Subsequent to the introduction of the sexy Fiesta facelift and exciting new Focus ST earlier this year, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa follows up with the unveiling of the face lifted version of the Bantam.
“The launch of the face lifted Bantam comes at a crucial time,” comments Conrad Groenewald, Ford Brand Manager. “The LCV market and in particular the ½ ton segment is becoming increasingly competitive with the arrival of new products.”
“The Bantam is Ford’s biggest volume seller, and competes in a segment (½ ton market) that currently constitutes 28% of the LCV market. The ½ ton segment also continues to show phenomenal growth. To maintain the competitiveness of the Bantam we decided to focus primarily on visual changes and feature enhancements.
The Bantam derivatives to be launched include 1.3i, 1.3iXL, 1.6i, 1.6i XLT and 1.6i XLE.
The new-look Bantam sees the introduction of a revised headlamp and rear lamps design. The front grille has also been overhauled and now boasts a wider deeper mesh pattern, while revised mud flaps and rear bumperettes complete the new profile.
The facelift has undergone the following additional changes:
Body colour exterior door handles – (XLE)
New rear step bumper and new body side mouldings – (1.3i XL, 1.6i XLT, 1.6i XLE)
New Wheel Lip Mouldings (FR, RR) – (1.3i XL, 1.6i XLT, 1.6i XLE)
New Fog Lamps – (1.6i XLE)
New Alloy Wheels – (1.3i XL, 1.6i XLT, 1.6i XLE)
New Seat fabrics & door trim panels
New cloth and sliding backlite on Base
New PVC Floor Mats – (1.6i XLE)
New Remote Central Locking – (1.6i XLT, 1.6i XLE)
The Bantam, with its 650kg payload and smooth on-road performance, hopes to become an inseparable partner to both small businessmen and the corporate sector. Its qualities make it the perfect partner to either race around delivering loads or as a handy complement to a larger fleet.
Moreover, the special accent that has been placed on comfort and convenience features will make it a popular choice among the private sector. The LCV market is becoming increasingly competitive and the Bantam’s superior specifications will give customers a refreshing option.
The Bantam has been designed to work hard, adjusted to play hard and Ford engineers have ensured that it offers a more comfortable ride, even in off-road conditions.
Mechanically the Bantam remains unchanged with the same proven front wheel drive layout. Riding on gas shocks and Macpherson struts the Bantam provides a comfortable driving experience normally associated with passenger vehicles.
The new-look Bantam continues to be powered by the locally manufactured RoCam power plants, with two engine variations to choose between. The 1.3-litre RoCam produces 55kW @ 5 500rpm and 110Nm @ 3 000rpm while the 1.6-litre RoCam unit offers 70kW at 5 500rpm and 137Nm from 2 500rpm.
“The Bantam remains a uniquely South African product,” continues Groenewald. “With such a high local content the Bantam is at a strong competitive advantage in a market where running costs are a prime concern. With the Bantam, not only are parts readily available but, we have been able to price parts cost effectively resulting in lower running costs for the consumer.
“Ford continues to enjoy a strong presence in the LCV market as the only brand to offer a ½ ton (Bantam), 1 ton (Ranger) and full size (F250) pick-up. We’re confident that we have something on offer to meet everyone’s needs. Ford has over 100 years experience in the LCV segment and as such we have a comprehensive idea of what our customers are looking for,” concluded Groenewald.