2014 Ford Transit commercial van changing the marketplace

The new Ford Transit commercial van will set new standards globally for vehicles of its type. Not only will fuel economy change dramatically, maintenance costs and other aspects of the cost model have been closely scrutinized.

Moving away from the body-on-frame design of the past, the new Transit will be a unit-body constructed workhorse with a design life of 10 years and 150,000 miles of severe duty.

Ford began this long journey in 1961 with what was called the Econoline and then the E-series vans. These vans became contractor’s workshops and haulers, they became airport shuttles, and they were used in a huge variety of ways to deliver people and materials to homes and worksites.

What Ford is doing in this shift is really moving away from the pick-up truck based vans of the past to a new class of vehicle. Its  closest competitive design van on the market in the US is the Sprinter, a Mercedes product, but previously sold by Dodge, and now by Freightliner.

Chevrolet will still be a formidable competitor with its line of vehicles, and Nissan is moving forward with its NV cargo van. It appears as if a shift towards Nissan and Ford trying to compete with one another globally for the large and small commercial vehicle business.

Ford is moving towards one Transit for world-wide sales. However, the Transit is really a line of vehicles. Unlike in the past when Ford offered one product for sale in the US and a variety of different vehicles for sale to do a similar job in other global markets, the new Ford Transit will be sold everywhere.

The vehicle will come in various lengths and three roof heights (see photo). In the largest configuration, a six foot five inch person could stand upright inside. That largest version will also haul almost twice the cargo of the current van Ford markets and will do so fuel efficiently.

The transmission is the easy choice, a six speed automatic regardless of engine. The three engines available are;  The venerable 3.7 litre V6 will be the standard. It will be augmented by the EcoBoost turbo 3.5 litre which is doing well in pickup trucks for Ford. This is the replacement for the V8 and 10 cylinder engines currently available. The most interesting engine offering will be the new Ford 3.2 liter five-cylinder turbo-diesel which is based on Ford Europe’s Duratorq line of engines.

This new engine will meet the new US clean diesel standards. Ford can also provide a  natural gas ready version of the Transit and the base engine is E85 compatible . To ensure durability test vehicles have logged over 4.6 million miles.

Ford’s new 2014 Transit will also be available with Synch and MyFord Touch. The new Transit built in Kansas will augment the smaller Ford Transit Connect built in Turkey. Sales are said to begin in Fall 2013.