As part of Ford’s global reach, they will now begin building the Transit van for the American market at the Kansas City plant in Missouri from 2013 onwards. This comes as part of the planned $1.1 billion overhaul of the Missouri plant.
The Transit has been in production for over 45 years and has sold over 6 million units. The Transit is undoubtedly the best selling van in the UK and Europe, and it has been sold in a wide range of configurations in order to cope with a whole multitude of roads and uses. The different configurations include front, rear and four wheel drive, three varieties of roof heights, four differing lengths, and it has also been sold as a van, a minibus, a cab and chassis and cutaway chassis.
Currently it looks like the US market will receive the rear wheel drive version of the Transit, whilst a four wheel drive version is likely to be in the pipeline for the future.
Ford have stated that they are proud of the way in which the Transit has been able to deal with the kerbs in Europe as it can easily hop the kerbs, something many van drivers, such as couriers for example, commonly need to do. The company have said that they will have to test the kerbs in America for durability reasons as they are generally a lot higher than the kerbs in Europe.
The Transit can be purchased with a variety of different specifications under the bonnet also. The range includes the 2.2 and 2.4 litre four cylinder engines and the larger, beefier, 3.2 litre five cylinder turbo diesel engine. The latter is likely to increase those van insurance quotes however. The Transit can also be fitted with a five or six speed manual transmission.
In terms of power output, the 2.2 litre engine will deliver between 100 and 155bhp, whilst the 3.2 will kick out around 200bhp. That’s pretty impressive from a van.
The American Transit is, however, rumoured to be receiving a 3.7 litre V6 that comes straight out of the Ford F150 pickup truck. This will mean that the American Transit van will produce a whopping 300bhp. If this is true, then the American Transit van is likely to be one tasty vehicle!
This makes me wonder, will we see European Transit’s receive the same sort of performance in the future or will we see European Transit drivers importing the American cousin? I’m tempted and I’m not even a van driver!