2020 Ford Transit AWD

simple

Adventurer
Fingers crossed that this actually happens
car and driver article reporting 2020 Ford Transit AWD

Info on Ford's site
 
Last edited:

adam88

Explorer
Surprised more people aren't talking about this. I saw it a day ago or so. This will definitely help bring down prices for quigleys and 4x4 sprinters. The extra cost for AWD/4x4 has gotten stupid.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Any effect on other AWD/4x4 van pricing will be highly dependent on the drivetrain used. If its a clutch based AWD it will likely have significant limitations for a heavier vehicle off-road. A mechanical system with open diffs and traction control would be more robust.
 

Scotty D

Active member
I wonder how big a tire you will be able to get on these . Will the awd be a limiting factor for aftermarket stuff?
Those tiny wheels are a deal breaker , would need at least 30 or 31s for the places I go in the baja.
 

sg1

Adventurer
I currently own an European Transit AWD which I have been using in Africa and Latin America for the last 8 years and over 140.000 km. It has been exceptionally reliable and surprisingly good off road and yes I did the Baja up and down and sideways, as I did the Kalahari desert and its dunes in Africa. It has 225/75R16 tires and they are too small. The problem is not so much ground clearance but load carrying capacity. These small tires only have a 115 load rating at over 75 psi. As a result I had quite a few punctures and 2 blown tires. If the US AWD Transit has an automatic tranny (I am sure it will) the system will be totally different from the one used in Europe. The European AWD is integrated in the manual 6 speed gearbox and has no low range. It is not a separate bolt on system which could be mated with other trannies. It will be interesting to see what system Ford uses.
Stefan
 

Scotty D

Active member
Thanks for the reply sg1.
That is exactly why I want bigger tires. I like to camp right on the beach sand in my chevy express AWD and to do that I air down to 20psi to get a nice long footprint.
Looking at some of the Transits I have come across , it does not look like airing down is much of an option as the tires seem to be pushed to their limits loadwise.

sounds like your 4wd system is more robust than what we will likely get. Would kill for a standard transmission stock from the factory....
How does your rig do in beach sand?
 

Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
I currently own an European Transit AWD which I have been using in Africa and Latin America for the last 8 years and over 140.000 km. It has been exceptionally reliable and surprisingly good off road and yes I did the Baja up and down and sideways, as I did the Kalahari desert and its dunes in Africa. It has 225/75R16 tires and they are too small. The problem is not so much ground clearance but load carrying capacity. These small tires only have a 115 load rating at over 75 psi. As a result I had quite a few punctures and 2 blown tires. If the US AWD Transit has an automatic tranny (I am sure it will) the system will be totally different from the one used in Europe. The European AWD is integrated in the manual 6 speed gearbox and has no low range. It is not a separate bolt on system which could be mated with other trannies. It will be interesting to see what system Ford uses.
Stefan
Do you have any pictures?
 

86scotty

Explorer
So, in their supremely conflicted bass-ackwardness, Ford will finally offer an AWD Transit stateside. An American company offering something they've offered everywhere else in their home country LAST. They say this is because there is (was) no market for it, but how would they know if they never tried?

What's more, it has no low range so it's going to sell like hotcakes to the uninformed and generally be worthless more than a rock or two off a road.

What's more, they'll offer it with teeny little skateboard wheels and refuse to consider that people might actually put bigger tires on it and need the ECM to be adjusted so that all the information the dash provides will be accurate. So much for an accurate speedo, fuel range or MPG average! Oh, you didn't need that anyway with that plastic 20 gallon fuel tank and barely 300 mile range. Just lick your finger and stick it out the window to gather info!

Yep, I bought, loved and sold a Transit. Obviously I have some reservations about the next best thing they're going to 'bless' us with. Hopefully this one at least gets a driveshaft that is made of metal.

I am a believer in the potential of the Transit, just not Ford's delivery of it.
 

sg1

Adventurer
Christian: To post pictures in this Forum is a bit complicated but I have pictures on my website http://reisephant.blogspot.com/
Comments on the other questions:
I have 2 expedition vehicles, the Transit for Africa and Latin America and a 2015 F 150 with Overlandex pop up camper for North America. When I compare the 2, the F 150 clearly is the more capable off road vehicle, the Transit is much more comfortable to live in. Both have roughly the same size (20 ft by 7 ft) and weight (under 8000 lbs fully equipped, wet with passengers). The major draw backs of the European Transit are:
  • Underpowered. It has a 2.4 l 4 cyl engine with 140 hp. Especially over 10.000 ft altitude this is not enough. Not a problem with the US Transit with 3.5 l ecoboost.
  • No low range: Especially at altitudes over 10.000 ft the engine needs at least 2000 rpm to have any power and this is equal to 9 km (about 7mph) in first gear. Incidentally exactly the same speed as the 4x4 Sprinter in low range at 2000 rpm. Less of a problem with automatic and the powerful 3.5 l Ecoboost. That at least is my experience with my f 150 where I rarely use low range because with automatic you can ceawl even without low range and with the low end torque of the Ecoboost you never lack power.
  • Small tires. Stock tires are too small. That can be solved with a lift ( see https://www.extremfahrzeuge.com/ford-transit-4x4.html ). Personally I would take the 235/85R16 because they are a standard size on the Landcruisers and Defenders and therefore widely available worldwide. Extrem managed to adjust the ECM. In Europe this is mandatory to be street legal.
An AWD US Transit with automatic and the 3.5 l Ecoboost would therefore go a long way towards addressing the problems I encountered when using it on expeditions. Compared to a truck you would still have the advantage of less wasted space with the long "nose". Right now the favorite for an internationally used Overlander would be the F 150 with 5 l and heavy payload package. Depending on the specs of the Transit I could change my mind.
 

simple

Adventurer
Rugged offroader the Transit isn't. Econolines with good suspension seem to be the ticket for Baja style offroad travel. Maybe some folks take their 4x4 sprinters on trails and use low range to creep over things but if I had one, it would be 90% pavement pounder and 10% maintained gravel or dirt roads. My current offroaders are hiking shoes and a Mtn Bike.

The AWD Transit looks well suited for the winter road conditions found in the Pacific Northwest. I've seen a few sprinters and other rear wheel drive vans get stuck on almost flat ground with a little mud or loose gravel so AWD will handle those conditions easily. The AWD Transit platform looks like it will also handle most fire roads within reason.

The sides on the Transit are more vertical than on the sprinter so it feels a little bigger inside and is a little more straightforward on the interior build out. It's also nice that there will now be more than one option for a factory built AWD van setup. Too bad the Transit doesn't come in a crew van configuration like the Sprinter.
 

WanderingBison

New member
Rugged offroader the Transit isn't. Econolines with good suspension seem to be the ticket for Baja style offroad travel. Maybe some folks take their 4x4 sprinters on trails and use low range to creep over things but if I had one, it would be 90% pavement pounder and 10% maintained gravel or dirt roads. My current offroaders are hiking shoes and a Mtn Bike.

The AWD Transit looks well suited for the winter road conditions found in the Pacific Northwest. I've seen a few sprinters and other rear wheel drive vans get stuck on almost flat ground with a little mud or loose gravel so AWD will handle those conditions easily. The AWD Transit platform looks like it will also handle most fire roads within reason.

The sides on the Transit are more vertical than on the sprinter so it feels a little bigger inside and is a little more straightforward on the interior build out. It's also nice that there will now be more than one option for a factory built AWD van setup. Too bad the Transit doesn't come in a crew van configuration like the Sprinter.
Actually, another new option, in addition to AWD, for the 2020 model year is a crew van option.




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