Photos by KGP Photography
Selling the replacement to the ubiquitous E-Series van won't be easy, but that's exactly what Ford is looking to do. The new rear-drive Transit, which has much of its design roots from Europe, is set to be built in Kansas City, and it will have at least two impressive engines at its disposal: the same EcoBoost engine now sitting in the F-150 and a new powerful turbo-diesel.
And from the early reports from some of our favorite Ford PR reps, the vehicle will be much lighter and offer a significant fuel economy advantage over the heavier and less configurable old-school E-Series platform.
Here's a report from one of our spy shooters who caught one of the early Transits testing in Michigan:
"We've gotten our first look at a fully production-spec prototype for the Ford Transit cargo van, caught running on the streets of metro Detroit. This European-flavored van supplants the outgoing Ford E-series vans, taking a cue from the example set by the Mercedes-based Dodge Sprinter, which was part of the fruit from the DaimlerChrysler days. The European-spec Transit has already been shown as the Transit Tourneo, which maintains Ford's Kinetic design language. The U.S.-spec prototype caught here looks like it will take its styling in a different, more trucklike, direction, making good on some earlier reports that the American Transit will have more of a 'Built Ford Tough' vibe.
"This prototype is obviously the tall-roofed cargo van, but several variants will span a wide range, from commercial applications to more passenger-focused variations. Ford has already announced that the 3.5-liter EcoBoost will be one of the engine options, while a new (for the U.S.) diesel is also reported to be part of Ford's U.S. Transit plans.
"Ford has made great strides to create a more polished, carlike interior for the latest European Transit — something that shouldn't change for the U.S.-spec models."