2014 Ford Transit Preview
- New full-size van
- Three roof heights
- Three body lengths
- Two wheelbase lengths
- XL and XLT trim levels
- Van, Wagon, Chassis Cab and Cutaway styles
- 25% average improvement in fuel economy
- Hauls 300 pounds more than outgoing E-Series
- To be sold on six continents in 116 markets
- Built in Kansas City
Traditionally, Ford Motor Company has sold the E-Series Van, also known as the Econoline, in North America and the Transit in Europe and other locations around the world. That strategy changes with the introduction of the 2014 Ford Transit at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The new Ford Transit replaces the E-Series as part of the company's "One Ford" product strategy, which is designed to align the automaker's global product requirements. Under this strategy, the company intends to sell products around the world rather than within regional markets. The approach is designed to amortize product development expenses faster due to greater production volumes, allowing new models such as the 2014 Transit to start turning profits sooner, and for longer periods of time.
The commercial and fleet buyers Ford hopes to attract to the new 2014 Transit will have plenty of models to choose from, in either XL or XLT trim levels.
The new 2014 Transit is offered with low (83.2 inches), medium (100.8 inches), and high (110.2 inches) roof heights combined with regular (129.9 inches) and long (147.6 inches) wheelbases and single- or dual-rear-wheel configurations.
Three body lengths are offered, all 98.1 inches wide at the side mirrors. The rear cargo doors open to 180 degrees or 270 degrees, and Ford has integrated the opening for filling the 26-gallon fuel tank with the driver's side door to improve security.
The 2014 Transit is available in Van and Wagon styles, and Ford will also offer Chassis/Cab and Cutaway variants for customers who may turn the Transit into a moving van or a recreational vehicle.
With three roof heights, the 2014 Ford Transit offers between 56 inches and 81.5 inches of vertical height inside the cargo area. All models except the smallest version offer a maximum load width of 69.8 inches.
Cargo volume ranges from a minimum of 248.3 cubic feet to a maximum of nearly 496 cubic feet, depending on roof height and body length. Ford says the largest of the new 2014 Transit models can haul as much cargo as two E-Series models put together. The biggest Transit Wagon carries up to 15 passengers.
Final standard and optional equipment specifications were not available for the 2014 Transit as this preview is written. However, Ford has confirmed that the following features will be available for the new Transit: power side mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators, MyKey programmable safety features, Sync smartphone connectivity, MyFord Touch with a 6.5-inch touch screen, Crew Chief telematics, and a Class IV trailer towing package with a transmission Tow/Haul mode.
Under the Hood
According to Ford, the 2014 Transit is engineered to withstand a severe-usage service life of 10 years or 150,000 miles. Three engines are offered for the new van, each paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive.
The standard engine is an E85-compatible, 3.7-liter gasoline V-6. This engine is available with a compressed natural gas/liquid propane gas (CNG/LPG) prep kit. Final horsepower and torque ratings have not been established as this preview is written, but in the 2013 Ford F-150 pickup truck, this engine generates 302 horsepower and 278 lb.-ft. of torque.
By comparison, the standard 4.6-liter V-8 in the current E-150 generates 225 horsepower and 286 lb.-ft. of torque.
A direct-injection, twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine is optional for the 2014 Transit models. Again, final horsepower and torque figures have yet to be announced, but the same engine in the F-150 pickup delivers 365 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque at just 2,500 rpm.
In the current E-150, the optional 5.4-liter V-8 generates 255 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. Even the E-350's optional 6.8-liter V-10 engine is rated to generate no more than 305 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque.
Buyers seeking to maximize fuel economy will be able to select an optional 3.2-liter Power Stroke 5-cylinder common-rail turbo-diesel engine. Ford says this engine meets U.S. clean diesel standards, that it is expected to be compatible with B20 bio-diesel, and that it "already has established a proven record for reliability, durability and refinement in the global Ford Ranger truck sold in world markets." Ford reports that in Europe this engine develops 197 horsepower and 347 lb.-ft. of torque.
Additional mechanical details of the new 2014 Ford Transit include power hydraulic rack-and-pinion steering, MacPherson strut front suspension with a stabilizer bar, progressive rear leaf-spring suspension, and heavy-duty shocks. The Transit employs steel unibody construction.
The 2014 Transit is equipped with 4-wheel-disc anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control system with roll stability control, and a tire-pressure-monitoring system. MyKey technology allows the Transit's owner to program a maximum vehicle speed, maximum stereo volume, seat belt usage reminder chimes, and more. Sync smartphone connectivity is optional, and includes 9-1-1 Assist. If the Transit's air bags deploy and a paired smartphone is aboard, it will automatically dial 9-1-1 and the operator will be able to send emergency rescue personnel directly to the scene of the accident.
In addition to an optional MyFord Touch infotainment system with navigation, the 2014 Transit can be optioned with a Crew Chief telematics system that allows for remote monitoring of the vehicle to maximize productivity.
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