Ford unveiled Thursday its Transit Skyliner Concept luxury van, built by renowned custom shop Galpin Auto Sports.
Ford says the concept was developed to showcase the Transit’s versatility and how it can be transformed to fit the needs of limousines and high-end transportation services as well as commercial fleets, shuttle providers and small-business owners.
Inside, Transit Skyliner can transform into four dramatic modes – theater, business, reception and travel – with movable custom-designed “throne” seats that reposition automatically, controlled by a smartphone or tablet:
- Theater: Seats face the 52-inch retractable Stewart movie screen and recline for optimal cinematic viewing
- Business: Motorized table unfolds and leather-trimmed seats are gathered around it for face-to-face conversation
- Reception: Sliding door opens four feet wide and seats are arranged for easy entertaining while parked at an event
- Travel: Passengers can adjust their reclining seats and retractable footrests for ultimate 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 also features Focal Utopia 7.2 surround sound with speakers handmade in France specifically for Transit Skyliner, a KVH DIRECTV satellite for HD TV and a Kaleidescape media server with storage space equivalent to more than 300 Blu-ray movies or more than 1,000 DVDs.
Refreshments can be served from Transit Skyliner’s built-in bar. Matching custom luggage complements the vehicle’s custom leather-trimmed seats.
“Traveling in Transit Skyliner is an experience unlike any other” says Tim Stoehr, Ford manager for commercial truck marketing. “You step into the vehicle and are immediately immersed in the custom interior and high-tech audiovisual environment. The next thing you know, you are arriving at your destination.”
The exterior of Transit Skyliner features a custom silver metallic paint scheme accented by contrasting lower trim, chrome highlights and custom Forgiato wheels. The dynamic design reflects Transit’s modern, European look.
“Transit Skyliner is the ultimate expression of a custom Transit,” Stoehr says. “We created the vehicle to highlight the potential of the Ford Transit platform for the limousine market and to showcase Transit as the next generation of modern, cool, fuel-efficient vans.”
Transit Skyliner features the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine available on Ford Transit.
With 487 cubic feet of cargo volume and an interior height of 81.5 inches in the long wheelbase/extended body high-roof model, Transit can be personalized 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 general contractors.
The 2015 model year Transit will offer two wheelbases, three roof heights and three powertrains to accommodate multiple needs without body modifications.
The exterior design for the Transit Skyliner originated out of Ford of Europe’s Design Studio in Dunton, England, and its execution was led by Melvin Betancourt, a Ford design manager, and Galpin Auto Sports President Beau Boeckmann.
Galpin Ford is the world’s largest Ford dealership and has a history of customizing vehicles that spans more than 60 years. Ford says it approached Galpin, who has been featured as a custom shop on the MTV series ‘Pimp My Ride’, because the group was at the forefront of the customized van trend of the late 1960s and 1970s and was among the pioneers in launching the conversion van industry. Galpin remains a longtime leader in conversion vans.
“We are sincerely excited to work with Ford in creating the future of luxury travel,” says Galpin Auto Sports’ Boeckmann. “Tapping our history of creating the conversion van segment in the 1960s and ’70s, as well as our recent high-tech work, together with Ford we have brought the modern ultra-premium van to life.
Transit Skyliner will make its auto show debut at the New York International Auto Show on April 16 at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The Transit goes on sale this summer.