Those who haven’t been living in a cave the last few years are well aware of just how hot off-roading and overlanding has become. And to its credit, Ford has capitalized on this trend by producing a host of rugged all-new vehicles like the forthcoming Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport, along with new variants for existing models like the F-150 Raptor and Ranger Raptor. Now, we can add two all-new Ford Transit models to that list – the Transit Trail and Transit Custom Trail.
The new Transit Trail and Transit Custom Trail models have been designed specifically to operate in what Ford calls “tougher working environments,” with a new mechanical limited-slip differential (mLSD) on front-wheel drive Transit and Transit Custom variants, and Intelligent All-Wheel Drive on the Transit Trail.
The optional mLSD was developed in partnership with driveline technology specialists Quaife. It automatically transfers engine torque in low grip conditions to the wheel with the most traction, allowing Transit Trail and Transit Custom Trail to more easily tackle unpaved roads, gravel, and rugged or challenging surfaces. The vehicle’s Electronic Stability Control system has also been re-calibrated to work in harmony with the mLSD.
The Active variant of the Transit Custom comes equipped with an SUV-inspired exterior. Styling upgrades include unique 17‑inch alloy wheels, a signature Active mesh grille, additional cladding on the wheel arches, body sides, rear bumper, and mirror caps, plus standard roof rails. Capping off the look are a full-width Active decal at the rear and Active badges on each wing. All Active models also come with a unique interior specification that features part-leather seat trim.
The Transit Trail features additional black cladding around the front and rear lower bumpers and side panels. It’s also equipped with oversized “Ford” lettering in the matte black grille, unique 16-inch alloy wheels, and “Trail” logos on the front doors.
The Transit Trail’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system is capable of sending up to 50 percent of engine torque to the front axle based on available grip in response to changing road surfaces and driver inputs. It’s supported by additional Slippery and Mud/Rut Selectable Drive Modes. Intelligent All-Wheel Drive also features AWD Lock mode to split torque 50:50 between front and rear axles on extreme low-grip surfaces.
On the inside, the Trail features standard full leather seating, air conditioning, a Quickclear heated windshield, power-foldable door mirrors, and auto lighting. The Custom Trail is available in a range of body styles including panel van, double-cab-in-van, and kombi, with a choice of two wheelbases.
Transit Custom Trail is available as a panel van, double-cab-in-van, kombi, single chassis cab, and double chassis cab variants. All Transit Trail and Transit Custom Trail models are powered by the Ford 2.0L EcoBlue diesel engine with a choice of 130 PS (128 horsepower), 170 PS (167 horsepower) and 185 PS (182 horsepower) outputs, as well as the choice of an automatic or manual transmission.
The range of Active vehicles will be further expanded later in 2020 with the introduction of the smaller Transit Connect Active.