-size cargo vans equipped with 4.6-liter and 5.4-liter engines are capable of running on E85 (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline), pure gasoline or any blend in between - a segment first. All E-Series engines are designed to meet 2010 emissions standards.
Added safety equipment, including a new optional, dash-mounted front-passenger air bag cutoff switch on vans and cutaways; standard AdvanceTrac(R) with RSC(R) (Roll Stability Control) on all wagons and recreational vans and optional on commercial vans with gasoline engines; and an optional factory-installed integrated trailer brake controller that allows direct operation of the trailer's electronic brakes by squeezing the control module on the instrument panel with more confidence than typical aftermarket systems.