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Ford Transit Tested


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15. April 2013

One consequence of “One Ford” is that the E-Series van/utility is going away to be replaced by a family of Ford Transit vehicles. This goes well beyond the Transit Connect that has been available since model year 2010 in the U.S.—a vehicle that had been available in Europe since 2002.

2010 Ford Transit Connect (North America)

Ford will be bringing to market in the U.S. (and actually manufacturing in Kansas City, MO—the original Transit Connect hailed from a plant in Turkey) an array of Transits, including a much more sizable vehicle, one that is available with two wheelbases (147.6 and 129.9 in.) and with three roof heights (110.2, 100.8 and 83.2 in.).

It will be available with three engines: a 3.7-liter V6, a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, and a 3.2-liter Power Stroke turbo diesel, an in-line five.

One of the big differences between the classic E-Series and the Transit, beyond the obvious architectural ones. . .

2013 Ford E-Series

14TransitHighRoof_01_HR

. . .is that the E-Series is body-on-frame and the Transit is unibody.  (Those images above are not to scale.  That Transit is big.  Really big.)

So one might wonder whether the Transit is as robust as the E-Series. After all, the F-Series is body-on-frame.

Over in Europe, Ford put its Transit Custom to a interesting test, using more than 150 professional test drivers, customer fleet drivers, and Ford engineers. Their objective was to achieve 10 years’ worth of test data in six months.

Among the tests they ran at a proving ground in Lommel, Belgium, were running at maximum speed for two months non-stop, performing figure eights non-stop for one month, crashing into a 5.5-in. curb at 37 mph, and driving over a potholed and otherwise un-smooth course at speeds up to 43.5 mph 5,200 times.

It’s not clear how they ran some of these tests “non-stop.” Did they fill the Transits full of those 150 professional test drivers and leave them in there for two months?

(They also complied data from more than 600 vehicles in seven markets around the world that provided an accumulated six-million miles’ worth of information.)

They’re probably confident.

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