New York Auto Show: Ford Transit Connect Family One Concept  

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Ford Transit Connect Family One will debut at the New York auto show next week and Ford says it is aiming the vehicle at the consumer demographic they call the "cool mom," or parents of small children in their mid-30s who haven't lost their sense of style, nor their sense of irony.

Ford has shown a lot of Transit Connect concepts in the past, but this is the first eschewing the commercial side for the consumer market. As the name implies, the Transit Connect Family One Concept is aimed squarely at families. According to Ford's design team, its meant for "the coolest mom," whatever that means. What we do know is, as you'd expect, most of the features are aimed at kids. The rear seats have a kid-friendly entertainment system, door sills you can scribble on (explain that when junior writes all over Grandpa's S-Class) and removable seat covers to make it easier to wash off the never-ending stream of filth kids seem to generate. There's also integrated dispensers for hand sanitizer and sun screen, a set of walkie-talkies with charging station, an awning over the rear cargo doors — which have scooters built into them — and stroller storage under the floor.

But not everything is meant for the kids. Included in the concept is the Ford Work Solutions package (though re-dubbed "Family Works" in this application) which allows RFID tagging and sensing in the car. So, if "the coolest mom" is in a rush, she doesn't have to rifle through the junk in the back, she can ask the on-board computer and it scans the area, finds the diaper bag, stroller, Timmy's Game Boy and whatever else you've tagged and decided you need to bring along (the kids themselves, perhaps). It also gets the first non-Fusion Hybrid application of the SmartGauge system, even though it is not itself a hybrid, hey you can still drive efficiently without hybridization. There's also the neat blue neon lights and overhead sunlight. That's stuff mom's like, right? Expect to see the long-named Ford Transit Connect Family One Concept debut on the stands of the New York Auto Show.

The van is spacious, though, with 135 cubic feet of room inside the cabin (3.82 cubic meters). The starting price of $21,475 for the Transit Connect commercial van, announced for the US market earlier this year, provides an indication that the people-carrier variant will be competitively priced in the low-to-mid 20s range.

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