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Ford builds 'private jet for the road'

2014-04-23 08:10

TRANSFORMED TRANSIT: The one-time getaway vehicle for bank-robbers has morphed into a private jet for the road. Image: Ford Motor Company

  • Concept based on the all-new Ford Transit
  • Custom luxury coach; immersive comfort, luxury
  • Four modes - theatre, business, reception and travel
  • Skyliner has almost 14 000 litres of cabin space

The future of ultra-premium land transport, Ford says, is here with a spacious cabin that morphs to support an immersive entertainment experience or a business meeting with the swipe of a smartphone.

It's the Ford Transit Skyliner concept luxury van, the automaker says, that illustrates the almost unlimited flexibility, versatility and capability of the all-new Transit.

The Transit Skyliner claims to embody the spirit of luxury coaches and builds on the heritage of custom vans, showing how the Transit can be transformed to fit the needs of limousine and high-end transport services as well as commercial fleets, shuttle providers and small businesses.


The Skyliner's cabin can adopt four modes - theatre, business, reception, travel - through movable "throne" seats that reposition automatically under the control of a smartphone or tablet:

• Theatre: Seats face the 132cm retractable Stewart movie screen and recline for viewing
• Business: A motorised table unfolds and leather-trimmed seats are gathered around it for face-to-face conversation
• Reception: A sliding door opens to 1.2m wide and with seats arranged for easy entertaining while parked at an event
• Travel: Passengers can adjust their reclining seat and retractable footrests for comfort and solitude.

The entire interior - from seats to LED mood lighting - is integrated into a Crestron automation system controlled through a smartphone or tablet. The entertainment system has Focal Utopia surround-sound with speakers hand-made in France specifically for theSkyliner.

A KVH DirecTV satellite TV comes with a Kaleidescape media server that can store the equivalent of more than 300 Blu-Ray movies or more than 1000 DVDs.

Refreshments can be served from the Skyliner's built-in bar. Matching custom luggage complements the vehicle's one-of-a-kind leather-trimmed seats.


Tim Stoehr, Ford's manager for commercial truck marketing, said: "Traveling in a Transit Skyliner is an experience unlike any other. You step into the vehicle and are immediately immersed in the custom interior and high-tech audio-visual environment.

"The next thing you know, you're at your destination."

The exterior of the Skyliner has a custom silver metallic paint scheme accented by contrasting lower trim, chromed highlights and custom Forgiato wheel rims.

Stoehr adds: "The Skyliner is the ultimate expression of a custom Transit. We created the vehicle to highlight the potential of the Transit platform for the limousine market and to showcase the next generation of modern, cool, fuel-efficient vans."

The Transit Skyliner has a 3.5-litre EcoBoost engine seen in Ford models abroad, including the US market's Ford F150*.


With 13 790 litres of cargo volume and an interior height of 207cm in the long wheelbase/extended body high-roof model, the Transit can be personalised to create a private jet for the road. Its unique custom limo design proves the capabilities of Ford Transit go beyond the needs of shuttles, commercial fleets and contractors.

Gavin Golightly, Ford Southern Africa's marketing manager, told Wheels24: "It's exciting to see what can be done with the Transit platform. The new and bigger Transit will join the one-tonne Transit Custom later in 2014 to expand options for fleets and individuals who want more space and versatility."

The Transit Skyliner had its auto show debut at the New York International Auto Show on April 16 2014.

*The 3.5-litre EcoBoost engine is not available in South Africa.
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