Ford Transit Connect chosen as New York taxi

The people carrier, based on the small panel van of the same name, will be decked out in the traditional yellow of the New York taxi as Ford prepares for production of the specially-adapted models.

New York City approved the Transit Connect after it passed stringent criteria including CO2 emissions, cost of running and practicality.

"For decades, Ford has been synonymous with New York City taxis, and we are pleased residents and tourists now will benefit from our next-generation vehicle," said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas.

The Ford Transit Connect models set to be put to work on the streets of New York boast a 2.0-litre petrol engine with automatic transmission. Fuel economy figures for the Ford Transit Connect are 23mpg, a 30 per cent improvement on the current generation of New York taxis, says Ford.

Featuring sliding doors with lower ground clearance, the taxis have been specially adapted from the standard Ford Transit Connect van to suit the needs of taxi drivers.

This also includes extra seats and the iconic yellow paint job in New York. Other cities such as Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia will also use the Ford Transit Connect as a taxi.

Closer to home, the Ford Transit Connect is the smaller sibling of the world’s most popular van, the Ford Transit.

Priced from £9,995, the Ford Transit Connect is the second most popular van in Ford’s UK range. In the UK, the Ford Transit Connect comes with a choice of three 1.8-litre Duratorq engines in 75, 90 and 110PS variations.

All models come with sliding side doors, a folding passenger seat, load-ties and Electronic Stability Control (ESP) as standard across the range.

The Ford Transit Connect range will be extended from next year when the Ford Transit Connect Electric, an all-electric version, goes on sale in the UK.