Ford has unveiled its revised 2.0-tonne Transit van at the Hanover IAA Commercial Vehicles show before it arrives in UK showrooms in mid-2019.

The manufacturer claims a 7% improvement in fuel efficiency across the model range and a raft of changes include the introduction of a mild hybrid diesel powertrain (mHEV) with a 48-volt battery pack, which it says offers a further 3% fuel saving, rising to 8% in stop-start urban environments, according to World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) analysis.

Ford has also added a 185hp variant to the current 105hp, 130hp and 170hp outputs of its  2.0-litre Ecoblue diesel engine and will make a 10-speed automatic transmission available on rear-wheel drive versions of the large van from the first quarter of 2020.

The Transit features a redesigned front end and a new interior, which Ford claims provides more stowage space than the current derivative.

New connectivity features include the FordPass Connect on-board modem technology, which is designed to help operators reduce fleet downtime and optimise running costs.

Michael McDonagh, Transit global chief programme engineer, Ford of Europe, said: “This is a Ford Transit for the modern business world: it’s as tough and practical as our customers demand, cost of ownership is reduced and its connectivity will improve operational efficiency.”

Ford said the introduction of electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) to the 2-tonne Transit had helped to improve fuel efficiency as had the use of low-rolling-resistance tyres and aerodynamic enhancements. Fuel-saving auto start-stop technology remains standard across the range.

The upgraded Transit line-up also features Efficient Drive Mode, which uses GPS positioning to give predictive advice on how to achieve the best fuel economy on the road ahead.

Ford claims the new Transit will be among the class leaders for payload, thanks to weight-saving enhancements such as a new aluminium bonnet, the use of spun steel wheels with varied thicknesses and a single exhaust muffler configuration replacing the outgoing twin-muffler design.

In addition, lighter-weight composite materials have replaced steel in the bulkhead. A new power side load door is aimed at facilitating loading and unloading and a new high-mounted down-lighter has been added to offer illumination when working at night in the area behind the rear cargo doors.

Ford has introduced Selectable Drive Modes to the Transit designed to match driving performance to conditions, these comprise Eco Mode, Slippery Mode, Mud/Rut Mode for all-wheel drive models and Tow/Haul Mode for smoother power delivery when towing large trailers that weigh more than the vehicle kerb weight.

Driver assistance features include blind spot information with trailer tow system, intelligent adaptive cruise control with traffic sign recognition, lane-keeping assist and pre-collision assist with pedestrian protection, which Ford claims can now detect pedestrians at night when they are illuminated by the headlights.

The revised van also gets new parking and manoeuvring aids such as front and rear wide-view cameras, a high-mounted rear-view camera to provide improved visibility when reversing with the rear doors open and additional side-sensors.

Active Park Assist helps drivers find spaces and park hands-free, Park-Out Assist helps drivers exit parallel parking spaces hands-free and Cross Traffic Alert warns drivers reversing out of a parking space of vehicles about to cross behind them.

Ford has added a flagship Limited specification to the line-up and says, as with the outgoing model, Transit customers can select from a range of more than 450 core variants, including front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive drivelines, with a full range of bodystyles and chassis cabs, including the recently introduced low-height Skeletal chassis.