Coming to showrooms in 2014, the new 2015 Ford Transit van will bring Ford into the premium cargo van segment to compete head on with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and now the RAM Promaster vans.
The aged Econoline vans designed in the 1970’s finally give way to a van that is more capable, more efficient and offers real-world livability that will open up a whole new world for customers. Though for the first year the Econoline is expected to sell along-side the new Transit van.
Making the transition to Transit easier for both consumers and up-fitters, the van will be offered in three body lengths, two wheelbases, and three roof heights. Additionally it will be offered in a cargo van, passenger wagon, chassis cab and cutaway body styles.
The centerpiece of the new Transit will be a new 3.2-liter Power Stroke five-cylinder common-rail turbo-diesel. The engine is based on Ford’s proven Duratorq global diesel engine architecture from Europe an features state-of-the-art fuel, turbo and emissions systems.
To be 50-state legal, the engine meets stringent U.S. clean diesel standards, providing an ideal balance of fuel economy and job capability. The engine will be mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission only. Ford will offer a gasoline 3.7-liter V6 and 3.5 liter V6 EcoBoost engine as well.
The high-roof Transit features 81 inches of interior cargo height, enough headroom for a person standing six foot, five inches tall to stand upright in the cargo area. The medium roof can accommodate up to 72 inches of cargo height and the low roof has 56 inches of cargo height.
Cargo volume ranges from 256 cubic feet to more than 550 cubic feet – nearly 75 percent more space than a Chevrolet Express. Best of all, Transit’s rear cargo doors open 270 degrees for easy rear cargo space access.
The interior of each Transit van features advanced, durable LED lighting and has been developed for easy upfit of racks, bins, shelving and other cargo storage and hauling solutions. The largest passenger version can carry up to 15 people.
The chassis promises much better driving dynamics than the old Econoline as well, especially for up-fitted chassis configurations. It has power rack-and-pinion steering and a front suspension consisting of subframe-mounted MacPherson struts and a stabilizer bar. The rear axle has progressive rear leaf springs and heavy-duty gas-charged shocks.
We expect the Ford Transit will be especially lucrative for the shuttle market as well as the recreational vehicle manufacturers. The new Transit can be made into a capable RV in tall steel body along similar to how Airstream builds with the Sprinter from Mercedes-Benz.
We suspect the Ford will offer lower base pricing than the German brand, opening up more opportunities for the marketplace of recreational-vehicles. The 2015 Ford Transit will be built at the recently upgraded Kansas City manufacturing facility.