Making its first appearance in U.S. trim, the 2014 Ford Transit gets a public debut in Detroit before going on sale here next year. Currently the country's top seller of commercial vehicles, the automaker has great expectations for this 21st century replacement for its venerable E-Series van, convinced that it will set new benchmarks for the light commercial vehicle genre thanks to its combination of comfort, safety, versatility and overall economy.
"The all-new Transit is a game changer," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of The Americas. "Transit raises the game for our customers in North America and around the world with even greater work capability and significantly lower operating costs, helping improve their productivity and bottom lines."
To ensure the Transit can make good on those lofty claims, Ford plans to offer it in three body lengths; two wheelbases; three roof heights; van, wagon, chassis cab and cutaway body styles; and in XL and XLT trim levels while providing buyers with a choice of three different fuel efficient engines.
With unitized construction that incorporates integrated main rails replacing the conventional body-on-frame design used in the E-Series, the 2014 Transit makes extensive use of Boron steel to help reduce weight while increasing the strength and structural rigidity of the total package. Ford says the chassis will be tuned to give a more controlled, European feel while maintaining a consistent driving character regardless of load. Capable of housing everything from delivery racks to a mobile machine shop or serving as a passenger van than can transport up to 15, the new Transit also will offer many of Ford's most popular techno features including SYNC with MyFord including a 6.5-inch touch screen display with navigation.
Motivation for the 2014 Ford Transit line will come from three high-tech engines starting with the 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6 that makes 302 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque in its current F-150 installation. Another F-150 staple, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that cranks out 356 ponies and 350 lb-ft of twist is the first step-up alternative while the automaker's new 3.2-liter Power Stroke inline-5 turbodiesel will be the heavy-duty hauler. Ford has not yet released output figures on any of these engines in Transit spec; however, the new and ultraclean turbocharged oil burner makes 197 horses and 347 lb-ft of torque in the global Ranger pickup. Whatever the final specs may be, Ford anticipates an average 25 percent improvement in overall fuel economy compared to the E-Series.
To be built in the U.S. at the automaker's newly renovated truck plant in Kansas City, the 2014 Ford Transit family will go on sale next fall. More facts and stats will be forthcoming at the official Detroit reveal.
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