When you think of Amsterdam, you think of wooden shoes or the sketchy business that goes on that might be frowned upon elsewhere in the world. You don’t think of it being Ford’s choice location to launch a heap of new products at its 2012 “Go Further” event.
But it is.
Along with the 2013 Ford Fiesta that was unveiled earlier this week, the automaker has also taken the wraps off its new 2014 workhorses in the form of the 2014 Ford Transit and smaller Transit Connect. The vans, which will both be coming to the U.S., will supplant both the Econoline and recently departed Ford Ranger pickup truck as well as replace the current Ford Transit Connect.
Let’s start with the bigger of the two, the 2014 Ford Transit. A boxy, upright, European-designed van, the 2014 Ford Transit will come to the U.S. with a turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 or a diesel engine. That represents a drastic departure for Ford, which has offered V-8 and V-10 engines in its commercial vans the last 50 years. However, the EcoBoost engine has proved a popular option in the Ford F-150 pickup truck, with V-8 power and significantly better fuel economy than what has been typical of big engines.
Shown above is the European-spec version of the van, but we’re told the U.S. version will look similar. It will be sold concurrently with the Econoline through the beginning of 2014 when the older van will be phased out. The 2014 Transit, expected to be called the T-Series, will be unibody like a car instead of using heavier body-on-frame construction.
More immediately, we should see the 2014 Ford Transit Connect, the smaller commercial van that has become popular with delivery services and companies in bigger cities. Like the current Transit Connect, the new model is expected to be based on the C platform that is the basis for many of Ford’s compact cars like the Focus and upcoming C-MAX. And like the current Transit Connect, we can expect its power to come from the same 160-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder that runs the Focus.
Along with the panel van, Ford will sell a wagon version of it with a second row of seats. The automaker sells a seven-passenger version abroad, but because of truck import laws, it may not be able to sell that version without a heavy tariff. That’s why it’s not sold in the U.S.; the Transit Connect is currently made in Turkey for the U.S.
The Transit is expected to find its way into North American production shortly, and we anticipate Ford might shift production of the 2014 Transit Connect to the States as well. We’ll keep you updated with details and specifications of the two vehicles as we get them.