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I'm pretty sure it is fundamentally the same vehicle. This aligns with the current "One Ford" strategy (having the same vehicles offered globally, instead of different vehicles in different parts of the world as was past Ford practice).

Sadly for us 'mericans, we won't be getting the front-wheel drive and all-wheel-drive options with the Transit. I assume that Ford thinks that we have a prejudice against front-wheel-drive, thinking that only rear-wheel-drive is robust enough for a truck.

If you look closely at the rear of the North American Transit (rear-wheel-drive) with the doors open, you can see that the floor is raised relative to where the door theshold is. I assume that in the European front-wheel-drive version, the floor is lower (and is even with the rear door threshold), for the same reason that the ProMaster claims to have the lowest floor (no driveshaft, no differential, etc).

Having a low floor is a big benefit to me, so I'm sold on the ProMaster.
 

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The link above is very intersting. If we look at the "all new Transit" section, it shows pictures of the same van we will be getting in the US plus a write up that states the following:



Choose the right size for your business
The all-new Transit will be available in a variety of bodystyles: Van and Double Cab-in-Van (all with increased load length and loadspace and optional high roof) plus Chassis Cab, Double Cab and Bus variants. With a choice of Front Wheel Drive, Rear Wheel Drive and All Wheel Drive, up to five different body lengths and Gross Vehicle Mass options ranging from 2,900 kgs to 4,700 kgs, you’re sure to find a vehicle that measures up perfectly.



So unless they are being very liberal with their size-range description to include the smaller Transits too (like Transit Connect), it seems clear Ford plans to offer the new Transit in FWD and AWD in Europe. I expect that if the PM is very successful here Ford won't have an option but to offer at least the FWD here too.


By the way, the present full-size Transit in Europe that comes in both FWD and RWD have the floor dropped by exactly 10 CM, or just under 4 inches. The specs also show that the RWD vans are taller, so the load height at the rear doors is more like in the range of 16 to 18 CM higher, or roughly about 6 to 7 inches.
 

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I don't see why there is an aversion to FWD with these cargo vans. The added benefit of more cargo space because of the lower floor seems like a huge reason to embrace it. Sure it will affect how the van drives a bit, but it is still functional . It still does what you need it to do and now you have more space. Just doesn't make sense to me.
 

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So unless they are being very liberal with their size-range description to include the smaller Transits too (like Transit Connect), it seems clear Ford plans to offer the new Transit in FWD and AWD in Europe. I expect that if the PM is very successful here Ford won't have an option but to offer at least the FWD here too.

Considering the glacial pace of change that occurs with cargo vans in the US hoping for a FWD Transit anytime soon seems unrealistic. These vehicles have 20+ years between major updates, the current Econoline design came out in 1992! I just don't think the volumes are high enough for manufactures to make more frequent changes.
 

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Considering the glacial pace of change that occurs with cargo vans in the US hoping for a FWD Transit anytime soon seems unrealistic. These vehicles have 20+ years between major updates, the current Econoline design came out in 1992! I just don't think the volumes are high enough for manufactures to make more frequent changes.
It wouldn't be a product change if already manufactured in Europe. The FWD models could be imported just like Sprinters. And if demand is high enough then manufacturing could be set up in US too.

By the way, do we know what Ford will do with new Transit replacement in other markets in the Americas? Will they only get RWD only like US? There is a lot we don't know yet in my opinion.
 

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I don't see why there is an aversion to FWD with these cargo vans. The added benefit of more cargo space because of the lower floor seems like a huge reason to embrace it. Sure it will affect how the van drives a bit, but it is still functional . It still does what you need it to do and now you have more space. Just doesn't make sense to me.
It sounds like you assume changes to how it drives will be negative, but I'm not sure that should be the case. FWD handling and ride "should" be better due to lower center of gravity, inherent stability, and much lower unstrung mass. The biggest issue with FWD is traction when fully loaded, and for the PM even that shouldn't be a big issue because about 2/3 of weight when empty is over driven wheels. And that's a lot better than most RWD vans when empty. If loaded right a PM could maintain an advantage most of the time. We'll see what happens when PMs encounter winter snow and ice.
 

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Europeans have PMs going on far worse terrain than virtually anywhere here outside of Moab and the Badlands, and there don't seem to be any real major complaints. If FWD had issues, it would be mentioned in every RV forum there.

Time will tell, especially after this winter.
 

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[QUOTE=Chance;19097]It wouldn't be a product change if already manufactured in Europe. The FWD models could be imported just like Sprinters. And if demand is high enough then manufacturing could be set up in US too.

I am all for as many versions as possible of the Transit being sold in the US. My point is domestic cargo vans receive little attention due to the small production numbers. I suspect Ford has done their market research & are quivering in their boots about consumer acceptance over changing to a unibody design from the body on frame. Going to FWD is a leap too far at this point.
 

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This discussion reminds me of when the US auto industry first started going FWD. A lot of folks were afraid of it. Personally I think it's a plus.
Also, I don't think we'll see the Transit being built in Missouri having the FWD option at least in this new generation van. Ford is so big in the fleet business, things don't change very fast there
 

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[QUOTE=Chance;19097]It wouldn't be a product change if already manufactured in Europe. The FWD models could be imported just like Sprinters. And if demand is high enough then manufacturing could be set up in US too.

I am all for as many versions as possible of the Transit being sold in the US. My point is domestic cargo vans receive little attention due to the small production numbers. I suspect Ford has done their market research & are quivering in their boots about consumer acceptance over changing to a unibody design from the body on frame. Going to FWD is a leap too far at this point.
And yet the ProMaster van is both FWD and of unibody construction. If the PM starts to threaten Ford market share in the van segment, what makes you think Ford would sit on their hands? Makes no sense. Now, whether the PM is a great success as in Europe is something neither you or I can know at this point.

And for what it's worth old Dodge and GM vans had unitized-type construction and not body on frame. So that in itself isn't all that new. Sprinters aren't body on frame either.
 

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Where we are at present with US vans makes me think Sprinter is concerned for keeping their 10% market share. They will be getting lots of competition for their formerly exclusive tall van product, & folks will have gas & diesel options to choose from both Ford & Chrysler, for less money as well.
As to FWD Transit, Ford will have 2 small vans in the Transit Connect with 2 different lengths(FWD). They will have 3 different lengths & 3 available heights in the Transit. Compared to their current offerings it is a huge increase in vehicles in the van market. It doesn't seem to me that there is much room for a van between the longest Transit Connect & the shortest/ smallest Transit. I know they have it in Europe. Anyone want a small wagon from GM or Ford? Cruze & Focus are in Europe, I have read they don't bring them here as they would cut into their crossover market. Perhaps the FWD Transit would just take sales from the smallest RWD Transit.
 

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The new Ford Transit looks more modern to me than the PM, but the "automotive" styling comes at the cost of utility. The PM may look more like an ugly box, particularly from the rear, but that translates to cargo efficiency. The biggest Transit is still about 30+ cubic feet smaller than the largest PM. And to get to that size the Transit has to be over a foot longer and also much taller.

What I really dislike about the Transit is that the longest model to compete in size with largest PM and Sprinters has a much shorter wheelbase. So Ford tacks on a long 28 inch rear extension which looks out of place and probably doesn't work great either unless van has dual rear wheels. And that Jumbo model doesn't come with a lower roof if someone didn't want more than 6-ft headroom.

And the next smaller Transit without the long rear extension isn't even close to PM in cargo volume. Ford may sell many on brand loyalty or based on it being RWD, but on utility it will have to compete like never before except for buyers who need to tow large trailers. I'm assuming Transits will tow much more than PM's 5100 pounds and that's not a given.
 

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The biggest issues (in my opinion) about the Transit:

1: It isn't out yet.
2: A lot of specs are up in the air.
3: Completely new drivetrains. Ford is an innovative company, but sometimes they have duds, so I like waiting a model year or two before they got everything nailed down tight.
4: EcoBoost diesels might be OK in grocery-getter F-150s that might tow something on occasion, but for vehicles that are 10,000 pounds on a constant basis, the jury is still out on the engine. Ford needs to see about an EcoBoost V-8 to replace their venerable V-10, but still keep the torque and horses up to par.

So, right now, the biggest PM advantage is that it is on the roads while the Transit is still a series of CAD/CAM files. This time next year, it might be different.
 

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The new Ford Transit looks more modern to me than the PM, but the "automotive" styling comes at the cost of utility. The PM may look more like an ugly box, particularly from the rear, but that translates to cargo efficiency. The biggest Transit is still about 30+ cubic feet smaller than the largest PM. And to get to that size the Transit has to be over a foot longer and also much taller.

What I really dislike about the Transit is that the longest model to compete in size with largest PM and Sprinters has a much shorter wheelbase. So Ford tacks on a long 28 inch rear extension which looks out of place and probably doesn't work great either unless van has dual rear wheels. And that Jumbo model doesn't come with a lower roof if someone didn't want more than 6-ft headroom.

And the next smaller Transit without the long rear extension isn't even close to PM in cargo volume. Ford may sell many on brand loyalty or based on it being RWD, but on utility it will have to compete like never before except for buyers who need to tow large trailers. I'm assuming Transits will tow much more than PM's 5100 pounds and that's not a given.
While I don't want a really ugly vehicle to haul cargo in , I also think that the looks of a cargo van are really low on my priority list. I would far rather have more function than style. I mean even the nicest looking cargo van is not going to look that nice, so you might as well give up on having the best looking cargo van.
 

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The biggest issues (in my opinion) about the Transit:

1: It isn't out yet.
2: A lot of specs are up in the air.
3: Completely new drivetrains. Ford is an innovative company, but sometimes they have duds, so I like waiting a model year or two before they got everything nailed down tight.
4: EcoBoost diesels might be OK in grocery-getter F-150s that might tow something on occasion, but for vehicles that are 10,000 pounds on a constant basis, the jury is still out on the engine. Ford needs to see about an EcoBoost V-8 to replace their venerable V-10, but still keep the torque and horses up to par.


The Transit drivetrains are not new. The 3.7 6spd has been available in the F150 since 2011. The Ecoboost is not a diesel, it is a turbo v6 gas motor & has been out for about 2-3 years. The Transit diesel is currently used in Rangers in non US markets.
Some specs are available at transitusaforum.
 
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