News Column

Ford to Offer Diesel in New Full-size Transit Van

Dec 10, 2012

Alisa Priddle

Ford was to announce today that it will offer a diesel engine in the new Transit commercial van when it goes on sale in the U.S. late next year.

A 3.2-liter turbo-diesel will be offered for those who want a work truck with the additional low-end torque for hauling that a diesel provides.

The other option is a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 gasoline engine. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Ford already has a 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel in its Super Duty pickups. The new, 3.2-liter Power Stroke will make its U.S. debut in the Transit full-size van and will be the only five-cylinder diesel in a commercial van in North America.

"The Power Stroke name is synonymous with power, work and long-term durability," said Joe Bakaj, Ford vice president of powertrain engineering.

"We're confident our commercial van customers will be extremely pleased with the 3.2-liter's fuel economy, performance and running costs," Bakaj said.

The smaller diesel is built in Ford's Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and will be exported to the Kansas City Assembly Plant that has undergone a $1.1-billion retooling to make the new Transit.

The Transit will replace the E-Series, formerly known as the Econoline, in the Ford lineup when the storied van is discontinued in 2014. The E-Series has been the segment leader for decades and still holds about 51% of the market. It is powered by a choice of a 4.6-liter or 5.4-liter V8 or a 6.8-liter V10.

The new 3.2-liter diesel is already in the Ford Ranger sold in all regions except North America and is rated in Europe as delivering 197 horsepower and 347 pound-feet of torque. The power rating has not yet been certified for North America but should not be appreciably different.

"Commercial van drivers spend most of their working hours behind the wheel. We know they want a fuel-efficient diesel engine with smooth, responsive performance and low operating costs," Bakaj said.

Source: (c)2012 the Detroit Free Press. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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