Big Ford with an illustrious history
TO CELEBRATE THE TRANSIT VAN’S 50 YEARS IN PRODUCTION, Ford renamed the big version of the current model the Cargo in 2015.
Buyers will find five Transit versions on Ford’s sales list — the Transit Cargo 350L Van, 350E and 470E Jumbo vans, and the 350L and 470E Cab Chassis.
All Transits outside the United States – where it’s sold with a 3.5-litre unit – are powered by Ford’s 2.2-litre Duratec diesel engine.
Also able to run on B10 biofuel, the 2.2 develops 114kw and 385Nm, and is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.
The transmission has different ratios for the 350 and 470 versions to reflect their different workloads.
The Transit Cargo fitted with start/stop to shut the engine off automatically when the van stops in heavy traffic or at lights, then automatically restart as it prepares to pull away.
Fuel economy depends on the variant chosen, and will increase with load, but Ford says the 350L van drinks diesel at 7.8 litres/100km and the high-roof jumbo long-wheelbase 470E uses 9.0 litres/100km.
Transit Cargo models range in size and load capacity, from 5981mm to 6704mm long. Load space ranges from 3494 to 4217mm long, and is 1784mm wide – or 1392mm between the wheelarches; outside, all the vans are 2474mm wide.
Load volume ranges from 11 to 15.1 cubic metres — enough to carry five euro pallets, held down with wall-mounted cargo fixing points.
Payload ranges from 1166kg to 2547kg and towing capability varies, from 2800kg braked, to 3500kg braked.
Standard equipment includes cruise-control with an adjustable speed-limiting device plus curve control, traction control, and hilllaunch assist.
Load adaptive control adjusts the stability control response according to the weight being carried.
A reversing camera with the image displayed in the inside rear-view mirror is also standard, along with front and rear parking sensors on all but cab/chassis Transits.
The Cargo also has heated side mirrors, a perimeter alarm and remote door-locking with two-stage unlock.
Reflectors are fitted to the doors so they show up when open to 90 degrees at night, and the load floor rises 100mm up the walls for ease of cleaning.
All vans get a left-hand side sliding door, and rear doors — Ford says prototypes were slammed a quarter of a million times to test durability.
Some variants add a right sliding door option, and vans have a windowed steel bulkhead between the cab and the load space.
The smart cab includes Ford’s Sync Bluetooth and voice recognition system so drivers can use the phone, and listen to text messages and music, all hands-free by using voice commands.
An updated Transit Cargo, though it’s likely to be known simply as the Transit, goes on sale here in the second half of 2017.
Changes to the bodywork are minima but there’s a new engine and a six-speed automatic gearbox.
The availability of an auto is expected to lift Transit sales significantly.
Though the new Ecoblue engine is a 2.0 litre, Ford says it develops more power and torque and is more fuel-efficient, and emits fewer CO2 emissions. Service intervals double to 12 months/30,000km.
The new Transit is expected to have side-wind stability control, and the new Sync 3 in-vehicle communications system.