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Ford Transit Connect Gets Diesel Engine in Chicago

Ford Transit Connect Gets Diesel Engine in Chicago

New EcoBlue unit promises at least 30 mpg

Ford’s smallest van, the Transit Connect, has just received a facelift at the 2018 Chicago Motor Show. Exterior updates are mild and interior upgrades are mostly about new tech and options, but there’s big news under the skin, in the form of a brand-new diesel engine.

The outer shell of the van remained largely unchanged on the sides and around back, but the front fascia now sports the company’s latest corporate face. The large grille seen in the newer models found its way on the Transit Connect, as did slightly bigger headlamps, and a revised, sportier bumper. Inside the cabin, there’s a reshaped dashboard with a cleaner center stack, with a 6.5-inch touchscreen floating on top. The display is optional though. The instrument cluster now has a digital information center. Ford now offers wireless charging, with Waze compatibility to be introduced soon.

Moving over to tech, the Automatic Emergency Braking system comes standard with the segment-exclusive Pre-Collision Assist. The optional Adaptive Cruise Control system makes highway driving easier by automatically slowing the vehicle when radar detects traffic ahead. The available Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert rounds off the driver assist package. Continue reading to find out about the engine lineup.

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Ford Idling F-150, Transit Assembly Plant for One Week

Ford Idling F-150, Transit Assembly Plant for One Week

Maintenance and inventory reduction are lead factors

Ford Motor Company is planning to idle F-150 and Transit van production for one week during January at its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri. The time will be used primarily to help reduce Ford’s supply of the trucks and vans as consumer demand wanes. Facility maintenance will also be performed during the down time, scheduled for January 2 through 9.

Production of the F-150 will continue uninterrupted at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant.

Ford says it has a 108-day supply of Transit vans, up from an 83-day supply at this time last year. The F-Series pickups currently have an 85-day supply, which is actually down from an 87-day supply last year.

The Kansas City Assembly Plant employs roughly 7,400 workers and runs three shifts around the clock. Employees will be retained for the week-long stint. This marks the second time in four months Ford has idled the Kansas City Plant. Back in October of 2016, the plant, along with four other Ford manufacturing facilities, halted production for a week.

Other automakers are doing the same. General Motors is having to go a step further come 2017. The automaker is planning to idle a number of its small car assembly plants in order to realign its output supply the slowing customer demand for compact and mid-size cars. Come January, GM will begin laying off nearly 3,300 workers as it cuts production shifts in three of its assembly plants in Michigan and Ohio.

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Ford Issues Three Recalls in the U.S. for Various Problems

Ford Issues Three Recalls in the U.S. for Various Problems

Recalls are just a way of life these days.

Recalls used to be something that didn’t really happen all that often, but these days, it seems like every manufacturer is taking a bite of shame pie. Ford is the most recent company to pop out recalls this month. Two of the recalls are safety related, and one is compliance related, leading to more than 100,000 vehicles affected. The first and most important involves Ford Taurus, Ford Flex, Ford Police Interceptor sedan, and the Lincoln MKS and MKT models built for the 2013 to 2015 model years. These models, if equipped with the twin-turbo, 3.5-liter V-6 could have a faulty fuel pump control module that could cause the engine to stall while driving, increasing the risk of an accident. A total of 88,151 of these vehicles are affected.

The next recall is also fuel related and involves the 2015 to 2016 Ford Transit with a 3.2-liter diesel engine. This model could have been equipped with a faulty fuel injection pump that could prevent the engine from starting. No injuries or accidents have been associated with this recall, but I’m sure a few owners have been pretty unhappy when their almost-new Transit failed to start in the morning. A total of 2,472 Transit vans are included in this recall.

The final recall involves the power window system of the 2017 Ford Escape. According to Ford, “the power window system configuration may exceed the regulatory requirement for remote actuation closing force, increasing the risk of injury.” So in other words, you, your child, or your dog could get one of your extremities pinched inside the window when it is being rolled up. A total of 23,150 examples of the 2017 Escape are affected and can be repaired with a simple update to the vehicle’s onboard computer software.

Before you call the dealer to schedule your appointment, you can head over to the NHTSA’s website and plug in your vehicle’s VIN to see if it is affected by these or any other recall campaigns on file.

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This Man Owns More than 6,000 Ford Transit Vans

This Man Owns More than 6,000 Ford Transit Vans

Actual vans, scale models, posters, mugs, you name it...

There’s nothing wrong with falling in love with the car you drive on a daily basis, but what happens when things go a bit too far? Well, you end up like Peter Lee, a man who loves the Ford Transit so much that he has more than 6,000 of them.

No need to panic though, not all of them are the real deal. Most of his Transits are scale model cars and he’s been collecting them for over 40 years. He’s gathered enough to set up a small Transit museum in his home, where the "6,000 to 7,000" model cars (yes, he has lost count!) are displayed next to all sorts of memorabilia items about the iconic vehicle. This includes posters, boxes, mugs, stress balls, and even a cookie jar shaped like a van.

Granted, we’ve seen petrolheads go nuts about a certain marque or model before, but finding someone that’s so pasionate about a van is definitely new. So why is Peter so crazy about the Ford Transit and not a more iconic car such as the Ferrari 250 GTO or Jaguar E-Type? Well, as he explains in the video above, it all began when he purchased his first real Transit and drove it from the United Kingdom to Spain. After spending 13 months in it, he began accumulating the brochures, memorabilia, and die-cast cars of all sizes that decorate the second floor of his house.

Lee also owns a few full-size vans as well, starting with a model from the Transit’s first year on the market, 1965. It looks as if it was purchased from the factory only yesterday and resides next to a 1969 model year van converted into an ambulance. Peter’s third Transit is really special. A 1970s Custom, it features a custom paint job and interior, which houses a bar that includes a Jack Daniels whiskey dispenser. He also owns a 1980s model, as well as a current-generation van he drives on a regular basis.

Although he’s been collecting for over 40 years and barely has any room left in his house, Peter Lee doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon. "Yeah, I am buying a lot more, but I’ve always bought a lot anyway. I’ve never ever curbed myself in any way, shape or form," he says.

Well, as long as he’s also planning to buy a bigger house, purchasing more Transit vans shouldn’t be an issue.

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Ford Introduces EcoBlue Turbodiesel Engine For Europe

Ford Introduces EcoBlue Turbodiesel Engine For Europe

The first in a family of EcoBlue turbodiesels that replaces the DuraTorq lineup

Ford Europe has broken news of an all-new 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine set to replace the current 2.2-liter DuraTorq four-cylinder in several commercial vans, while being prepared to power future passenger cars. Piggybacking off the recognition of the EcoBoost brand, Ford is calling the turbodiesel the EcoBlue.

The engine is said to be more efficient, cleaner, and more powerful than the outgoing DuraTorq. It will meet or exceed the stringent Euro 6 emissions standards thanks to a urea injection system within the exhaust. The 2.0-liter EcoBlue will come in various states of tune, ranging from 99 horsepower up to 237 horsepower. Likewise, torque will range from 266 pound-feet to 299 pound-feet.

“Ford’s EcoBoost created a new standard for petrol engines – smaller, more efficient with surprising performance. That same obsession to innovate for the customer is behind our new Ford EcoBlue diesel engine range,” said Jim Farley, chairman and CEO of Ford of Europe. “This new engine lifts fuel efficiency and reduces CO2 by over 10 percent in Transit, part of Europe’s best-selling commercial vehicle line-up, lowering costs for our customers.”

The EcoBlue engine will debut in the Transit and Transit Custom vans, but will eventually make its way to other products. Ford says a 1.5-liter version is in the works as well.

The engine utilizes a host of high-tech innovations, such as an offset crank that reduces piston side-load; a motorized and geared wastegate actuator for quicker response; a belt-in-oil design that drive the camshaft and oil pump; and an optimized combustion chamber said to be more efficient than any diesel Ford has ever made. The engine also features Ford’s first mirror-image inlet design for the intake manifold and a low-inertia turbo that features “rocket engine materials,” more technically called Inconel alloy that is resistant to extremely high temperatures.

The turbo’s compressor wheels are milled from a single piece of metal, with tolerances down to three microns, which is the size of a single bacterium. The engine is fueled by high-pressure fuel injectors that can deliver up to six injections per combustion event while being quieter than before. The

All this is done to make the engine more efficient, quieter, and longer lasting. Ford says it racked up more than 3.4 million miles on the engine during durability testing, which also included 250,000 mile of actual use by real-world customers.

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UAW May Strike at Ford's Kansas City Assembly Plant, Disrupting F-150 Production

UAW May Strike at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant, Disrupting F-150 Production

Ford’ s Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri is under threat of strike by the UAW Local 249 if the automaker and union cannot come to an agreement before Sunday, October 4, 2015. According to UAW leaders, Ford had failed to resolve issues surrounding worker safety, wages, and other employment issues.

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2015 Ford Transit Gets Ready For School

2015 Ford Transit Gets Ready For School

Ford is ready to take you to school – or maybe just your kids next fall. Meet the Blue Bird Micro Bird T-Series bus, Blue Bird’s latest iteration of the short bus built atop the Ford Transit chassis cab with the bus prep package.

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2015 Ford Transit Gets Ready For School

2015 Ford Transit Gets Ready For School

Ford is ready to take you to school – or maybe just your kids next fall. Meet the Blue Bird Micro Bird T-Series bus, Blue Bird’s latest iteration of the short bus built atop the Ford Transit chassis cab with the bus prep package.

This marks the first time both Blue Bird and the Transit have come together. Traditionally, the Ford E-Series chassis cab has served this role, but with Ford beginning its phase-out, the Transit is getting some attention. The result nets plenty of benefits, including better fuel economy, a lower floor height, and increased outward visibility.

The T-Series bus is available in two wheelbases, with single or dual rear wheels, and with space ranging from nine to 25 passengers. The Transit offer all three of its engine options here as well, meaning school districts can choose between the 3.7-liter V-6, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, or the 3.2-liter inline five-cylinder Power Stroke turbodiesel. All three engines come mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Ford’s SelectShift and tow/haul mode.

What’s more, school districts can opt to run CNG or propane with the 3.7-liter V-6 by choosing the gaseous prep package. For those taking the diesel route, the 3.2-liter is B20-capable, so it can run on a 20 percent mix of biodiesel. As far as capability, the Transit T-Series has a lighter curb weight, which directly translates to an improved payload capacity that maxes out at 10,360 pounds.

Like the conventional Transit, bus prep package Transits are produced at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant but come with a heavy-duty alternator, dual batteries, an auxiliary fuse panel, an auxiliary HVAC prep package, and the right-hand door delete. That door delete allows upfitters to install a large window and the two-panel bus doors where the right passenger would normally sit.

Blue Bird is only one of several bus upfitters, including Collins Bus Corporation, Thomas Built Buses, and Starcraft Bus.

UPDATE 05/28/2015: The article previously stated the Ford E-Series went out of production. While that’s true for the E-Series Wagon, Ford says the Chassis Cab will soldier on till the end of the decade.

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Quigley Motors' 4x4 Ford Transit Takes on the 2015 Easter Jeep Safari: Video

Quigley Motors’ 4x4 Ford Transit Takes on the 2015 Easter Jeep Safari: Video

Quigley has been up-fitting full-size vans with four-wheel-drive for decades, including those from GM, Nissan, and Ford, and now has begun transforming Ford’s newest van – the Transit.

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Quigley Motors' 4x4 Ford Transit Takes on the 2015 Easter Jeep Safari: Video

Quigley Motors’ 4x4 Ford Transit Takes on the 2015 Easter Jeep Safari: Video

Quigley has been up-fitting full-size vans with four-wheel-drive for decades, including those from GM, Nissan, and Ford, and now has begun transforming Ford’s newest van – the Transit.

Yep, Quigley will turn any rear-wheel-drive Transit van into a 4WD monster with enough guts to tread where only Jeeps dare. That includes Moab, Utah where Quigley recently demonstrated its development van known as “Little Red” at the 2015 Easter Jeep Safari.

The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 Transit powers up the slick rocks with ease thanks in part to the BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires, a taller ride height, and of course the 4WD system.

The Pennsylvania-based company uses a majority of off-the-shelf Ford parts in the conversion process. This keeps cost down while making finding parts and doing future repairs mush simpler. For the Transit, Quigley uses the front differential, axle haft shafts, and automatic locking hubs from the 2015 F-150. Because of space limitations, the manually activated, two-speed T-case is an older design, but is sourced from Ford’s original parts supplier who still makes the unit. Mounting the transfer case to the Transit’s unibody chassis is done with a custom-built cradle. Also custom-built is the main driveshaft that powers the stock rear end.

Best of all, Quigley’s conversions come with the same five-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty as the van and are available by order through any Ford dealership. “We’ve got vans on all seven continents,” says Todd Quigley, Vice President of Engineering and Operations. “They’re even running in Antarctica and across lava beds in Hawaii.”

Mercedes is the only automaker currently offering a 4WD van with its newly revised Sprinter.

Continue reading for a full photo gallery of "Little Red"

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Ford's Future Product Plans Unveiled, Mustang to get a 10-Speed Gearbox

Ford’s Future Product Plans Unveiled, Mustang to get a 10-Speed Gearbox

2014 is shaping up to be a great year for Ford. The redesigned Mustang is set to go on sale as the first version of the pony to reach global markets, while the new-generation F-150 introduces the aluminum body to the pickup-truck segment. New additions also include the revised Expedition SUV and Transit van, introduced for the first time in North America as a replacement for the long-running E Series.

2015 will be equally busy, with several new or refreshed vehicles to hit dealer lots. The new Super Duty trucks, the Edge crossover, and the restyled Focus are the most important additions that come to mind. But Ford has a lot more going on for the remainder of the decade, according to Automotive News, who managed to obtain more details about what Ford may have in store for the next three years. Read on to find out more about Ford’s future product plans.

Click past the jump to read more about Ford’s upcoming vehicle lineup

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Vandemonium Hits Fever Pitch With 10 Customized Ford Transit Connect Vehicles

Vandemonium Hits Fever Pitch With 10 Customized Ford Transit Connect Vehicles

Ford is living up to the hype of Vandemonium with an armada of heavily modified Ford Transit Connect vans at the 2013 SEMA Auto Show.

It seems like an odd choice to showcase vans at the world’s premier aftermarket auto show, but the Blue Oval is determined to show that these family rides can be turned into something more than its billed and the company is going all out with it.

A total of 10 Ford Transit Connect vans are heading to SEMA, each packing its own unique set of modifications that distinct character traits, while also showcasing the surprising versatility and sophisticated appeal of the company’s resident people-mover.

Of the 10 models, Ford has already unveiled nine of ’em, including the Blood & Grease, which transforms the Trasit Connect Cargo in what’s described as a "high-end fashion boutique on four wheels".

Pretty interesting description, but its not the only model that was treated to an aftermarket upheaval.

There’s also the Impulse Marketing & Media Transit Connect Cargo, which has been turned into a baked goods delivery vehicle; the CGS Motosrports’ Transit Connect that has effectively become a mobile speed shop for the drag strip; the K-Daddyz Kustomz Transit Connect that was turned into a veritable mobile workplace for graphic design; the LGE*CTS Motorsports Transit Connect Wagon that has somehow morphed into a Cross Country cruiser with state-of-the-art technology; the Mobsteel Transit Connect Cargo that was not only lowered to essentially kiss the ground, but created as the ultimate mobile billboard promoting the Detroit Steel Wheel Company.

Those are just a few of the modified Transit Connect vans that are coming to SEMA. More are expected to be revealed in the coming days leading up to the show opening its doors in a little over a week.

Click past the jump to read about the 2014 Ford Transit Connect Cargo

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2014 Ford Transit Connect Cargo

2014 Ford Transit Connect Cargo

Ford’s all-new 2014 Transit Connect has broken cover ahead of its arrival in American showrooms during the first quarter of 2014. Big changes to the TC commercial van mean it now offers a long-wheelbase version and an EcoBoost power upgrade. The new model’s fuel economy is expected to easily top 30 mpg on the highway, with base pricing around just $23,000.

The Transit Connect now comes in commercial or passenger flavors, with the passenger model called the TC Wagon and the panel van called the Cargo. This new generation of Transit Connect brings a major overhaul in interior comfort and technology, while also bringing a slightly cool boy-racer image to the TC Cargo’s boxy styling.

The low ride height and sporty nose are the first items to make an impression, and both are a quantum leap ahead of the jutting nose of the current models. Still a front-drive configuration, the TC Cargo now has twin sliding doors and a choice of tailgate designs. Inside the customizable back cab, a large jump in practicality means both more cubic-feet of space and a much greater payload than ever offered before on the Transit Connect.

The Transit Connect will be followed to market by the company’s next-gen, full-size work van – the rear-drive Ford Transit – that is scheduled to arrive in dealers in spring 2014.

The FordTransit Connect Cargo must duke it out with the Nissan NV200, Chevrolet City Express and the Ram Cargo Van for small business sales.

Are the Ford’s sporty new looks, extra space and a redesigned cockpit enough for the TC Cargo to sweep the fleet van championship?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Ford Transit Connect Cargo, with all the latest information from Ford on the van’s specifications and new EcoBoost engine option.

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2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon

2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon

Ford’s little commercial vehicle that could, the Transit Connect, is completely fresh for 2014 with new styling, multiple length and roof sizes, and a new EcoBoost option. Another first is a seven-passenger MPV variant called the Transit Connect Wagon. The passenger model will be offered in short or long wheelbase configuration, arriving in U.S. dealers in October with prices expected to start in the $24,000 ballpark.

As useful as full-size vans are, even Ford’s brand-new, enormous 2014 Transit cargo van is not ideal for light commercial duties like doggie daycare pickup or flower delivery. Ford’s elderly E-series vans are equally unsuitable for dropping kids off at school - so the latest Transit Connect Wagon has a willing market among van-deprived Ford loyalists.

The Transit Connect Wagon is a five-seater in the short-wheelbase configuration, and up to a seven-seater on the longer length option. This is no compact car - the larger TC Wagon has a 121-inch wheelbase.

Both vans come with dual sliding doors and an available one-piece power tailgate preferred by moms. How does this hot new Ford stack up versus the Mazda5 or Nissan Quest?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon, with a full image gallery of the exterior design and interior layouts.

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2014 Ford Transit

2014 Ford Transit

There’s a big shakeup taking place in the full-size van and truck market as Ford prepares to replace its wretched Econoline with a far superior vehicle called the Transit. At first, the setup for the new Transit seems all wrong, as a uni-body is the polar opposite of the traditional body-on-frame truck construction.

The Transit is indeed a big change for a group of hard-working van buyers who are scarily familiar with all the gritty details of the Econolines they’ve run for the last 50 years. The Transit, at first, looks like a botched Euro import, but in fact, Ford’s spent years of planning, engineering and customizing the global Transit line to make sure it answers every question asked of the Econoline by American van buyers.

Part of the admirable and smart “One Ford” strategy, the Dearborn teams take a long, hard look at which of their worldwide models is best fit to tackle global challenges. In the case of the Mustang, it turns out Europe has been clamoring for it all along, so the next-gen car will be sold in Europe and in many more global markets than ever before. In the case of the large commercial van market, the Transit is simply a far better model than the Econoline in terms of fitness for purpose, modern safety and efficiency needs.

Yes, it is a V-6 uni-body without off-road options or the four-wheel-drive system of some Econolines. As we’ll discover over the full review of the lineup, these things bring only benefits but keep the core attributes: a dozen plus different body styles and engine configurations, massive passenger or cargo payload ratings, better performance and economy, more comfort, more tech and finally, more safety.

As Ford educates and comforts the long-trenched Econoline market, the two models will briefly overlap before the eventual phase-out of the E-series altogether after 2015. Let me be the first to say it: good riddance Econoline!

Click past the jump for the full review and image gallery of the 2014 Ford Transit.

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2014 Ford Transit Connect

2014 Ford Transit Connect

Ford’s Transit Connect is preparing to enter a new generation and today we have the very first spy shots to prove it. While Ford is trying to keep the model a secret, we expect to see both a passenger model with five and possibly seven seats, as well as a two seater commercial model.

While the prototype is heavily camouflaged, you can easily notice that the front end will be more car-like and borrows some styling from the Fiesta and Ka, especially the head lights and grille. At the back, there are thinner and longer rear lights. This prototype has the roof-hinged one piece hatch, but the Transit Connect will be offered with two side hinged doors as well.

The engine line-up for the Transit will include a 1.6 or 1.8 Duratorq TDCi turbodiesel engine, but a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated Duratec engine will also be offered.

The new generation Ford Transit Connect will be offered in both Europe and on the US market as a 2014 model.

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2010 - 2012 Ford Transit Connect Electric

2010 - 2012 Ford Transit Connect Electric

The storm created by the electric powertrains didn’t surround only the passengers cars, as commercial vehicles were also involved. One of the most popular commercial vehicles converted to run on electricity was Ford’s Transit Connect. The electric version of the model was created in collaboration with Azure Dynamics. Unfortunately, the production was stopped in March 2012, due to Azure’s financial difficulties.

The Transit Connect Electric is equipped with a 55 kilowatt electric drivetrain system which uses a 600 pound 28 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery. The battery pack offers a pretty limited range of 56 miles.

Apart from the electric drive train, the Ford Transit Connect Electric didn’t receive any other significant modifications and continue to be as practical as it’s conventional powered cousin.

Even if for the moment the Connect Electric went out of production, we can dare to hope for future Electric versions of the van, because Ford’s engineers are currently spending a lot of time in trying to crack the nut of electric powertrains.

Hit the jump for more information on the Ford Transit Connect Electric.

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