The auto industry is fixated on Toyota’s recall woes, but Ford snuck in this week with some interesting news of its own: the release of the compressed natural gas-powered Transit Connect. It might just be the NYC taxi cab of the future.
The vehicle, released this week along with an all-electric version of the car, looks like a standard Transit Connect–except with three more inches of leg room, an information and entertainment system in the back for passengers, and a fare-tracking system. Citygoers will also notice the fuel tank behind the passenger seat for either CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) or propane–that is, if NYC decides to go the CNG route at all. The Transit Connect will also be available with a standard gas-powered engine that Ford claims is 30% more fuel-efficient than current taxis on the road.
The Transit Connect hasn’t yet secured a place as part of NYC’s taxi fleet. But New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission recently put out a call for a next-generation cab to replace the Crown Victoria, and it’s likely that this will be Ford’s choice. If electric vehicle technology takes off, maybe the car company will even consider adding its all-electric Transit Connect to the fleet somewhere down the line.