2013 Detroit Auto Show: 2014 Ford Transit

2013 Detroit Auto Show: 2014 Ford Transit

2013 Detroit Auto Show

What Is It?
2014 Ford Transit

What's Special About It?
Today was a momentous day in Joe Louis Arena at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Ford finally laid the E-Series (née Econoline) to rest after 52 years of service and rolled out the brand-new 2014 Ford Transit. But don't get too eager. This full-size van won't enter production until late this year, with sales beginning in the first quarter of 2014.

Of course, there will be cargo and passenger versions, with the latter capable of seating you and up to 14 of your closest friends. Ford will offer a choice of a 129.9-inch or a 147.6-inch wheelbase, along with three body lengths and three roof heights. In a nod toward U-Haul and ambulance companies everywhere, Ford will offer chassis cab and cutaway versions as well.

The cargo van that motored into the arena had the loftiest of the three roofs and became a giant playhouse for journalists after the press conference. Everyone had to have a go at walking around in the van. Cargo capacity is vast. The smallest Transits have 250 cubic feet of load space, while the jumbo-size vans have "almost 500 cubic feet," according to Ford.

The company is preparing three engines for the Transit. The base engine is the workhorse 3.7-liter V6, and it will be sold with a natural gas-propane conversion prep kit. Next up is the excellent turbocharged and direct-injected 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, which is already in service in the F-150 where it's rated at 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.

Finally, there's a turbodiesel 3.2-liter inline five-cylinder, which will indeed be available in the United States, employing both a particulate filter and urea injections to meet our emissions standards. It's rated at 197 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque in European specification, so those numbers could change slightly once it's certified for the U.S.

All three engines use a six-speed automatic to drive the van's rear wheels, and officials tell us there's no plan to offer all-wheel drive. They didn't get into specifics about fuel economy, either, though the diesel will be the best of the bunch in that department.

What Edmunds Says: Naturally, the 2014 Ford Transit is aimed chiefly at commercial customers. And extremely large families. Also, we want the high-roof version with the diesel engine for our next photo van.

Base Price: TBA
Engine: 3.7-liter V6 (with CNG/LPG prep kit); twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6; turbodiesel 3.2-liter inline-5 (B20-compatible)
Gearbox: Six-speed automatic
Power: 197 hp, 347 lb-ft of torque (diesel 3.2-liter in European specification)
Dimensions: 129.9-inch and 147.6-inch wheelbases; 83.2-inch, 100.8-inch and 110.2-inch roof heights
Assembly Location: Kansas City, Missouri
On-Sale Date: First quarter 2014

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