Ford’s Flexibus Is Your New Cute and Affordable Camper
For now, only Europe gets it but there’s definitely a business case for it in the U.S. as wellby Tudor Rus, on
Campers are making a comeback in various shapes, as trailers or as fully fledged vehicles. So there’s no surprise that carmakers will, now more than ever, look to secure a piece of that pie. They’re currently doing just that when it comes to e-scooters, which have showed enormous lucrative potential over the past years and show no sign of slowing down. All that despite governments beginning to launch laws that would moderate their use.
Coming back to the topic at hand, Ford has just introduced its own version of an affordable camper. It’s called Flexibus (pretty suggestive, don’t you think) and was unveiled at this year’s Caravan Salon in Dusseldorf, Germany. Essentially, the Flexibus is an entry-level RV, if you wish, that addresses those customers who want a vehicle they can go camping with but one that’s also usable for daily errand running. This is where Flexibus comes into play.
Ford Flexibus - What is it?
Ford’s Flexibus is, in fact, a conversion made by Bavaria-based Sortimo Speedwave Gmbh, a company which initially specialized in customizing work vans via what it calls “mobile transport systems.” Their solutions included steel racking for vans as well as various shelves suitable for courier, express, and package delivery services. Today, Sortimo offers vehicle decals, rook racks, cargo bikes, load-securing components as well as a wide range of boxes and cases that make hauling and storing items inside a van a lot easier.
Now, for those unfamiliar with Ford’s Europe-focus camper range, then you should know the Blue Oval is also offering the so-called Euroline, which is based on the Ford Turneo Custom.
For the Flexibus, Ford and Sortimo turned their heads to the Transit Custom as the base vehicle for two main reasons: the model’s entry-level status would make it an affordable choice for customers and at the same time, it offered two wheelbases: short and long, measuring 2,933 millimeters (115.5 inches) and 3,300 millimeters (129.9 inches), respectively.
This, in turn, offered flexibility but also compactness, given that most owners would have to use the Flexibus within urban areas after the weekend adventures are over.
Therefore, the Flexibus can be had in two guises: 320 and 340, in any wheelbase configuration he or she desires. Those numbers related to the a variant’s maximum payload: 320 stands for a payload range of 900 kilos (1,980 pounds) for the shorter wheelbase and 800 kilos (1,760 pounds) for the longer wheelbase, while 340 describes a payload of 1,100 kilos (2,430 pounds) for the short wheelbase and 1,000 kilos (2,200 pounds) for the long wheelbase.
|Payload||900 kg / 800 kg||1,100 kg / 1,000 kg|
The engine choice includes diesel engine alone, but Ford says every powerplant is compliant with Euro 6d norms, so you won’t destroy the nature around you while camping. Outputs range from 77 kW (103 horsepower) to 136 kW (182 horsepower), with customers being given the option to choose between a six-speed manual (standard) or an automatic transmission.
Ford Flexibus - What’s it like on the inside?
Step inside the Flexibus, and you’ll bump into Sortimo once again. More precisely, its Multi-Functional Floor setup which is available with two decoration options, allows you to pick a comfortable carpet or a robust plastic floor covering. We’d go for the carpet on any given day, but in all fairness, if things get muddy, the plastic cover is the practical choice to make thanks to its low-maintenance nature. In addition, Sortimo also fitted the Flexibus with a rail system - that’s embedded into the camper’s floor and allows you to secure various pieces of equipment, including seats, tables, small furniture, and also other sorts of gear.
Ford says you can fit up to four beds inside the Flexibus, but if sleeping all day is not your thing and your family isn’t that big either, you can go easy on the beds and fill the space you’ve cleared with sports equipment.
Even more, you can turn the Flexibus into a mobile office or a team bus. There’s also the option of a roof configuration available for both wheelbase sizes which lets you gain extra space for “two additional beds” or for “comfortable standing height.”
Alright, with all that said, you’re curious how much will Ford’s Flexibus set you back. Well, it depends on your desired configuration, but you’ll still need to pay for the base Transit Custom, which costs €35,200 ($38,800) at current exchange rates). The final price tag will reflect your choices when it comes to the interior arrangement, so it’s hard to come up with an estimate.