New Ford Transit Van Designed to Be Tough on the Job, Lighter in Weight and on the Wallet
Ford is building a new road filled with potholes, bumps and curbs to test the new Transit full-size van at its Michigan Proving Grounds
New Transit van will eventually replace the Econoline wagon and van
Ford is a leader in lightweighting. The next-generation Transit will live up to Econoline’s Built Ford Tough reputation plus achieve at least 25 percent better fuel economy, thanks in part to smart weight reductions of at least 300 pounds compared to similar Econoline vans
DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 7, 2011 – The ability to withstand a curb jump thousands of timesis not a typical vehicle requirement.
However, Ford is building a new road at its Michigan Proving Grounds north of Detroit to make sure one of its newest vehicles can stand up to the rough use it is sometimes subjected to.
The new Transit van, a predecessor of which is available in Europe, will eventually replace the venerable Econoline wagon and van in North America. The Transit will be a truly global cargo and people hauler with improvements in handling, fuel economy and technology.
“The new Transit will be the smartest, most fuel-efficient way to move cargo or people,” said Tim Stoehr, Ford Commercial Truck Marketing manager.
Next year, the optimized Transit will be put through three months of intense durability testing including climbing the curbs on the specialized test road at the proving grounds. The Transit will climb the curbs thousands of times on top of navigating the bumpy and pothole-ridden road surface vehicles are sometimes required to endure.
A similar test road exists in Belgium, which Ford has used to test previous European models of the Transit.
European delivery drivers are often required to hop curbs and they require vehicles that are able to withstand the rigors of this obstacle. Ford is now working to ensure all of its Transit vehicles will be able to hold up against challenging conditions.
But Transit will go beyond living up to Econoline’s sterling work reputation. The vehicle will also achieve at least 25 percent better fuel economy compared to similar Econoline vans, thanks in part to smart weight savings that will trim at least 300 pounds from Transit compared to a similar E-Series van. That means customers will potentially save thousands of dollars in operating costs from fuel savings.
The Transit van is the best-selling van in Europe. Ford has sold more than 6 million Transits across five continents. Transit is currently offered to global customers in a variety of cargo, passenger and chassis cab configurations with a choice of three efficient diesels: the 2.2-liter Duratorq TDCi I-4, 2.4-liter Duratorq TDCi I-4 and 3.2-liter Duratorq TDCi I-5.
In 2010, the 6 millionth Transit rolled off the production line in Turkey. Conceived as Ford’s first pan-European product in the mid-1960s, the Transit will soon become a fully global asset.
To get ready for production in the U.S. by 2013, Ford is investing $1.1 billion in its Kansas City Assembly Plant, where the F-150 is built today.