We love ourselves some Ford Transit Connect. The funky-looking little vanlet is so endearingly functional that we're happy to forgive its lackluster drivetrain and questionable interior. Now it appears that Ford aims to address at least one of these ails with its big brother, the upcoming larger Transit Van.

Ford has announced that buyers of the van that will eventually replace the aged Econoline in America will be able to order Ford's twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine that puts power to the Transit's rear wheels. Ford hasn't released any specifics on power output or fuel economy just yet, but the same engine is good for a heavenly 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque when bolted to the F-150 where it accounts for 40 percent of sales.

Even in that heavier chassis, the EcoBoost V6 returns 18 mpg combined compared to 23 mpg combined for the smaller Transit Connect Van with its 136-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Ford also hasn't said what we can expect in terms of tow rating or gross vehicle weight, though those are certain to keep pace with the current E-Series van as a result of the staggering amount of torque available from the turbocharged, direct-injection Ecoboost V6.
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Ford's Fuel-Efficient, Powerful 3.5-Liter EcoBoost V6 Engine to Be Offered in Transit Commercial Van for North America

• The all-new full-size rear-wheel-drive Transit van that starts production in North America in 2013 will be available with Ford's 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine, delivering an unbeatable combination of fuel economy and power

• EcoBoost engines are fundamental to the Ford strategy of providing technologically advanced, high-output, smaller-displacement powertrains that deliver exceptional fuel economy and uncompromised performance

• The next-generation Transit will live up to E-Series Built Ford Tough reputation plus achieve at least 25 percent better fuel economy, due in part to smart weight reductions of at least 300 pounds compared to similar E-Series vans

INDIANAPOLIS, March 5, 2012 – When Ford's all-new Transit commercial van debuts in North America in 2013, it will come equipped with the company's award-winning, fuel-efficient 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine to better meet the needs of commercial truck customers.

The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine in the new rear-wheel-drive Transit will complement the van's expected class-leading driving dynamics and technology, making it the perfect replacement for Ford's venerable E-Series wagon and van in North America.

"The new Ford Transit commercial van will deliver all the capability and capacity that customers get with today's E-Series, but with the bonus of improved fuel economy and potentially lower operating costs thanks to its available EcoBoost engine," said Tim Stoehr, Ford Commercial Truck Marketing manager. "This engine has revolutionized the half-ton pickup segment for F-150 and we're expecting it will have the same effect on commercial vans."

The new Transit will go beyond living up to the Ford E-Series' exceptional work reputation. The vehicle will achieve at least 25 percent better fuel economy compared to similar E-Series vans, due in part to smart weight savings that will trim at least 300 pounds from Transit compared to a similar E-Series van. That means customers could potentially save thousands of dollars in operating costs from fuel savings.

EcoBoost engines are fundamental to the Ford strategy of providing technologically advanced, high-output, smaller-displacement powertrains that deliver exceptional fuel economy and uncompromised performance for millions of drivers around the world. By 2013, Ford plans to produce up to 1.5 million EcoBoost engines globally in a wide variety of vehicles from small cars to trucks.

EcoBoost engines feature:
• A high-pressure direct-injection fuel system fed by a common rail that delivers a precise amount of gasoline in the exact spot for fast and complete burn
• Turbocharging to create a denser mix of air and fuel in each cylinder
• Special pistons with optimized bowls in the center to improve combustion efficiency. These pistons are also oil-cooled, which reduces in-cylinder temperatures
• Reduced CO2 emissions and excellent fuel economy compared to V8 engines with similar power ratings

The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 available in the Ford F-150 had a successful year in 2011, exceeding 100,000 sales in less than one year on the market. EcoBoost-equipped F-150s now account for more than 40 percent of F-150 retail sales.

Gasoline direct injection
A key contributor to EcoBoost fuel efficiency is direct injection of gasoline. This system precisely delivers a fine mist of fuel directly into each cylinder for optimal performance, economy and emissions. Unlike port-fuel-injection (PFI) engines that spray fuel in the intake system before it enters the combustion chamber, the direct-injection system puts the fuel exactly where it needs to be in the cylinder for optimal combustion.

A high-pressure injector is positioned to the side of each cylinder, aiming the fuel directly into the cylinder adjacent to a high-intensity spark plug and alongside the intake and exhaust valves. Fuel is sprayed into the cylinders at pressures of up to 2,150 pounds per square inch, which is about 35 times more intense than PFI injection.

Cargo and people hauler
The current-generation Transit van is the best-selling van in Europe. Ford has sold more than 6 million Transits across five continents since its original launch in 1965. The Transit is currently offered to global customers in a variety of cargo, passenger and chassis cab configurations with a choice of efficient diesel engines. In 2010, the 6-millionth Transit rolled off the production line in Turkey. Conceived as Ford's first pan-European product in the mid-1960s, the next generation Transit will become a global asset with the availability of the full-size rear-wheel versions in the US.

To get ready for production in the U.S. by 2013, Ford is investing $1.1 billion in its Kansas City Assembly Plant, where the Transit will be built alongside the F-150.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Paul P.
      • 3 Years Ago
      More importantly, which diesel are we getting?
        Benjamin Roethig
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Paul P.
        fitting the 3.6L Lion diesel Ford supplies to LandRover wouldn't be a bad idea. Should fit and provides more power than the 3.2L unit sold in Europe.
      • 3 Years Ago
      What is it about the US market that repels the idea of a diesel van or compact truck? I understand not getting much from VAG or MB (see what the taxes did to the price of a Sprinter van), but why don't the domestic 3 produce their own here? Is it emission restrictions? Commercial vehicles shouldn't have a problem with that like passenger vehicles do since they have a much lower standard to hit and the full-size trucks seem to pass with flying colors anyways. As for offering a manual, I wouldn't do it. In a country where most people prefer automatics, the number of people interested in having a manual for the car they work in would be VERY low.
        Robert Ryan
        • 3 Years Ago
        I think an adequate supply of very low sulfur diesel, tends to be a problem in the US. The US produces distillates like Kerosene and Heating oil for export, but USLD is a "bridge too far" for the present(future?) refining capacity.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The only way to make gas cheaper is to unload Obama!
        • 3 Years Ago
        Really? Just what do you think Obama or any President could do to make rapid changes to gas prices? Our oil output is the largest it has been in a long time, and national usage is down. The difference is that there has been a big buy-up of futures by speculators. So, do you think Obama should just arrest the speculators?
      Dean Hammond
      • 3 Years Ago
      overkill?.....perhaps.....now bring a certain 5 cyl Diesel as well.....good things are coming.......
      • 3 Years Ago
      I was excited when they announced that they're bring this van to North America....now I'm worried that they're going to ruin it with big engines and automatic transmissions. FORD, GIVE US THE DIESELS WITH THE 6 SPEED MANUAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is for all those that want diesel engines. Have you gone out of your minds? Have you checked the price of diesel lately? no savings there. What ticks me off is it doesnt cost as much to make deisel as it does gasoline so why are we being charged more for it? hmmm?????????
        • 3 Years Ago
        Plus a diesel engine cost thousands more than a gas engine.
      Nate Spurgeon
      • 3 Years Ago
      Don't let us down, Ford. I'll take a diesel with manual transmission.
        The Cory Jihad
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Nate Spurgeon
        Think about this for a second....the average Econoline buyer is someone who is going to be doing a lot of in town driving as a work van. It's not going to be driven by enthusiasts nor is it meant to. Ford won't offer it in a stick here because there is absolutely ZERO demand for it, apart from the people who'll never buy it, i.e. your average internet commenter. And Ecoboost gives you all that diesel does, with better fuel economy and without spending $8,000 on an engine.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @The Cory Jihad
          It wont get the mileage of my Sprinter without a diesel...my Sprinter regularly gets 23 mpg average in a mix of 60% highway and 40% city. I'm glad Ford has created the eco-boost, but it has no place is a commercial van where torque and high efficiency/range are more important.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @The Cory Jihad
          Ecoboost also gives you something else a diesel won't - it is a Ford twin-turbo - I can guarantee you there's some bean-counter cheapness in there. None of them will hit 200k.
        Dean Hammond
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Nate Spurgeon
        unfortunately Nate, i truly doubt that, one can wish though, but I think sticks will be reserved for vehicles with sporting pretentions...theres just too much stop and go here in the states...
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          Because, you know, European city centers are the paragon of low traffic.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The EcoBoost is a super good engine. You peeps need to get more info. Hear through the vine that are other engines going to be available too..Maybe one is a diesel.
      • 3 Years Ago
      18 MPG? LMAO! We need at least 50 or 60 MPG with gas this high! 30 MPG even sux right now!
        • 3 Years Ago
        That's why nanowire lithium ion battery research is going on and electric vehicles are the future. With a fully electric drivegtrain, 50-60MPG equivalent is possible in a big van.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ford better cure the problems they are having with the accellerator on the Taurus or their rep. is going to go down hill. I owned a 99 and it was one of the best cars I ever owned.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The more vehicles Ford uses this engine in, the cheaper they get. Sounds good to me.
      • 3 Years Ago
      for those wanting diesel... you are not saving a dime. that mpg you value so much cost too much! if gas prices are already at $4 a gallon, diesel will make you sick! in the end, there isnt any advantage over gas, it evens out!
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