In the second half of this year, Ford will introduce the 2014 Transit van to the American market, thereby replacing the aging E-Series model. It is basically the full-size van that Ford has been offering in the European and Asian markets for many years.
Despite a recent make-over in these markets, Ford made further adjustments and refinements to this version of the Transit van, to account for the different uses and expectations of the American consumer.
In addition to the currently available wheelbases and lengths in the Econoline models, the Transit will offer a selection different heights, lower weight but increased payloads and reduced fuel consumption and maintenance costs. Of course, that will probably be offset by higher suggested retail prices, which are, as of this moment, not yet released.
Van buyers are offered the ultimate choice of three lengths in addition to three roof heights. The 2014 Transit features a low roof ( 56”int. / 83”ext. ), a medium roof ( 72”int. / 101”ext. ) and a high roof ( 82”int. / 110”ext. ), while supporting a 130 inch or 148 inch wheelbase and single- or dual rear wheels. Its rear cargo doors swing open up to 270 degrees and give complete access to the van.
The extended roof lines have led to improved interior heights, with heights that start with 56 inches for the low roof, 72 inches for the medium roof and 81 inches for the high roof model. With the latter one easily accommodating a full-size person.
The 6-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are implemented with your choice of the following engines.
- A standard 3.7-liter V6 engine.
- The optional 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that currently can be found in the Ford F-150. A good choice for towing in combination with the trailer towing package.
- The new 3.2-liter five-cylinder Power Stroke Diesel option.
The 2014 Transit has integrated the opening for filling the 26-gallon fuel tank with the driver’s side door.
The new design has resulted in improved fuel efficiency and substantially lower maintenance costs.
It looks and is spec’d remarkably similar to my Sprinter. Hope their diesel engine is as efficient or better. The Econoline diesels are not all that efficient. Hope their paint jobs are better too. It’s about time they brought this van to the US.
My experience with the European Transit Van tells me that this will be a solid replacement for the aging E-series. With emphasis on efficiency and lowering maintenance cost. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 is probably the best engine of the three available. Ford is still contemplating whether to offer a four-wheel drive option, which would be a great addition for some of us. Overall quality will be better than the Sprinter and most certainly than the Ram Pro Master (a.k.a. Fiat Ducato) which will be introduced around the same time.
This article leaves out the alternative fuel option. A propane/natural gas version will also be an option with the 3.7 V-6. With propane auto gas selling for $2.35 a gallon in my area I have been waiting for a V-6 propane powered van for a while. I won’t even give gasoline or diesel a 2nd. thought. Gasoline and diesel are now officially obsolete. Clean, domestically produced, plentiful, affordable propane is the only way to go. Even the long haul truckers can’t replace their diesel’s with natural gas fast enough. The only people buying the gas or diesel van will be the buyers that are unaware of the propane option.
You are right about the propane/natural gas option for the upcoming Ford Transit van and I fully agree with the clean and affordable nature of propane/natural gas.
However, there are a number of issues, which may make it a less desirable option. In my opinion, the main obstacle still is accessibility of the fuel. Unlike European countries, the United States has no real propane/gas infrastructure for automobiles. That may not be a problem where you live locally, but with an RV or a cargo van transformed into an RV, you might find yourself stuck in the boondocks. This may all change with the flood of domestic natural gas coming in the next couple of years.
Another issue is the price difference. On one side is the difference between natural gas and propane in addition to regional price variations. Then there is a reduced mileage for a gallon of propane in comparison to regular gasoline. On top of that is the additional cost for the conversion kit, making a good price comparison quite tricky.
As the vehicle will be equipped with the standard factory gasoline fuel system, the additional CNG/Propane fuel tanks will reduce available space inside the vehicle, which may be the biggest negative factor in any small RV conversion project.
You make very valid points. All of which I have already taken into consideration. 1 point you are not quite right on is the fueling stations for propane auto gas. True there is not as many as gasoline stations. However, there are 1000’s of propane stations, not natural gas. Look at a map of propane fueling stations and you will see. No problem for propane. Big problem for natural gas. Especially liquified natural gas. My state just got its first one! 1! Also with propane it qualifies as an alternative fuel so I will receive tax breaks plus fuel savings as long as propane doesn’t go up dramatically and gasoline comes down. My van will be used for business so I also will get an image boost when my customers see I am being “green”. Also, I think, but not sure yet, maybe you know, the alternative fuel version can run on gasoline OR propane. Since it comes with the standard gas fuel system. 70% of propane comes from natural gas so with the fracking boom taking place and natural gas production skyrocketing there should be plenty of excess propane to keep the price much lower than gasoline. I hope of course. That is the only concern I have is if the price of propane goes up dramatically.
Bring it on, I would like to drive a propane. Ace Hardware in our area all have propane refills plus camping centers and big box stores.
whe.n will they be out in 2013 need to find one
I have to somewhat disagree about the availability of propane. Although nationally, there is no shortage of fueling stations, locally they can be far apart and out-of-the-way. As propane might be a good choice if you drive mostly local, it may be more difficult while traveling from coast to coast. In my current location the nearest station is about 10 miles away with prices substantially higher than regular gasoline.
Average prices for natural gas are way more attractive, but as you said, fueling stations are far in between. That may change with the current glut in natural gas.
All this can be made easier with a bi-fuel system, where you can switch back to gas, but that has its drawbacks too. First, you have to keep using both fuels periodically as a matter of maintenance and secondly, it is a more expensive install.
After factory installation, by OEM installers makes the whole process inefficient and quite expensive, with an additional equipment cost of typically about $6,000 to $10,000 over the conventional vehicle base price. This makes it attractive primarily for fleet owners with high mileage use.
AFAIK, the new Ford Transit vans will follow the regular sales cycle, with the new 2014 models appearing in August or September.
Ford has not made any announcements about it yet and as it is a new product line from a revamped factory, it probably depends largely on when they can get those production lines run.
I just found out that the 2014 Ford Transit Body Configurator went live, which reveals a little more information about the new van.
This propane van by ford will not be able to fill up at a hardware store or your local KOA campground because it takes a special fueling nozzle for “Propane Auto Gas”. Fancy name, but it means the highway tax is included for highway vehicles. And in fact it is against the law for the campground or hardware store or even a gasoline station that sells propane on the side to fill a propane tank that will be used for highway use. Search propane auto gas fill stations and you will see a USA map with just over 2500 stations. Sure, in areas where there is not many people the filling stations are spaced out. For me the I-5 corridor is where I will be 99% of the time and the stations are plentiful. The U-Haul centers usually carry propane auto gas.
I just received an e-mail from Roush Clean Tech. They do the propane conversion. The propane van is a dedicated propane vehicle. Will not run on gasoline after the conversion. They change the A/F ratio, timing, and injector pulse width by modifying the calibration in the PCM. The 3.7L V-6 comes with harder valves and valve seats from ford to handle the propane. Compression ratio remains the same. Factory warranty stays the same.
Do you have an actual price for such a conversion? Or will it be part of the dealer price?
Roush Clean Tech tells me the MSRP for the propane fuel system is around $11,000, including installation + shipping. You will have 2 bills from the dealer. The invoice for the price of the van. The dealer then purchases the propane fuel system and installation from a Roush Clean Tech authorized distributor. Then they charge you retail price for the system. So in the end you have 2 bills. Roush Clean Tech named Knapheide and National Fleet Services as 2 authorized distributors. So Roush Clean Tech does the engineering of the system but not the installation.
This confirms my earlier price indications, although quite high for a one-fuel system.
I wonder what the MSRP would be if a similar system was factory-built?
At this price point, it’s only worthwhile for high-mileage drivers!
I agree it is a little pricey. It will be interesting what the dealer will try to charge me. I won’t be in the mood to pay list price AFTER buying a new vehicle from them. Still worth it. You will save $17,000 in fuel costs over the life of the van. Considered to be 150,000 miles. My 2000 E-150 has 170,000 on it and is still going strong. Just took a trip to Reno, Nevada over the weekend in my E-150. Gasoline in Reno was $3.90 for Reg. There is 5 propane filling stations in Reno. I called them all to get a price on propane. Varied from $2.90 to $3.29 per gallon, tax included. U-haul seems to always be the highest. My home in the Rogue Valley, Oregon, the price for gasoline is $3.50, at Costco, the cheapest in town. Down the road 1 mile is a propane filling station, $2.50, tax included. I cant wait to be driving my Ford Propane Transit!
Pricey is maybe not the right word, but if your numbers are correct, it’ll make you some money and you’ll be driving ‘green’ before anybody else.
If you go ahead and buy, it would be nice to get some actual numbers and see how reality catches up.
Don’t forget to enjoy your new Ford Transit!
I drive a 2001 dodge van dedicated CNG 500 miles per day…costs me 45 dollars (loaded almost 8000 lbs) due to CNG being 1.08 a gallon…please buy the CNG so I can get this used in a few years for half price!!
will the BIG TRANSIT VAN have rear wheels
Yes and in addition, they will come with front wheels too! lol.
As you are probably talking about the drivetrain, the 2014 Ford Transit Van comes with a rear-wheel-drive and a six-speed automatic transmission with overdrive.
The latest news is that the first new 2014 models will come off of the assembly line starting early 2014.
There is one important thing they never talk about : is the width of the interior van.
I hope it will be larger than the Mercedes-benz.
i’LL LIKE T KNOW THE PROCE OF THIS VEHICLE CARGO 110’2, LONG WHEEL BASE. THANKS.
Oh, and they will sell them like freshly baked bread! There is a unfilled gap right now, especially for small vans, since they stopped making Astros. I am surprised VW didn’t attempt to bring the Transporter here, but man, am I glad to see the new Transit coming soon.
For Tesaje, the platform used now by Ford and VW is the same one as for the Sprinter
This is what we will use to build our new camper van conversion, can’t WAIT!! booya!
Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait till next year before the first models will come off the assembly line. A precise date is still not released.
What model do you have a preference for and how do you plan to use it?
Long w.b., ext. body, high roof. Camper conversion. Thought it would be diesel, but now, after reading this, maybe propane. I thought multi-fuel vehicles could switch from one to the other easily.? 4-w.d. would be great also.
Since my last post I have found another alternative to Roush Clean Tech for converting my van to burn propane. AJ Automotive Group, Inc., makes a system they refer to as an “upgrade”. No modifications are made to the stock factory controls for emissions or engine control. Nothing is removed. No splicing into factory wires. 100% add on system. When complete my van will run on gasoline just like stock OR propane. About half the cost of the Roush System which is propane ONLY when done, they even remove the stock gas tank. The system can even be removed if I ever decide to sell the van and install it on another vehicle, not possible with a Roush system. You can go to driveonpropane dot com for more info. A few weeks ago Ford hired 1000 new employees to begin training to work on the assembly line to build the new Transit cargo van. The word is they will be rolling off the assembly line in the 2nd. quarter of the year. The wait is almost over!