• Sep 21, 2006
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The Ford Transit has for decades been the standard working horse of Europe and much of the rest of the world – the F-150 for our friends across the pond. The versatile work-a-day hauler was recently named Van of the Year by a pan-European panel of automotive journalists. (Why didn't they ask us? Just 'cause we can't find "Yurp" on a map doesn't mean we don't have an opinion!)

Ford's upping the ante and making a versatile vehicle even more versatile by offering the van now with four-wheel-drive. Mated to a 140-hp 2.4-liter turbodiesel through a six-speed floor-shifter, Ford expects the surefooted Transit to find its way into the garages of police departments, park rangers and rescue workers (among others) who'll undoubtedly find its enhanced capability to make for a handy tool.

(Press release, hires pics after the jump after the jump)

[Source: Ford UK]



PHOTOS:
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Ford Transit AWDFord Transit AWDFord Transit AWD

PRESS RELEASE:
UNIQUE ALL-WHEEL-DRIVE SYSTEM FOR NEW ford TRANSIT REVEALED AT HANOVER SHOW

* Ford introduces an 'intelligent' all-wheel-drive system to the new Transit line-up
* Available on rear wheel drive Transit with 2.4-litre 140PS Duratorq TDCi diesel engine and six-speed manual transmission
* All-wheel-drive system increases traction without affecting road performance or ground clearance
* Ideal for utility companies, hotels, agricultural and forestry companies and police forces
* On sale in Britain first quarter 2007. Prices revealed closer to on-sale date

BRENTWOOD, Essex, 20 September, 2006 - A new all-wheel-drive (AWD) Ford Transit has been revealed this week at the Hanover Commercial Vehicle Show in Germany. The AWD system automatically provides stepless torque flow to the front wheels when required on slippery surfaces.

This new derivative is specifically targeted at customers who frequently face low friction surfaces, adding more flexibility and reliability to their transportation needs. The Transit's AWD system is available with the 2.4-litre 140 PS Duratorq TDCi diesel engine equipped with a six-speed manual transmission.

Steve Kimber, commercial vehicles director, Ford of Britain, said: "The new Transit range showcases what versatility for commercial vehicles is all about with a range of clean and efficient engines, front or rear wheel drive, dozens of body configurations, heavy duty front axle option, and passenger car comfort.

The addition of the AWD system extends the choice again adding extra confidence when driving over slippery road surfaces. The system's design helps to reduce friction and mechanical losses often associated with AWD technology."

The AWD system is purely mechanical and operates automatically so that the driver is not distracted by having to engage the system. In slippery conditions the system simply increases drive to the front wheels, enhancing the vehicle's overall road performance.

Drive is taken off the transmission main shaft via a helical gear set towards the front differential. A system of mechanical multiplate clutches combined with an hydraulic freewheel mechanism feeds power forward when required.

The smooth and intelligently controlled torque flow to the front wheels via the freewheeling hydraulic unit ensures that the Transit's well proven driving dynamics are maintained even under slippery conditions. Standard ground clearance is also retained as a bulky differential housing is not needed with this compact and lightweight AWD system.

Compared with the standard rear wheel drive Transit, the additional front axle weight is just 50 kg – the rear axle weight does not change.

The Ford Transit AWD will be offered with rear wheel drive, single rear wheel vehicles across a broad range of cab-styles including single and double chassis cab and minibuses, plus the Transit panel van range. Low, medium or high roof derivatives will be available and short, medium or long wheelbase.

Key customers for the new model are those frequently encountering low friction surfaces and bad weather conditions. Transit AWD has improved off road capability but does not include raised ground clearance, therefore retaining standard load heights.

The new Transit AWD is perfectly suited for authorities like police, forest wardens, rescue services and fire brigades, providing the reassurance and confidence to handle situations which are beyond the capabilities of a standard vehicle. Transit ambulances fitted with the AWD system, for example, will be more able to ensure ongoing mobility in adverse conditions and deliver patients safely where previously they may have been delayed.

Utility companies will also benefit from the capabilities of the Transit AWD, as they will be surefooted performers for field and track work (for example crossing a muddy field track to fix a pylon). Ultimately this saves time and means that utility resources can be more effectively deployed.

"The all-wheel-drive system is completely transparent to customers, requiring no driver intervention, and it doesn't sacrifice any of the vehicle's core commercial qualities. It greatly expands Transit's capability as it adds more safety and flexibility to any kind of delivery or transport usage," added Steve Kimber.



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  • 20 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Daimler gobbled up Dodge, and taught them how to make cars. But people in the US still dream of a REAL Euro van; they blow, "It's ALMOST as good as the Mercedes Sprinter.", and, "See, I bought the hood ornament!" So, now Daimler can import all the vans it wants, charge confiscatory prices, and dump the close but no cigar Dodge on GM to completely ruin it. FORD! Get wise, you either give Americans WHAT THEY WANT or lose your place in the truck market. F-Series is a has been, and E-Series is a coffin with a guzzler. Give us the Transit SOON, or we'll import from someone who wants to COMPETE! And You'll be Chrysler by sundown!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Quick - give it to Sabina and let her have another go at Nurburgring.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BE6Afb1qSC4
      • 8 Years Ago
      In addition to what Louanne said in #11, the cost of a van makes them prohibative to owner/operators. I would love an economical van over my E150 for courier work but can't justify the expense. I can't afford a new van of any kind and settle for a used low milage van instead. Companies that can afford the Sprinter usualy don't even run anywhere near the milage of a Courier. It makes me feel better knowing that the Sprinter is not trouble free.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Our fleet of Sprinters were about $28k each for the 286 cubic feet models (the smallest sprinter). Chevy's largest van is the 3500 extended wheel base. It only carries 261 cubic feet max. Sprinters come in two bigger sizes. 367 and 473 cubic feet. Loading and unloading is much easier and the walk through design is something we could never do with out again.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford should bring this vehicle to the USA, I too have an E-350 van, which works great for what I do,however in off road situations, it can't get out of it's own way,and the snow, forget about it. I've been considering a coversion to 4x4 for the van but that's a lot of $$$!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      i drive an e 350 based chinook motorhome converted to 4x4--it weighs almost 10,000 pounds and gets 8mpg. It has 90k miles on the clock and i would like to upgrade. Ford please send this to the states so conversion companies can go to work. I like that yellow. I wait patiently.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This looks almost identical to the VW Atacama Concept Autoblog covered a few days ago.....
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why would Ford bring this here? They dominate the full size van market, especially the 15 passenger segment. What they have works for the U.S. (one of the few) plus the big fine market is dead in terms of growth. The only major sales come when DHL or other couriers need a new fleet.
      • 8 Years Ago
      That would make a great camper!
      • 8 Years Ago
      ford needs to bring this here because the E-Series is pretty archaic next to the line of transits.
      • 8 Years Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      HAHA, those pictures are even worse than a Hummer 4-wheeling
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