2014 Ford Transit and Transit Connect vans get their U.S. passports

September 7, 2012

We told you Ford's big vans would be getting their biggest makeover in 50 years, and here it is: the 2014 Ford Transit, the full-size replacement for the E-Series based on the European hauler. Unlike Europe, there won't be a diesel version at first -- but the Transit will sport the same 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 that's turned into a star seller on Ford's pickups.

Unifying the Transit and Transit Connect for both Europe and the United States fits into Ford's simple formula for becoming the most profitable U.S. automaker: Sell the same cars everywhere. Ford will build the Transit in its Kansas City factory, and offer a variety of American-appropriate engines in addition to the Ecoboost V-6.

Along with the Transit, the smaller Transit Connect also gets updated for 2014, although Ford hasn't revealed what engines it would come with and how much of a competitor it would be to passenger vans. The current Transit Connect gets de-built at a Baltimore warehouse after it arrives from its factory in Turkey to avoid hefty import taxes; the new one should offer a far nicer interior. As with Europe, North America will only get gasoline-powered models for now, a bid to keep costs down and appeal to those Ford customers who still pine for the Ranger. And for those who just can't let go, Ford vows to keep the current E-Series marching on as long as there's enough demand to keep the factory open.