By on December 10, 2012

Fans of Euro-vans rejoice. Ford has confirmed that the 2014 Transit, the most European of vans, will get a 3.2L 5-cylinder diesel engine to complement the 3.5L Ecoboost V6.

North American specs haven’t been announced, but European versions of this engine make 197 horsepower and 347 lb-ft of torque, with 90 percent of available twist produced at 1,700 and 3,500 rpm. The last time a diesel was offered on a full-size van was the 6.0L Powerstroke V8 on the E-Series. The new 5-cylinder will be mated to a 6-speed automatic. Sorry folks, no manual will be offered with the brown version pictured above.

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39 Comments on “2014 Ford Transit Gets 5-Cylinder Diesel...”


  • avatar
    Omnifan

    At least TTAC’s story is correct (as usual). Saw this report on a local station here in Detroit this morning, but they said it was the Transit Connect going to get the diesel. Showed a picture of Transit Connect too. Guess they got up too early today.

  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    This same powerplant had better be in several F150 test mules right now.

  • avatar
    WRohrl

    I assume you meant “the last time a diesel was offered in a full-size FORD van was…” as the Sprinter has always been Diesel.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    European versions of this engine make 197 horsepower and 347 lb-ft of torque,

    so are these the same size as E vans?

    it does look similar, then how do they have enuf juice to run them,
    my 6.9 was about 150HP not sure the torque, but is should be 200+ lbs or more.
    I keep having the impressions of Transits were the smaller van, similar to a full grown car with raised ceilings.

    • 0 avatar
      WRohrl

      The smaller one you are thinking of is the Transit Connect. The regular one (Transit) has been the name for the Ford van in Europe since the 60′s, size wise it is very similar to the Mercedes Sprinter. So compared to the E-Vans it seems a little narrower, definitely taller and a bit longer. In Europe is it available in several lengths, several heights and IIRC correctly you can have either FWD OR RWD, your choice. It’s probably more customizable from the factory than your average US pickup truck line.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        The Transit is substantially smaller than the Sprinter. It competes with the Mercedes Vito and VW Transporter, not the much-larger Mercedes Sprinter and VW Crafter twins.

        There are many variations of the Transit, but it’ll be roughly similar overall length as the Econoline (but with a longer cargo area), and slightly wider and taller. Probably lighter, but we’ll need to wait for the US specs.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Econoline
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Transit
        and
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes_Sprinter

  • avatar
    gslippy

    The only thing worse than a lumpy 5-cylinder is a lumpy 5-cylinder diesel. Yuk.

    • 0 avatar
      Ian Anderson

      It’s a work truck. It has to get the job done. That job is moving said truck, crew and materials around. As long as it does that, nothing else matters. If work truck buyers cared about smoothness we wouldn’t have 4.3L shakers (balance shaft or not) under the hood of Chevy pickups.

    • 0 avatar
      EquipmentJunkie

      I wholeheartedly disagree, gslippy. I’ve spent tens of thousands of miles behind the wheel of an ’05 Sprinter. That Mercedes 5-cylinder diesel is incredibly smooth, powerful, and efficient.

  • avatar
    Toad

    For delivery/work vans and light duty trucks this engine should be terrific; the owners will appreciate the torque and greater fuel efficiency.

    It’s not designed for the fast and furious or monster truck crowd.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    Why no stick shift? I know North America is the land of the slush box, but if I were a fleet manager I’d insist on having the option of a manual in order to save money on fuel (as I’m assuming that the 6 speed won’t be a DSG).

    • 0 avatar
      potatobreath

      Sinistermisterman, how much more fuel do you expect your crew to be able to save rowing a manual versus letting a modern 6-speed auto manage the shifts on a low-revving diesel? Is it possible that the 6-speed auto may outperform the manual depending on the driver?

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      As a fleet manager I rather perform maintenance on the A/T (at roughly 2500 hrs or more) than replacing clutches.

    • 0 avatar
      Ian Anderson

      Two words: Blown. Clutch.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      The manual/diesel/full size van market wins the award for the smallest automotive sub-market ever. Actual new vehicle buyers may number in the dozens.

      Every fleet manager I know puts automatic or automated transmissions in every vehicle they can. Most people cannot drive a manual, and those that can often don’t really know how to do so in a diesel (progressive shifting, using the torque at low rpm’s, etc). The few employees who want to drive a manual usually want to hoon with the company truck.

      Not to mention that talking on the phone and shifting leaves no hands on the steering wheel. Most fleet managers know that their drivers are going to use the phone while driving (despite any law or company policy), so the manual becomes less safe.

      Finally, a modern automatic/automated transmission with pre-programmed shift logic is far more efficient most drivers are, and is consistent with every shift, all day, every day.

      That’s why you won’t hear fleet managers crying for a manual.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        UPS trucks are mostly manuals…

      • 0 avatar
        TCragg

        I knew that the days of manual transmissions in light-to medium-duty vans were numbered when UPS began specing all of their new delivery vehicles after 2003 with automatics. Prior to that, UPS went out of their way to order even E-250s with a 4-speed manual, and most of the other package cars were equipped with manuals, including the diesels. UPS started using the Allison 1000 in most of their International-chassis vehicles as of about 2002. Now ALL of their North American vehicles are automatics, probably for the same reasons that most cars sold in NA are automatics: people can’t drive manuals anymore, and UPS figures the costs of automatic maintenance is less overall than replacing clutches. I worked at UPS for 13 years, so I have some insight into this.

      • 0 avatar
        rnc

        With UPS the real reason has nothing to do with not being able to drive sticks, it has to do with limiting repetitive motions for people who already work incredibly hard. They already have a very high WC rate for thier drivers and the constant repetitive motions of clutch in, gear change, clutch out (over and over again, especially in industrial parks and neighborhoods, adds up). Same thing that GM learned when it came to paying for retiree healthcare, treating thier employees like robots had a massive back-end cost.

      • 0 avatar
        TCragg

        RNC: you’re correct there as well. In the days where UPS trucks were manual-steering/manual transmission, we had a high number of injuries related to shoulders and knees. The steering and clutch either caused or exacerbated existing injuries. I myself often experienced sharp knee pain in my left leg when engaging the clutch, which could happen hundreds of times a day.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @Tcragg

        This must be a regional thing – I can assure you that in the Portland Maine area, package cars are mostly if not entirely manuals. Also checked with a buddy in CT who works for UPS – all his terminals trucks are manuals too. Of course, of the 10% of the market that still buys manuals, New England probably represents 95% of those sales. We Yankees are a stingy bunch.

        I don’t disagree with the manuals not saving fuel in this sort of application – since there is no expectation of performance and no “buff books” to satisfy, they actually CAN be programmed to be as efficient as possible. Can’t do it with regular cars, people would whine too much. And a delivery truck is no fun to drive anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      Sinistermisterman

      Fair enough. The last place I worked where we ran vehicles from this size all the way up to big rigs (or lorries as I once called them), the drivers were all professionals: i.e. they knew how to drive stick shift properly, but then again, this was back in the UK. I don’t recall one vehicle ever having to go in for a new clutch. When they did swap over to auto boxes on some of the delivery rigs, the fuel economy plummeted and you could guarantee that at least one was in the shop every few weeks (that and the drivers absolutely hated them). Then again, this was nearly 10 years ago, so I guess technology has moved along since then.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        The fleets will still be manual gearbox-equipped in Europe … with no blown clutches.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        I do love the look I get at Heathrow when I tell the car rental staff no worries, I can drive a stick.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        I’m calling hogwash. A clutch is moving mechanical part; it will wear out. The fuel economy doesn’t plummet and American buses use automatic transmissions without issues. Powerglide transmissions haven’t been in production for a long time. Then again, the Dover to Edinburgh run would be a normal day for an American truck driver; he wouldn’t be considered a long haul lorry driver. Don’t me started on lorries clogging the motorway because one driver found out his governed engine is two miles an hour faster than the guy he’s been passing for the last ten miles.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        @el scotto, *everything* on a car or truck will wear out. A clutch is certainly a wear item, but it lasts a long time as long as the driver(s) of the vehicle has a clue about how to use three pedals.

      • 0 avatar
        TCragg

        krhodes1: A good griend of mine is security manager for UPS in the South Portland centre. I’ll have to ask her what they’re running there. For UPS, the fleet mix depends entirely on the fleet age. Most of the original package cars in Canada were purchased during the Canadian expansion in the late ’70s/early ’80s, so there were a lot of vehicles around the same vintage, all with manuals. Since so much of the fleet was of the same vintage, the fleet turnover was very rapid, between 2002 and the present time. UPS has a reputation for keeping its vehicles for a long time (20-25 years), so there are likely still many of the old-style, Union City cars still active in the US. The London, ON centre, close to where I live, is virtually 80% newer (i.e., post-2000), all with autos and power steering. My experience was with the Canadian operations, specifically Southern Ontario and Alberta, so I can’t speak in detail about what the US operations were doing.

  • avatar
    crackers

    Anyone know what the price premium for the diesel is? Hopefully it’s not an $8K – $10K option like full size pickups.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    clutches are lots more expensive than upkeeping an automatic.
    and can really be abused badly.
    even auto slush box, if driver change direction aka forward to reverse or vice versa without having truck comes to a full stop is also pretty bad too!

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      You havent paid for an automatic transmission overhaul in the last dacade or so. The modern ones cost thousands to change out, vs way less than a grand for a clutch. The cost of a fluid change is not a valid comparison.

      The real issue is driver availability. Most E-series go to small businesses, not big fleets with formal training programs. You hire a plumber for his plumbing skills and check his driving record. Its unreasonable today to expect him to drive a manual. In most parts of the US, a “commercial” driver license is not required for anything under 40 feet long and without air brakes.

      • 0 avatar
        Sinistermisterman

        I guess that’s why my point got shouted down regarding having a stick shift option. I didn’t realise that any average Joe with a drivers license can drive very large goods vehicles in North America (dependent on the State/Province), whilst back where I came from in the UK, you have to have a license for any vehicle over 7.5 tons GVW. And whilst getting ‘seven and a half tunner’ license isn’t anywhere near as difficult as getting a license for the big trucks, you still have to be able to drive stick without any problems.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Make a 4×4 version with a little extra height and I’ll replace my Land Cruiser with it if gas keeps going up. I don’t run the Rubicon and this would be a great camping platform that would keep me from needing to load up a trailer or rooftop tent.

    • 0 avatar
      Diewaldo

      Something like this?

      http://www.ford.de/Nutzfahrzeuge/FordTransitNugget

      Also it is available in Europe without cargo bed in order to make a custom built (camping van) out of it:

      http://www.ford.de/Nutzfahrzeuge/BasisfahrzeugeReisemobile

      The final results look such as this:

      http://www.fermodes.de/pictures/autonews/01295-gross.jpg

  • avatar
    BMWnut

    I only have one question. Will the new Transit be fast enough for Sabine Schmitz to break through the ten minute barrier around the Nurburgring?


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