A 3.2-liter, turbo-diesel I-5 engine will be offered in the North American-spec 2014 Transit, marking the return of the Ford diesel van. The last time that Ford offered this was in 2010. Ford has said that a diesel-powered Transit will be offered in North America. However, the engine selection was only confirmed recently.
The 3.2-liter variant is not a new offering in Ford’s overseas commercial vehicles. The engine is now available under the Power Stroke category but it’s actually identical to the 3.2 Duratorq found in the new Ranger pickup sold in other countries. It is also similar to the 3.2-liter Duratorq that was used on the Transit vans in 2008. This 3.2-liter engine continues to be a DOHC design with four valves per cylinder, common rail injectors, and a variable-nozzle turbocharger.
It also still makes use of a cast iron block, aluminum cylinder heads, and cast aluminum pistons. In addition, Ford confirmed the first time that it applies selective catalyst reduction (SCR) in a Ford van for the U.S. market. Ford believes that this engine could operate on 20% biodiesel blends. Even if the U.S.-bound Transit will be produced in Kansas City, Missouri, this diesel engine will have to be imported from the Port Elizabeth, South Africa engine plant owned by Ford.
The power figures have yet to be released. This is because Ford is still in the process of tuning the North American version. Although, Ford said that the European variant delivers 197hp and 347 lb-ft of torque. This is higher than U.S.-spec Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, which is powered by a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6 (188 hp, 325 lb-ft of torque).
However, it falls behind the traditional diesel V-8s available in North American cargo vans. It can be recalled that Ford’s previous 6.0-liter Power Stroke, which was last seen in the 2010 E-Series van, delivered 235 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque. Ford truck communication manager Mike Levine is confident that even traditional van customers will embrace the new van model. He thinks that Ford’s customers will take notice of the significantly improved fuel economy of the new van.