From 2013, Ford are seeking to extend their manufacturing arm of the evergreen Transit to Kansas City. As part of the $1.1 billion investment in the Missouri plant, production lines will be installed to launch the Transit to the US consumer market.
For almost 50 years, Ford have produced the Transit in a variety of models and sold more than six million vehicles over the range, in total. This has given the legendary van a whole fan base across Europe due to the versatility of it’s innumerable variations in length, height and pulling power.
Initial plans for the manufacturing facility in Kansas will see the rear-wheel version being made for next year’s launch, with a four-wheel model being considered, depending upon the take up of the van in its early days.
The current cubic capacities available in Europe are initially a 2.2l, with a slight increase to the next level up, the 2.4l, both with 4-cylinder engines. If your business calls for a larger capacity engine, you can opt for a 3.2l five cylinder version, but you will take the hit on your van insurance for this step up to the five cylinder version. To be fair, you’d expect that from a van that delivers 200 brake horse power.
However, that will be nothing compared to the van insurance that the US consumer will be expected to shell out for the engine that Ford plan to drop in the model being built in Kansas City. It dwarfs the UK and European model, in comparison.
As is the wont with the US market, bigger is better, regardless of the size of the carbon footprint. They are to be blessed with a 3.7l V6 300bhp engine – is there any need? It is the same block that goes into the Ford F150, so there is some mileage in leveraging engine assembly where it already exists, so the US drivers will be aware of the cost of van insurance that goes alongside an engine delivering that much output.
Renault, Nissan and Daimler also announced recently that they will be looking to cost-save by collaborating on Mercedes engine assembly in the US, the first time the German company has not exported its engines to the US complete.