Ford Transit
Overview
 
The Ford Transit is a range of panel van
Panel van
A panel van is a form of solid van, smaller than a lorry or truck, without rear side windows...

s, minibuses, and pickup truck
Pickup truck
A pickup truck is a light motor vehicle with an open-top rear cargo area .-Definition:...

s, produced by the Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

 in Europe.

The Transit has been the best-selling light commercial vehicle in Europe for 40 years, and in some countries the term "Transit" has passed into common usage as a generic term applying to any light commercial van in the Transit's size bracket.

Although the Transit name has been in use by Ford since 1953, the first definitive Transit platform was launched in 1965.
Encyclopedia
The Ford Transit is a range of panel van
Panel van
A panel van is a form of solid van, smaller than a lorry or truck, without rear side windows...

s, minibuses, and pickup truck
Pickup truck
A pickup truck is a light motor vehicle with an open-top rear cargo area .-Definition:...

s, produced by the Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

 in Europe.

The Transit has been the best-selling light commercial vehicle in Europe for 40 years, and in some countries the term "Transit" has passed into common usage as a generic term applying to any light commercial van in the Transit's size bracket.

Although the Transit name has been in use by Ford since 1953, the first definitive Transit platform was launched in 1965. Since then, six million Transits have been produced across three basic platforms (first debuting in 1965, 1986 and 2001, respectively), with several "facelift" versions of each. The six millionth van was built in March 2010.

The first Ford Transit (1953–1965)

Known in Germany as the "first generation" Transit
Unlike the British-built Transit "family", the first production Ford to wear the "Transit" badge was a van built in Ford's Köln (Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

) plant in Germany. It was introduced in 1953 as FK 1000 (Ford Köln
Ford Köln
Not to be confused with the Ford FK 1000 from 1953 which was also named Ford Köln.----Ford Köln is an automobile from the Cologne, Germany plant of the Ford Motor Company that was in production from 1932 to 1935. It was the German version of the Ford Model Y. The name came from the German name for...

 carrying 1,000 kg). From 1961, this vehicle was called the Ford Taunus Transit. Production of this model ceased in 1965.

Naming system

The German vehicle was not widely exported, and the "Mark 1" tag has commonly been applied, retroactively, to the 1965 to 1978 British model (see below). Whilst there have been three basic Transit platforms since 1965, the various facelifts and upgrades over the years have been referred to using a conflicting range of "Mark" numbers, with some sources counting a facelift as a new "Mark", some not. Ford's own historical look back at Transit production, published for the launch of the 1994 model, avoids the issue by referring to generations of Transit by years produced. This article attempts to make mention of all the common naming systems.

Ford Transit 1965–1978

UK "Mark 1"; Germany "Second generation"
The first Ford Transit proper was introduced in October 1965, and has been in continuous production in three basic generations to the present day. The van was produced initially at Ford's Langley
Langley, Slough
Langley is a large village in the unitary authority of Slough, Berkshire in South East England. It is situated 2 miles east of central Slough, and 20 miles west of London...

 facility in Berkshire, England (a former Second World War aircraft factory which had produced Hawker Hurricane
Hawker Hurricane
The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd for the Royal Air Force...

 fighters), but demand outstripped the capability of the plant, and production was moved to Southampton
Southampton
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated south-west of London and north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest...

, where it has remained. Transits have also been produced in Ford's Genk
Genk
Genk is a city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Limburg near Hasselt. The municipality only comprises the city of Genk itself...

 factory in Belgium and also Turkey. Transits have been produced in Amsterdam for the local market from the mid seventies until the end of 1981. This factory had ample capacity, since the Ford Transcontinental
Ford Transcontinental
The Ford Transcontinental was a heavy goods vehicle tractor and rigid unit manufactured between 1975 and 1983 by Ford in the Netherlands and Britain...

 produced there had little success (total production 8000 in 6 years). Although the Transit sold well in the Netherlands, it was not enough to save the factory, which closed in December 1981. The Transit is also produced in China for the Chinese market.

The Transit was introduced to replace the Ford Thames 400E, a small mid-engined forward control van noted for its narrow track which was in competition with similar-looking but larger vehicles from the BMC J4
Morris Commercial J4
The Morris Commercial J4 was a 10 cwt forward control van launched by the Morris Commercial subsidiary of the British Motor Corporation in 1960 and produced with two facelifts until 1974, available with the familiar B series petrol engine in 1622cc form and also, at extra cost, with a 1500 cc...

 and J2
Morris Commercial J2
The Morris Commercial J2 was a small, forward-control van launched by the Morris Commercial subsidiary of the British Motor Corporation in 1956 and produced until 1967...

 vans and Rootes Group's Commer
Commer
Commer became known in later years as a maker of vans for the British Post Office—particularly the Commer FC which was introduced in 1960 with many body styles, including a 1500 cc van. After engine and interior upgrades it was renamed the PB in 1967 and the SpaceVan in 1974...

 PB ranges. In a UK market segment then dominated by the Bedford CA
Bedford CA
The Bedford CA was a distinctive pug-nosed light commercial vehicle produced between 1952 and 1969 by Vauxhall Motors subsidiary Bedford Vehicles, in Luton, United Kingdom....

, Ford's Thames competitor, because of its restricted load area, failed to attract fleet users in sufficient numbers. Ford switched to a front engined configuration, as did the 1950s by Bedford with their well-regarded CA series vans. Henry Ford II
Henry Ford II
Henry Ford II , commonly known as "HF2" and "Hank the Deuce", was the son of Edsel Ford and grandson of Henry Ford...

's revolutionary step was to combine the engineering efforts of Ford of Britain
Ford of Britain
Ford of Britain is a British wholly owned subsidiary of Ford of Europe, a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company. Its business started in 1909 and has its registered office in Brentwood, Essex...

 and Ford of Germany to create a prototype for the Ford of Europe of today—previously the two subsidiaries had avoided competing in one another's domestic markets but had been direct competitors in other European markets.

The Transit was a departure from the European commercial vehicles of the day with its American-inspired styling—its broad track gave it a huge advantage in carrying capacity over comparable vehicles of the day. Most of the Transit's mechanical components were adapted from Ford's car range of the time. Another key to the Transit's success was the sheer number of different body styles: panel vans in long and short wheelbase forms, pick-up truck, minibuses, crew-cabs to name but a few.

The engines used in the UK were the Essex V4 for the petrol engined version in 1.7 L and 2.0 L capacities. By using relatively short V-4 engines Ford were able to minimise the additional length necessitated to place the engine ahead of the driver. Another popular development under the bonnet was the equipping of the van with an alternator at time when the UK market competitors expected buyers to be content with a dynamo
Dynamo
- Engineering :* Dynamo, a magnetic device originally used as an electric generator* Dynamo theory, a theory relating to magnetic fields of celestial bodies* Solar dynamo, the physical process that generates the Sun's magnetic field- Software :...

. A 43 bhp (32 kW) diesel engine
Diesel engine
A diesel engine is an internal combustion engine that uses the heat of compression to initiate ignition to burn the fuel, which is injected into the combustion chamber...

 sourced from Perkins was also offered. As this engine was too long to fit under the Transit's stubby nose, the diesel version featured a longer bonnet. The underpowered Perkins proved unpopular, and was replaced by Ford's own "York
Ford York engine
The Ford York engine is an inline Ford diesel engine used in vehicles including the Ford Transit range of vans between 1972 and 1984.The Transit was fitted with the 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine, but the engine was also available as a 3.5-litre six-cylinder engine...

" unit in 1974. For mainland Europe the Transit had the German Ford Taunus V4 engine
Ford Taunus V4 engine
The Taunus V4 was a V4 piston engine with one balance shaft, introduced by Ford Motor Company in Germany in 1962. The German V4 was built in the Cologne plant and powered the Ford Taunus and German versions of the Granada, Capri and Transit...

 in Cologne 1.7 or Essex 2.0 litre versions. The diesel version's long nose front was also used to accommodate the Ford 3.0 litre V6 in vans supplied to police and ambulance services. In Australia, the long-nose diesel front was used to accommodate an inline 6-cylinder engine derived from the Ford Falcon
Ford Falcon (Australia)
The Ford Falcon is a full-size car which has been manufactured by Ford Australia since 1960. Each model from the XA series of 1972 onward has been designed, developed and built in Australia and/or New Zealand, following the phasing out of the American Falcon of 1960–71 which had been re-engineered...

.

According to the show Top Gear, British police have reported that in the 1970s 95% of all robberies in which the criminals used a vehicle, involved this type of Ford Transit.

The adoption of live axles front and rear in place of a system incorporating independent front suspension that had featured on its UK predecessor might have been seen as a backward step by some, but on the road commentators felt that the Transit's wider track and longer wheelbase more than compensated for the apparent step backwards represented by Ford's suspension choices. Drivers appreciated the elimination of the excessive noise, smell and cabin heat that resulted from placing the driver above or adjacent to the engine compartment in the Thames 400E and other forward control light vans of the 1950s and early 1960s.

Ford Transit 1978–1986

UK "Mark 2"; Germany "Third generation"
In March 1978, a facelifted version—commonly known in some markets as the "Mark 2" model—debuted with a restyled nose section, new interior, and the introduction of the Pinto
Ford Pinto engine
The Ford Pinto engine was the unofficial but generic nickname for a 4-cylinder internal combustion engine built by Ford Europe. In Ford sales literature it was referred to as the EAO or OHC engine and because it was designed to the metric system, it was sometimes called the "Metric engine". The...

 engine from the Cortina
Ford Cortina
As the 1960s dawned, BMC were revelling in the success of their new Mini – the first successful true minicar to be built in Britain in the postwar era...

 in place of the Essex V4. Many fleet owners experienced premature camshaft wear in early Pinto units in the Cortina and for two years the Transit 75 was available with the 1.6 L Ford Kent "Xflo" engine. High performance versions intended for police or ambulance use used the 3.0 L V6 version of the Essex engine
Ford Essex V6 engine (UK)
The Ford Essex V6 engine was a 60° V6 engine built between 1966 and 1981 by the Ford Motor Company in the United Kingdom at their engine plant in Dagenham, Essex, which gave the engine its name. It was produced in two main capacities, 2.5 L and 3.0 L, and was fitted to a wide range of...

, Australian variants had 4.1 L (250 cu in) inline 6 cylinder engines


In 1984, the York diesel engine was redesigned into the 2.5 L "DI" (direct injection) unit. At this time this generation received a minor facelift including a grey plastic front grille with integrated headlamp surrounds, wrap around indicators, longer bumper end caps and multifunction rear lights incorporating fog, indicator, reversing and side lights for the panel van. This facelift did not commonly result in a new "Mark" number.

The Mark II was available in 6 body styles: Van, Kombi, Chassis Cab, Parcel Van, Bus and Crewbus all available in short (2690mm) and long (3000mm) wheelbase versions. A selection of 5 engines were available: 1.6ltr OHC Petrol, 1.6ltr OHV Petrol (Kent), 2.0ltr OHC Petrol, 2.0ltr OHC Petrol (Economy) and 2.4ltr Diesel. On top of this were 32 door combinations, 6 axle ratios and options for 12 - 17 interior seats. All of these available in any combination when purchased with Ford's highly customizable custom plan. At the time this gave the business sector an unprecedented amount of flexibility which was a major factor in the vehicles ultimate success.

Ford Transit 1986–1991 & minor facelift 1991–1994 (VE6 & VE64 after facelift)

UK "Mark 3" and "Mark 4" after facelift; Germany "Fourth generation"
The second generation Transit platform appeared in January 1986 and was notable for its all-new bodyshell which was of "one-box" design (i.e. the windscreen and bonnet are at the same angle), and the front suspension was changed to a fully independent configuration on SWB versions. The engine range was carried over largely unchanged from the last of the 1978-85 generation models, although in 1989 the high performance 3.0 V6 petrol was replaced by the Cologne 2.9 EFI V6. A subtle facelift in 1992 saw the fully independent front suspension adopted across the range, whilst a redesigned floor plan allowed the use of single, rather than paired, rear wheels on the LWB derivative, further increasing payload—these models are identifiable by the slightly more rounded front headlamps.

This generation of Transit was used by Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Charles Robert Clarkson is an English broadcaster, journalist and writer who specialises in motoring. He is best known for his role on the BBC TV show Top Gear along with co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May...

 in Top Gear's Man With Van Challenge, finishing second (vs a tiny Suzuki Super Carry
Bedford Rascal
The Bedford Rascal , also built as the Suzuki Supercarry is a microvan that was developed as a joint venture between General Motors and Suzuki. It was sold under GM's British-based Bedford marque as well as in Suzuki form...

 and huge LDV Convoy
LDV Convoy
The LDV Convoy is a panel van that was manufactured by LDV Limited between 1997 and 2006.The Convoy was a development of the Leyland DAF 400 Series, which in turn was based on the Freight Rover 300 Series...

). This involved buying a van for under £1000, and several tests representing (stereo)typical van use: a quarter-mile drag race (cross-city speed); loading, carrying, and disgorging a load of furniture (space, access); tailgating (visibility, control); replacing a "damaged" door (maintenance); a police chase (handling), etc. The Transit upheld its reputation for agility by performing particularly well in the final chase, "resisting arrest" much longer than the slow LDV and unstable Suzuki, which overturned at the first curve.

Ford Transit 1994–2003 (VE83)

UK "Mark 5"; Germany "Fifth generation"
A major facelift to the Transit in 1994/5 gave the Transit a new nose and dashboard
Dashboard
A dashboard is a control panel placed in front of the driver of an automobile, housing instrumentation and controls for operation of the vehicle....

, along with the 2.0 L DOHC 8-valve
Ford I4 DOHC engine
The Ford I4 DOHC engine was a 4-cylinder inline internal combustion engine with twin overhead camshafts, produced by the Ford Motor Company. First with 2.0-litre 8-valve version, in later models with 2.0/2.3-litre 16-valve version from 1989 to the end of production of the MK2 Ford Galaxy in 2006...

 engine as found in the 1994 to 1998 Ford Scorpio. It is similar to the earlier Sierra DOHC unit but without the distributor and uses the updated OBD II-compliant EEC-V level engine control unit
Engine control unit
An engine control unit is a type of electronic control unit that determines the amount of fuel, ignition timing and other parameters an internal combustion engine needs to keep running...

. Some of Ford's 16-valve engines, such as those found in the Scorpio
Ford Scorpio
The Ford Scorpio is an automobile that was produced by the Ford Motor Company from 1985 through to 1998.It was the replacement for the European Ford Granada line...

, Escort RS2000 and Galaxy
Ford Galaxy
The first Galaxy was designed as a joint venture product between Ford and the Volkswagen Group. Produced at the joint-venture AutoEuropa plant in Palmela, Portugal, the vehicle was badge-engineered to create three vehicles: the Ford Galaxy; by Volkswagen Passenger Cars as the Volkswagen Sharan;...

 were also based on this block. At the same time air conditioning
Air conditioning
An air conditioner is a home appliance, system, or mechanism designed to dehumidify and extract heat from an area. The cooling is done using a simple refrigeration cycle...

, electric windows, central locking, electric mirrors and airbags were all made available as optional extras.

The turbo diesel version came in 85 PS, 100 PS and 115 PS version with an electronic fuel pump.

For the 30th anniversary of the Transit in 1995 Ford released a limited edition model called the Transit Hallmark. Six hundred were made and were available in three colours with 200 being made in each.

In Europe the VE83 Transit was available up to 2000, but in Vietnam it was built up to 2003 when it was exchanged in June for the new generation.

Ford Transit 2000–2006 (V184/5)

UK "Mark 6"; Germany "Sixth generation"
The next Transit, introduced in July 2000, was the third all-new design, and borrowed styling cues from Ford's "New Edge" designs like the Focus, and Ka
Ford Ka
The Ford Ka is a city car from the Ford Motor Company marketed in Europe and elsewhere.The current European version is produced by Fiat Auto in Tychy, Poland, while the model sold in Latin America is built in Brazil and Argentina....

. Developed by Ford in the United States, the main innovation is that it is available in either front or rear-wheel drive. Ford nomenclature makes this the V184 (rear wheel drive) or V185 (front wheel drive) model. This model features the "Puma"-type Duratorq turbo diesel engine also used in the 2000 Mondeo
Ford Mondeo
The Mondeo was launched on 8 January 1993, and sales began on 22 March 1993. Available as a four-door saloon, a five-door hatchback, and a five-door estate, all models for the European market were produced at Ford's plant in the Belgian city of Genk...

 and Jaguar X-Type
Jaguar X-Type
The X-Type is a compact executive car manufactured and marketed for model years 2001-2009 by Jaguar Cars. The smallest of the Jaguar model range, the X-type was marketed in saloon and wagon variants and was the only estate ever manufactured in series production by the company...

, with the petrol versions moving up to the 2.3 L 16-Valve edition of the straight-4
Straight-4
The inline-four engine or straight-four engine is an internal combustion engine with all four cylinders mounted in a straight line, or plane along the crankcase. The single bank of cylinders may be oriented in either a vertical or an inclined plane with all the pistons driving a common crankshaft....

 engine. With this engine, the Transit can reach 60 mi/h in 21 seconds and reach a top speed of 93 miles per hour (149.7 km/h), returning it to car-like performance as claimed for the earliest models. A demonstration of this model's speed was shown on Top Gear
Top Gear (current format)
Top Gear is a British television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars. It began in 1977 as a conventional motoring magazine show. Over time, and especially since a relaunch in 2002, it has developed a quirky, humorous style...

in 2005, where German race driver Sabine Schmitz
Sabine Schmitz
Sabine Schmitz , is a German former professional motor racing driver for BMW, now known for driving the BMW "Ring taxi" around the Nürburgring race track as well as being a television personality...

 attempted to drive it around the Nürburgring
Nürburgring
The Nürburgring is a motorsport complex around the village of Nürburg, Germany. It features a modern Grand Prix race track built in 1984, and a much longer old North loop track which was built in the 1920s around the village and medieval castle of Nürburg in the Eifel mountains. It is located about...

 in under ten minutes, matching Jeremy Clarkson's time in a turbodiesel Jaguar S-type; she was unsuccessful, but only by a few seconds.

This version won the International Van of the Year
International Van of the Year
The International Van of the Year is an annual award made by the international transport sector. Each year an expert jury, consisting of leading, authoritative specialist journalists, selects the International Van of the Year from the new vehicles appearing on the European market.-2008 awards:Fiat...

 2001.

The Durashift EST automatic transmission
Automatic transmission
An automatic transmission is one type of motor vehicle transmission that can automatically change gear ratios as the vehicle moves, freeing the driver from having to shift gears manually...

 (optional on all rear-wheel drive models) features controls mounted on the dashboard, a specially adapted manual mode, tow-haul mode, economy mode and winter mode.

Two years later, Ford introduced the Transit Connect
Ford Transit Connect
The Ford Transit Connect is a compact panel van developed by Ford Europe and designed by Peter Horbury, introduced in 2002 to replace the older Ford Escort and Fiesta-based Courier van ranges, which had ceased production in the same year....

, a smaller panel van based on the C170
Ford C170 platform
The Ford C170 Platform is Ford's compact car automobile platform from the late 1990s used by the international Ford Focus through its first generation and continued in use by the North American Ford Focus and the Ford Transit Connect....

 (Focus) platform and aimed at replacing the older Escort and Fiesta
Ford Fiesta
The Ford Fiesta is a front wheel drive supermini/subcompact manufactured and marketed by Ford Motor Company and built in Europe, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, China, India, Thailand and South Africa...

 based models. It shares very little with the full-size Transit in terms of engineering, although is produced alongside the larger van in a new purpose built facility in Turkey.

2002 saw the introduction of the first High Pressure Common Rail
Common rail
Common rail direct fuel injection is a modern variant of direct fuel injection system for petrol and diesel engines.On diesel engines, it features a high-pressure fuel rail feeding individual solenoid valves, as opposed to low-pressure fuel pump feeding unit injectors...

 diesel engine in the Transit, with the launch of the 125 PS HPCR 2.0 litre in the FWD.

2003 saw a new instrument cluster with a digital odometer.

2004 saw the launch of the first RWD HPCR, the 135 PS 2.4 litre variant that also introduced the 6-speed MT-82 RWD gearbox.

The five millionth Transit rolled off the Southampton line on Monday, 18 July 2005 and was donated to an English charity.

Ford Transit 2006–present (China: VJX6541DK-M)

The Ford Transit VJX6541DK-M is the Chinese
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 version and it based on its predecessors of the fourth and fifth generation. This generation is only built in Nanchang
Nanchang
Nanchang is the capital of Jiangxi Province in southeastern China. It is located in the north-central portion of the province. As it is bounded on the west by the Jiuling Mountains, and on the east by Poyang Lake, it is famous for its scenery, rich history and cultural sites...

 by Jiangling Motors
Jiangling Motors
The Jiangling Motors Corporation Limited , abbreviated JMC, is a Chinese automobile manufacturer that is also known by the Landwind brand name in a number of markets...

 and is reserved for the Chinese domestic market. Remarkable are the much larger headlights and the larger grille. The model was launched to the market in 2006. Overall, the generation have 70 improvements to its predecessor. The interior has been changed and made more ergonomic. Power windows are standard, but ABS is optional. The Chinese Transit is available with two diesel engines and one petrol. One of them has a power of 67.6 kW (Type JX493ZQ3), the other 68 kW (JX493ZQ4). Both diesels have a capacity of 2771 cc. The Petrol version uses a Ford Barra engine
Ford Barra engine
The Barra engines are a family of straight 6s and V8s assembled by Ford Australia since 2002. The V8s are built in Windsor, Ontario by the Ford Motor Company and are shipped un-assembled to Australia. Production of the straight 6 is scheduled to continue until at least 2013...

 190 kW inline-6 motor. The top speed is specified at 68.35 mph (110 km/h). The Chinese Transits have a VIN
Vehicle identification number
A Vehicle Identification Number, commonly abbreviated to VIN, is a unique serial number used by the automotive industry to identify individual motor vehicles. VINs were first used in 1954...

 in following form: LJXBMCH1××T××××××.

The European 2006 Ford Transit went into production in 2008. On the Chinese market it is known as the New Transit. It is offered parallel to the 2006 China generation. The two facilities are currently manufacturing 300,000 units annually. Ford and Jiangling want to open a third plant in late 2012 to increase the annual production to further 3,000 units.

In January 2010, the Toyota recalls
2009–2010 Toyota vehicle recalls
Three separate but related recalls of automobiles by Toyota Motor Corporation occurred at the end of 2009 and start of 2010. Toyota initiated the recalls, the first two with the assistance of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , after reports that several vehicles experienced...

 affected the products of the Ford Group because Ford used the same supplier (CTS Corporation). It was suspected that the accelerator pedals were defective and posed a danger. About 1600 Ford Transits of the 2006 China generation were affected by the recall.

The European models of the VE6 and VE8 generation can be given an aftermarket facelift to the Chinese version. This needs the Chinese components and manual skills.


Ford Transit 2006–present (Europe: V347/8; China: unknown)

UK "Mark 7"; Germany "Seventh generation"
In August 2006, the Transit received a facelift to the body, including new front and rear lights, a new front end and a new interior featuring the gearstick on the dashboard and Ford's new corporate radio design. Besides the styling changes, the powertrains were revised. The old petrol engine was replaced with one from the Ford Ranger
Ford Ranger
The Ford Ranger is a pickup truck produced by the Ford Motor Company. The "Ranger" name had previously been used for a premium styling package on the F-Series full-sized pickup trucks since 1965. The name was moved to this line of North American compact trucks for the 1983 model year.In North...

, the front wheel drive diesel went from 2.0 to 2.2 litres capacity, and all diesel engines gained high-pressure common rail (TDCi) systems. The powertrains were changed to meet new emissions legislation. The new version (Ford nomenclature V347 for front wheel drive and V348 for rear wheel drive) won International Van of the Year
International Van of the Year
The International Van of the Year is an annual award made by the international transport sector. Each year an expert jury, consisting of leading, authoritative specialist journalists, selects the International Van of the Year from the new vehicles appearing on the European market.-2008 awards:Fiat...

 for 2007 despite tough competition from several all-new rivals.

Mid 2006 saw the launch of the "Sport Van", a limited production Van featuring the 130 PS engine with additional styling parts, "Le Mans" stripes and 18 inch alloy wheels.

Late 2007 saw the launch of the 140 PS engine for front wheel drives (replacing the 130 PS) complete with the VMT6 6-speed transaxle to cope with the extra power.

The 6-speed transaxle was introduced on the mid-power FWD in late 2008 when the 110 PS engine was upped to 115 PS.

In late 2008, the "coated Diesel Particulate Filter" (cDPF)—designed to meet higher emission standards than the current Euro IV requirement—was introduced as an option on all diesel engines.

Ford Transit County 4x4

A handful of companies offered four-wheel-drive conversions, such as County Tractors of Knighton in Powys, who converted vans on behalf of Ford as a Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) factory option. The first Transit County models were based on the Mk2 Transit model, both long and short wheelbase. The conversion used a Dana 44F front axle and a NP208 transfer box, both lifted from the Ford Bronco, coupled to the regular Transit engine, gearbox and rear axle using three custom propshafts. The Transit rear axle was retained, mounted to a rear subframe or 'lift cradle' to give the extra ride height. Other modifications were 16 inch wheel rims, locking front hubs, a heavy-duty steering box and 305mm diameter front brake discs.

With the introduction of the Mk3 Transit in 1986 came the next generation of the County 4x4. This would prove to be a very popular and successful version of the County Transit 4x4, and the last to use the Dana beam axle layout. Later County 4x4 models switched to using an independent front suspension setup which was inherently more complex in design than the earlier beam axle models. Later panel vans also lost the twin-wheel rear axle that had been fitted on earlier LWB versions.

Mainly used by utility companies such as National Grid, the Ministry Of Defence, and by mountain rescue teams, the Transit County 4x4 proved to be a capable vehicle both on and off road, with the ability to carry both crew and equipment just about anywhere.

Design and supply of drivetrain components for County 4x4 models passed to Countytrac, a division of M.J. Allen Ltd, who are still involved in the development of the latest Mk7 AWD Transit and Connect models.

Ford Transit XXL

To celebrate the Transit's status as International Van of the Year 2007, Ford built this stretch limo style van—the Transit XXL. It is a unique special that is among the most expensive Transits ever.

Ford Transit 2013 "prototype" (North America: T-Series)

Mark 8; MK8; Eighth Generation

In September of 2011 a prototype Transit was spotted in the Austrian Alps being road tested.
From launch, the Transit has never been officially sold in North America — despite the third generation being largely developed in Dearborn by Ford of Europe engineers. The model's only foray into the Americas so far has been in Mexico where the Transit debuted in 2007.
Ford has stated that the eighth generation Transit platform will be global, also acting as a replacement for the long running E-Series
Ford E-Series
The Ford E-Series, formerly known as the Econoline or Club Wagon, is a line of full-size vans and truck chassis from the Ford Motor Company. The E-Series is related to the Ford F-Series line of pickup trucks. The line was introduced in 1961 as a compact van and its descendants are still produced...

 range in the United States and Canada.
In October 2011, Ford confirmed the North American version, as the United Auto Workers
United Auto Workers
The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, better known as the United Auto Workers , is a labor union which represents workers in the United States and Puerto Rico, and formerly in Canada. Founded as part of the Congress of Industrial...

 revealed the retooling of the facility in Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City Assembly
The Ford Motor Company's Kansas City Assembly plant in Claycomo, Missouri is a large automative manufacturing plant which has been called the largest car manufacturing plant in the United States in terms of units produced....

 for its assembly.
Ford also registered trademark applications for Ford T-250, T-350, T-450, and T-550, which indicates that the Transit will likely follow the same naming scheme as the E-Series to differentiate itself from the smaller, mechanically unrelated Transit Connect
Ford Transit Connect
The Ford Transit Connect is a compact panel van developed by Ford Europe and designed by Peter Horbury, introduced in 2002 to replace the older Ford Escort and Fiesta-based Courier van ranges, which had ceased production in the same year....

 that was introduced in North American in 2010.
Due to its four cylinder
Straight-4
The inline-four engine or straight-four engine is an internal combustion engine with all four cylinders mounted in a straight line, or plane along the crankcase. The single bank of cylinders may be oriented in either a vertical or an inclined plane with all the pistons driving a common crankshaft....

 diesel engines, manual transmission
Manual transmission
A manual transmission, also known as a manual gearbox or standard transmission is a type of transmission used in motor vehicle applications...

, lower weight and more aerodynamic design, the Transit is considerably more fuel efficient, although less powerful than the E-Series, which is a mainstay with a V8
V8 engine
A V8 engine is a V engine with eight cylinders mounted on the crankcase in two banks of four cylinders, in most cases set at a right angle to each other but sometimes at a narrower angle, with all eight pistons driving a common crankshaft....

 and automatic transmission
Automatic transmission
An automatic transmission is one type of motor vehicle transmission that can automatically change gear ratios as the vehicle moves, freeing the driver from having to shift gears manually...

. Currently the E-Series competes in North America with the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a light and heavy commercial vehicle, built by Daimler AG of Stuttgart, Germany as a van, chassis cab and minibus, and sold as a Mercedes model, except in the U.S. where it is built from complete knock down kits and was sold by Freightliner until 2010 when Mercedes...

—one of the Transit's main rivals in Europe.

Media

A number of promotional Supervan
Ford Supervan
The Ford Transit Supervans were a series of promotional vehicles built for the Ford Motor Company in the UK. They combined the outline and appearance of the popular Ford Transit van with the chassis and performance of a sports racing car.- Supervan :...

s were built, combining the outline and appearance of the Transit with the chassis and performance of a sports racing car.

A Mark 6 Ford Transit was used in a segment on BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

's Top Gear
Top Gear (current format)
Top Gear is a British television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars. It began in 1977 as a conventional motoring magazine show. Over time, and especially since a relaunch in 2002, it has developed a quirky, humorous style...

TV show. The show was broadcast on 10 July 2005. In the segment, Sabine Schmitz
Sabine Schmitz
Sabine Schmitz , is a German former professional motor racing driver for BMW, now known for driving the BMW "Ring taxi" around the Nürburgring race track as well as being a television personality...

 drove the Transit around the Nurburgring
Nürburgring
The Nürburgring is a motorsport complex around the village of Nürburg, Germany. It features a modern Grand Prix race track built in 1984, and a much longer old North loop track which was built in the 1920s around the village and medieval castle of Nürburg in the Eifel mountains. It is located about...

 to see if she could beat presenter Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Charles Robert Clarkson is an English broadcaster, journalist and writer who specialises in motoring. He is best known for his role on the BBC TV show Top Gear along with co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May...

's time in a Jaguar S-Type
Jaguar S-Type
The Jaguar S-Type was a mid-size luxury/executive car that debuted at the 1998 Birmingham Motor Show and went on sale in spring 1999. The name is a revival of a previous Jaguar model, the S-Type introduced in 1963.-Overview:...

 Diesel of 9 minutes 59 seconds. However, her best time was 10 minutes 8 seconds despite reducing the weight of the van.

A modified Mark 3 Transit was also used in Top Gear Australia
Top Gear Australia
Top Gear Australia was an Australian motoring television series based on the BBC series Top Gear.The show premiered on SBS One on 29 September 2008 at 7:30 pm AEST, with its first season consisting of 8 episodes...

's Ashes Special and Top Gear series 16 episode 2, where Richard Hammond
Richard Hammond
Richard Mark Hammond is an English broadcaster, writer, and journalist most noted for co-hosting car programme Top Gear with Jeremy Clarkson and James May, as well as presenting Brainiac: Science Abuse on Sky 1.-Early life:...

  (UK) raced the van against a Holden VE Ute
Holden Ute
The Holden Ute is a coupe utility built by Holden, the Australian subsidiary of General Motors, since 2000. Before then, Holden had marketed their Commodore-based utility models under the Holden Utility and Holden Commodore utility names, although the term “Holden Ute” was also used in their...

 driven by Shane Jacobson
Shane Jacobson
Shane Jacobson is an Australian actor, director, writer, and comedian, best known for his performance as the eponymous character Kenny Smyth in the 2006 film Kenny...

 (Australia) in a drag race. Unknown to Hammond and the Australians, the van was actually a turbocharged Jaguar XJ220
Jaguar XJ220
The Jaguar XJ220 is a mid-engined supercar produced by Jaguar in collaboration with Tom Walkinshaw Racing as Jaguar Sport between 1992 and 1994. It held the record for the highest top speed of a production car , until the arrival of the McLaren F1 in 1994...

, and only had the shell of a Transit on top.

External links

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