Ford just announced that the coming Transit van will come in different shell configurations to accommodate the diverse needs of the commercial van users.
After recently announcing the introduction of a brand-new 3.2-liter I-5 baby Power Stroke turbo-diesel — to go along with the already-announced 3.5-liter EcoBoost and 3.7L V-6 gas choices — Ford is now rolling out the details about exactly what the bodies and wheelbases will be.
We should note that no announcements were made about the possibility of the smaller Power Stroke going into the Ford F-150 anytime soon, but with possible power and torque numbers in the 200 hp and 400 lb-ft ballpark and the coming EPA and CAFE numbers ready to make their staggered jumps in 2016 and 2018, the powerful, fuel efficient 3.2L turbodiesel would be a good fit.
The eventual replacement for the E-Series van, the Transit will come in two wheelbases, three roof heights and three body lengths and offer three engine options. It will eventually be offered in van, wagon, chassis cab and cutaway body styles in XL and XLT trims. The chassis cab and cutaway models will use a unique unitized frame section (starting just behind the cab) that allows for a stiff, strong, and adaptable rear section. There's no word on whether a Titanium option package will be available.
Obviously, Ford Truck is hoping the economy makes a strong push in the next several years, with businesses looking for exactly the right work truck or van for their specific business needs. No exact fuel-economy figures have been given for any of the powertrains in the Transits, but Ford representatives say the full lineup generally, and the Transit van specifically, will offer the best-in-class gas mileage and cost of ownership.
In other downsized commercial van news, Ford also just announced that its smallest commercial van option, the Transit Connect, will be fully redesigned from the ground up and also offer best-in-class fuel economy. In fact, the press release specifically calls out the Ram Cargo Van, stating the Transit Connect will likely beat its competitor by 5 mpg on the highway once EPA figures are finally released. Likewise, the Transit Connect will offer more payload capacity (rated at 1,600 pounds) than a Ram 1500 pickup truck.
The Ford Transit Connect Van will be offered in two wheelbases with two different four-cylinder engine options: a new 2.5-liter and a 1.6-liter EcoBoost, the latter likely to be rated above 30 mpg on the highway. The gas engine will be available in other alternative-fuel configurations (compressed natural gas and liquid propane gas) by Ford-certified upfit specialists, which means it all remains under warranty.
Look for more details about both of the commercial vans as they are made available next year.