Ford Authority

Here’s Why 2023 Ford Transit Trail Has The Blue Oval Front Grille

Ford recently debuted the 2023 Ford Transit Trail, bringing an off-road-ready van to the North American market. However, a variation of the Transit Trail has been on sale in Europe for several years. While the two vehicles share a name and the basic underpinnings, the variants differ from one another, and can be easily told apart by the front grille design. Ford Authority recently had the opportunity to speak with a member of the Ford Transit Trail team to find out more about the decision to switch up the grille for the American version.

U.S.-market 2023 Ford Transit Trail.

U.S.-market 2023 Ford Transit Trail

European-market Ford Transit Trail.

European-market Ford Transit Trail

“There’s two reasons why,” Ray Eyles, Transit chief program engineer, explained to Ford Authority Executive Editor Alex Luft in a recent interview. The first reason is that the FORD script is “a Raptor brand signature, and the second reason is that we wanted to maintain a little bit of stealth” for the American-market model.

The front end design of the American-market Transit Trail incorporates a black grille with integrated marker lamps, blackened headlight enclosures, a skid plate-style front bumper, splash guards, wheel arch cladding, front wheel arch liners and slider-style side steps.

As a reminder, the 2023 Ford Transit Trail is available in one of three cargo van configurations, including medium- and high-roof models along with a high-roof extended-length version. It features a 2.75-inch wider track than the “regular” Transit vans, along with 3.5 inches of additional ride height.

Power comes from the Ford 3.5L V6 EcoBoost engine, which is rated at 310 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. The boosted six is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, facilitating up to 6,500 pounds of max towing capacity. The off-road-ready van uses The Blue Oval’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, which has five selectable drive modes, including Normal, Eco, Mud/Ruts, Tow/Haul, and Slippery.

Since the 2023 Ford Transit Trail was designed with the purpose of upfitting it for trail and camping purposes, it’s been outfitted with drillable areas that make it easy to mount things like shelving, cabinetry and beds in its large cabin. Creature comforts in the cabin include an overhead shelf, illuminated sun visors and driver and passenger swivel seats. The 2023 Ford Transit Trail will be produced alongside other Transit models at the Kansas City Assembly plant. Pricing starts at $65,975 USD.

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We’ll have more on the 2023 Transit Trail soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford Transit news and ongoing Ford news coverage.

Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.

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  1. Jon Fleming

    Maybe rather than adding a new variant of the Transit to the fleet, Ford should concentrate on actually building the Transit’s customers have already ordered. We ordered in October 2021. Ford canceled our order in July 2022 indicating they didn’t have the parts. We re-ordered in July of 2022 and receive an email from Ford every 45 days indicating they don’t have the parts. As of November 12, 2022, our build is still waiting. Outside of the suspension, ecoboost engine and tires, our build mirrors the Transit Trail. So, not certain how they are planning on delivering.

    1. Centerstrip

      Agreed. Ordered Oct 2021, balanced out in July, ordered another one June 2022 and have received three 45 day notices so far

  2. RWFA

    I take the Ford guy’s statements to mean “Simple, US marketing was afraid to devalue the Raptor brand in the US by associating it with a van, whereas EU marketing thought the Raptor face would lift sales of this van variant. Also legal US was concerned hootenfrooten customers in the US would try to take the van on an off-road pounding in Baja.”

  3. Sad owner

    Sad they are dropping the best , the Transit Connect, I guess it economical and the want to sell the bigger less efficient. Love bot of mine, getting 25-30 mpg in town. Sad day’s.


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