Ford Tran­sit beefs up off-road ap­peal with all-wheel-drive op­tion

Irish Independent - Farming - - MACHINERY - Justin Roberts

The Ford Tran­sit has two new driv­e­line op­tions

The Ford Tran­sit has now been with us for 55 years, dur­ing which time it has taken on many guises and con­ver­sions.

One of the more dra­matic was the County Com­mer­cial’s 4x4 con­ver­sion of the ’80s which made it re­sem­ble a chronic steroid ad­dict with beefy wheels all around and a jacked-up stance that few wanted to ar­gue with.

Roll on 40 years and Ford have taken the pro­vi­sion of ex­tra trac­tion in house with two new driv­e­line op­tions that in­crease the ve­hi­cle’s abil­ity away from the tar­mac, if not ac­tu­ally mak­ing it a true off-roader.

The re­sult is some­thing al­to­gether more elegant, although the com­pany couldn’t re­sist a chunky ra­di­a­tor grille to em­pha­sise its pedi­gree, de­spite it lack­ing the ag­gres­sive tyres and ground clear­ance of its an­tecedents.

What we are of­fered in­stead of the old beam axle and leaf spring ar­range­ment is an elec­tron­i­cally con­trolled but me­chan­i­cally ac­ti­vated lim­ited slip dif­fer­en­tial fit­ted to front-wheel-drive mod­els in­clud­ing the Cus­tom

Trail vari­ants, while the Trail mod­els have the more com­plex all-wheel-drive sys­tem.

The com­pany refers to the new dif­fer­en­tial as me­chan­i­cal Lim­ited Slip Dif­fer­en­tial (mLSD for short).

The elec­tronic trans­mis­sion con­trol sys­tem al­ready fit­ted to the Tran­sit has been tweaked to suit the new lay­out.

While max­imis­ing trac­tion at the front axle will be of ben­e­fit to many, those who stray fur­ther away from paved sur­faces are catered for by the new all-wheel-drive op­tion which en­hances the grip of rear-wheel-drive mod­els by send­ing up to 50pc of the en­gine’s torque back to the front axle, de­pend­ing on the sur­face grip and driver’s in­ten­tions.

The driver can fur­ther en­hance the ad­min­is­tra­tion of power de­liv­ery by se­lect­ing for slip­pery sur­faces or mud and ruts.

The same two-litre en­gine is used through­out the diesel-pow­ered mod­els, of­fer­ing be­tween 130hp and 185hp, with a ‘mild hy­brid’ pow­er­train also avail­able on the Trail Cus­tom vari­ant, which uses a 48-volt bat­tery pack to boost econ­omy.

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