Spied: All-New Rear-Drive Transit on Course to Replace E-Series

FordTransit KGP 1 II

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."  

  FordTransit rear 3 II

FordTransit side 2 II


Two words, "Yuck!"

Oh, I guess one word was sufficient...

I am excited for this van. More excited to hopefully see the diesel first come out in this and then become available for the F-150 *heres to hoping*

Transit is considered "commercial". F-150 is not. Do NOT expect to see a diesel in the F-150 any time soon.

Such tiny little tires, like the Sprinter, for such a looming vehicle.

Those tires do look strange. Man that thing is big!

Work vans are not supposed to have 33" tires.

Ford vehicles are all Ford of Europe ! Except Mustang and F series trucks !

I guess Ford's way to save cash,and they are by not having any true American Fords anymore !

Use an old 1980's European Ford van !! F 150,250,350 Trucks and Mustang are the only true Ford's left,the rest are Volvo's (Taurus and Lincoln cars and suv's are Volvo based)

These vans are based of Turkish Fords ! RIP Ford,RIP !! Along with the Transit also a Turkish Furd.Focus,Fiesta or whatever they call it is a euro car as well !

My 2010 Econoline will be my last Ford ever,shame on you Ford,shame on you !

Ford is on a ROLL (downhill)

Let Mike Levine speak on this...

Fleet customer reception to the news about the Transit replacing the E-Series has been positive, according to Levine. Ford gave eight current Transit models to select fleets across the U.S. to test-drive the vehicle and provide feedback that will help Ford further improve the all-new van before production begins.

"Some of the drivers were of the mindset that they were never going to give up their E-Series van," he said. "They didn't want a 'funny-looking Transit,' they wanted an E-Series. What happened was these drivers would get into the Transit and realize it was a comfortable van. It rode better, and with its roof height, they could stand up in the back and get to their equipment. That's a huge benefit with these vans, the drivers are comfortable. And a comfortable driver is a better driver."


"The E-Series has been the best-selling van in the U.S. for 33 years, so we know we have a tremendous legacy to live up to. But we think this new van, with its new features, new configurations, new powertrains, lower operating costs, and great fuel economy, will be a game changer."

When dodge replaced the hot selling b-series van with the sprinter,sales tanked ! They sold 8-10,000 Ram B-Series vans per month and the sprinter sold on average 700 vans per month ! A total sales flop !

Looks like Ford gave the full size van sales to GM ! Hope GM doesnt ruin their full size vans,they have the best now ! Nissan van is a sales flop as well !

I wonder if those rear shocks will be Ford Tough, when the bang into every curb and rock that's over 4" tall?

At Ford, Marketing is Job#1.

Whatever you guys say, but you can load this baby up! OMG it's huge! Volume wise it can probably carry twice as much as Econoline.
And now that I think what I just wrote.
It just might be a recipe for disaster! I just hope that your average handy Andy will realize this van will have set payload capacities


Sure they will get some sales but I guess 1500-3000 per month tops. Sure UPS ect will eat them up,but these vans cant fit in underground parking so many contractors wont buy them.They wont be the top selling van anymore,GM has a powerful Diesel and a powerful V-8 gas in their vans and they look normal for a normal guy to use day in and day out,these new Fords are so ugly only fleet buyers will buy them and not much else,so they are missing a huge market of van buyers ! Hey,I had Fords for the last 9 years and I am not going to have one of these hideous vans,I doubt they drive/handle better than the Econoline,these vans look very top heavy ! Same thing was said when Dodge replaced the B-series with the Sprinter,they said the same thing.I found the sprinter uncomfortable,and by the looks of this Ford the seating is straight up and awkward.Anyway the reviewers praised the Sprinter but it was a flop,I bet this van is also a flop.I will try one but I gaurantee its a dud ! Americans dont like euro style vans,proven with sprinter and the small Transit ford had high hopes for that little van and it isnt selling too well.

Even die hard Ford fans have to admit this van is super ugly ! I owned a few fords in the past and own 2 now,this new Ford is a dud !

You can buy a current Ford Van in a cube van/box van that hauls more cargo than this.

As I can only assume this will not sit well with the "my engine size directly correlates with my you know what" crowd, but it's nice to see the US commercial vehicles getting with the times. I expect these will be way more successful than anyone would like to admit.

the 1st thing Ford needs to do is keep the price down! has anyone seen the price of a new Sprinter lately? if they can keep the price of a high rood 3/4t version under 30-35K it will be a winner! just look at all the space it has, and the E-van is realy nothing to write home about, with the 4.6-5.4 engines, and I'm not even sure of what Diesel they are using now, but the E vans I know are gas guzzlers, and have no power whatsoever evne compared to the conv. Chevy/GMC, that at least you can get a Duramax in! and AWD if need be, all for under 30K still! (not a Duramax tho). So if Ford can keep the price down, they will jave a winner!

You can get a box truck but the gas mileage is low, usually around 10 mpg and you have to deal with the expenses and DOT stuff.

Cargo vans are cheaper than a box truck, but they will get worse mileage than the Transit, have less cargo space, worse ride, and are less comfortable.

Hence, this is where the Transit comes in.

GM is rumored to be going with this style of van. Ram doesn't have a van anymore (save for the Caravan type) but is going to a Fiat version of this.

An 18 wheeler can haul more than a small box truck.

How much you need to carry and what type of work you do will dictate what truck is best for your situation.

If you can charge the same driving a $25000 van with better mileage and more space and comfort than a $50,000 box truck I'd say the answer is pretty obvious...

thats a high top commercial addition.The regular versions look alot better inside and out.This is most likely a ups version or commercial fleet option.

The new Ford Econoline is not a new van,it is a European Ford van,I already drove one ! Didnt like it ! I have family in Europe,I went their in June and my brother in-law has a new 2012 Transit aka America's new Econoline,he likes them as thats the peices they are used to.

I get 17.5 mpg with my V-8 gas extended length Econoline van. Diesel Ford vans and cube vans get better than 10 mpg,unless fully loaded,again the new Ford Transit loaded down wont get high gas mileage either.Until 2010 you could have got a Ford with a diesel,but with new emissions rules for 2010 and they already decided to scrap it ,they didnt bother adding a Diesel after 2010 for the Econoline.

GM still has Diesels in their full size vans,but the extra maint cost of a Diesel isnt worth it for myself,I prefer gas engines,cheaper maint ect and I dont tow heavy loads all day long and dont like the smell of Diesel fumes.

I dont know about the better ride and being more comfortable,I actually drove one already in Europe and it rode worse than my current 2010 Econoline and the Euro Transit was NOT comfortable ! Overall the feel will be pretty much the same as the euro van they currently have American vans will get different engines but overall the suspension,seating driving experience will be pretty much the same as the euro one,not good !

They said the same thing about the full size Dodge Ram van when the Sprinter replaced it,truth is the Sprinter rode worse and was uncomfortable.

And again, I know the new Econoline will be uncomfortable, as I already drove one since it is a older van it is just going to be new for Ford in America.It actually rode like crap in my opinion,odd seating position ect.Of coarse Ford is going to say its better ,they are screwed now.

I didnt want to compare the European version to the new 2014 Ford,but its going to be pretty much the same besides the Eco-Boost and a new Diesel they say.The driving position again,I cant stress this enough was horrible in the Euro van,its the same van we will get no way as comfortable as the current real Econoline vans they have.My sugestion buy a new Econoline NOW or just go to GM if you want a fullsize van.

GM sells more vans than Ford,even just the Chev van is around 200 units less then Ford per month.Add GMC Savana's GM is around 2 - 3000 ahead in sales. Sprinter sells around 2000 per month,Nissan 600 per month.

We will see when the new Ram van comes out the battle of the European vans by Ford,RAM,Mercedes we will see which European van sells the best.My guess,GM will be unstopable in van sales ! Remember I curently own a few Ford's so dont call me a GM fan boi.I am a Ford guy,but not with this euro van ! The dodge van references come from my Dodge buddies who owned Ram vans and then tried a Sprinter,they now either still drive their old Dodge's or replaced them mostly with Ford's as Ford got a boost in sales when the Dodge B-series van stopped production.I guess we will drive GM now lol ! (that hurts)

Interesting! Not sure about the single rear wheels out back...I'd prefer to see duals. Especially with that HIGH look...Yikes!

Now...engine choices sound right on par. This newer smaller diesel might actually make it into the SuperDuty line. Which would offer 3 engine choices. Fingers crossed!


im sure with every aspect this new trans it is an improvement over the econoline. However i will miss the econoline and never step a foot in thsi transit. Congratualtions Ford! a loyal ford fan will never get near this. This looks too flimsy and heres my last comment: change is good and bad, when something is improved or created, the predecessor becomes obsolete. thats whay technology is a blessing and a curse. Statsistics show that every three years technology becomes obsolete. Food for thought, not everyone wants breakthrough innovations.

Too European Looking, The Nissan NV looks more american than this Ford.

This van is terrible. It's too top heavy, dangerous, and hard to drive on windy days if it's anything like the Sprinter. And the tall roofline makes it impossible to get into many garages and shops so the guys who do repair work out of their vans won't want one. Just a dumb idea on Ford's part. Make that the second fantastic selling vehicle that Ford has killed off in recent years.

I currently drive an E series 250 Ford van for work. I hope my company does not start buying these mammoths. The sprinter looks normal compared to this monster.

I'm no Ford fan, this is for sure!!! BUT this could be great news for the Class C RV Marketplace.

A much cheaper alternative to the Mercedes Benz Sprinter could make this a sweet lil Class C with the Diesel and drop the entry price by ALOT.

Seems some of you cmplaining about comfort have not driven a GM van.

A new powerful turbo diesel? Say more!

Our rental fleet were I work has about 15 E series vans and about 20 Chevy vans...they all have dual axel trailers hooked up to them at all times and are constantly driving around with skid steers and mini excavators on the back of them...how is this little flimsy van going to pull one of those?!?

The decision makers at Ford have lost it. This thing is uglier than UGLY!

This test vehicle is ugly. But I suspect when the finalized version launches, it’ll sell like hotcakes due to better package, better handling, better interior and better mileage.

All these poor-me comments about the E-series… do people realize that clunky van has a platform that’s 20+ years old? These are probably the same people who think the Crown Victoria was Ford’s last great car.

More and more the same cars and trucks everywhere in the world.Today's cars and trucks are perfect but boring ! No wonder today's young people appear to have less interest in driving and owning a car or truck.

A van is a van, a box used to carry things in. The fronts will become more generic as there is only so much you can do to improve aerodynamic efficiency. Look at the difference between an Airbus and a Boeing.

We have similar Transits here that are rear wheel drive, so the rear wheel drive is not unique to NA. Also our payload capacities for the Jumbo van pictured is 2 900 to 4 500lbs.

Here they come with the 2.2 diesel now, it appears they have dropped the 5 cylinder 3.2 diesel.

I would love to know what diesel they are considering.

@Ford Turkey
And Australia, who do you designed the global Ranger??

Old hat- Autoblog had these pics 9 days ago.
Tires aren't small- van is huge. They're probably 245/75/16s.
The Transit will fit wherever an E-Van fits. The super tall roof is an option.
The old B-van sold better than the sprinter, because it cost half as much- that's it.
Those who call this van flimsy, know nothing. Jobbers have been beating the pulp out of the Transit in Europe for decades- it holds up fine, and Ford make simprovements where necessary.

In Australia we get them as dual cab and single cab trucks.


Ford is taking a gamble with this van. I think the problem with the Sprinter is that it is pretty expensive, if Ford can keep the price of the Transit reasonable, it could do better than the Sprinter. Some buyers will still prefer the 'domestic' style van, and GM and Nissan will have that market covered.

What Ram Van?

When I researched this article, I saw numerous statements that claimed the van would definitely be the Ducato. I traced these statements to Fleet Owner. They did not say where they got the information. Truck Trend ran with that and everybody accepts that as solid evidence. [Later, it turned out that both Daily and Ducato will be coming.]

Now there is good evidence the Doblo will be Ram's small import van, but a lot of people are sure the van will come from Turkey and report that also. However, the van is built in Brazil as well. The Brazilian version had larger engines until GM cut them off.

The euro style vans that are taking over are built half as tough...what happens to the people who Actualy work these vans off road, fully loaded? From what I can see, the suspension bits and rear axle are half the size and this thing is so low to the ground...better start buying up the E series and Chevy vans wile you can!!

Ford Transit: Durability and Fleet Testing for North American Customers


I'm a die hard Ford guy but even I admit this thing is ugly looking. I don't think the production version of it will be any better looking.

But in the end it is a commercial van...People don't usually buy these things as their personal grocery getters, so looking good is low on the list for something like this.

However I just can't help but express my distaste for these Euro styled vehicles. I much prefer the domestic looking E-Series Vans to this.

The part I care about the most is the new diesel engine. They will have to spread it around on multiple platforms in order for it to be justified and to maintain cost. You can quote me on this. If anything I bet Mike Levine has told the been counters that hey there is a large market that is screaming for a smaller diesel in the F150, don't believe me then check out this site called PUTC.

This looks to be the winner in the cargo-van arena- turbodiesel/ecoboost plus lighter weight should give much improved fuel economy with high capability. Besides, the GM van is ancient and gets poor fuel economy (comparatively) and the Nissan NV2500 doesn't offer any fuel efficient engines. Perhaps it is unattractive, but it is undeniably practical

yuck does this come with puke buckets and drunk glasses to wear?

Canadian Truck King Challenge 2012


And the winner is?

RAM beat out the F150, Sierra, Tundra and Titan. Congratulations to 2012 Ram for being crowned the winner of the Canadian Truck King Challenge. Good job, Ram. You worked for it!


Good for you Ford boys. You are finally number one in something. You have the worse looking van made anywhere. I hate using the word ugly.

Ford is recalling some 2011-2012 Transit Connect cargo vans after finding that the front windshield wiper arms could pull away from the windshield, reducing their ability to clean the glass.
The Problem: Ford is recalling Transit Connect models because the pin that connects the front windshield wiper arms to the heads could become loose. If this happens, the windshield wipers could pull away from the windshield (or separate altogether), which would reduce or eliminate their ability to clean the windshield. Should this happen during a rainstorm, the lack of visibility could result in a crash. The rear windshield wiper is not affected by this problem

The Fix: Ford will fix the problem by replacing both front wiper arms and blades, at no charge, starting on August 13. Ford began to send owner letters this week, and notified dealers last week of the recall. Customers can also call Ford at 1-866-436-7332 for more information.
Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 16,330 vehicles, specifically 2011-2012 Transit Connect vans made at the Kocaeli Assembly Plant in Turkey between October 25, 2010 and July 24, 2011.

Source: NHTSA

Read more: http://www.trucktrend.com/features/news/2012/163_news120810_recall_2011_2012_ford_transit_connect_windshield_wiper/index.html#ixzz23rfVeO2t

Canadian and Ram Truck Owner - the very 1st truck king challenge was a decent test. The subsequent ones have been a farce. This is old news that was covered by PUTC a while back (a long while back).
It took you 9 months to make this post or does it take Rambo Motard types 9 months to give birth to anything resembling an idea?
2012 Ram 1500 Wins Canadian Truck King Challenge
Posted by Mark Williams | November 10, 2011

@HEMI V8 - should we post a list of Ram recalls? Oh, I forgot - ticking engines isn't a recall and there wasn't a recall (yet) because 2009 and 2010 Ram pickups rear wheels may lock up.

Which is worse - a problem with a wiper blade or a problem with an axle that locks up?

Or a "perfect storm" of factors that could cause VVT = Very Violent Ticking ?

You cry if I challenge any Rambo Motard post but you continue to troll!

How Transits are used in England.
As a Car Carrier, cutaway
Towing a 24ft Caravan. When we were in England someone passed us on a A-Road(8 lane Freeway) doing a lot more than 70mph(what we were doing), towing a similar sized Caravan.
A Transit towing another Transit.

Like the US we have a lot smaller Vans (E-series sized) the full height ones are pretty rare.

My Concern is: How is the Ecoboost going to go as a Motorhome engine, replacing these?

I think that the nose and doors have a fake plastic facia covering them. The doors do not line up with the body sides. It is very evident in the side views in picture 1 and 2.
It is a fake cover along the same lines as the fake dash pad on the 2013 Chevy.

Funny posts: it is too tall, too ugly, too cheep, too this and too that........... Am I reading the modern version of Chicken Little? The sky is falling because North America is finally becoming alligned with the rest of the world.

Do some reading - these vans come front and rear drive, they come as chassis cabs, they come with dual wheels, they come in virtually every possible combination possible. Fiat, Ford, Mercedes etc sell these things to first, second, and third world countries.

Why won't they work here when they work well on the rest of the planet!

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