Ford Motor Co. will start sales of the new Transit commercial van this month. The first Transit to be available will be the medium-roof-height, long-wheelbase version, touted to be a best seller by the carmaker. Ford is banking on the new Transit to help it maintain its reign in the commercial van market. In fact, Ford had a 48-percent share of the full-sized van market in 2013.
The Transit will be available in three roof heights, two wheelbases and three body lengths, and three different engines. Customer could choose any of the 58 variations possible with the Transit. Ford will also make the Transit available in cargo van, passenger wagon, chassis cab and cutaway body styles.
The Transit is built on a unitized body construction, in contrast to the body-on-frame construction of the E series. The commercial vehicle is being built at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri.
Ford hopes to market the Transit as a commercial van that boasts of good fuel economy. A Transit – either a low- or a medium-roof version -- powered by the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, returns 14 mpg city and 19 mpg highway – representing a 46-percent improvement over the E-series with 6.8-liter V-10 engine.
According to Ford, the difference in fuel economy translates to savings of $1,700 annually, based on EPA data. The Transit is also available with a standard 3.7-liter V-6 engine and a 3.2-liter Power Stroke diesel engine.
The engines are paired to a six-speed automatic gearbox through a rear-wheel-drive configuration. The Transit with a high roof offers enough headroom for 6 foot 8 inches tall person to stand upright, thanks to its 81.5 inches of maximum interior cargo height. Ford plans to launch the Transit in 19 cities. The low-roof version carries a starting price of $30,560, including shipping. [source: Ford]