Ford has taken the grille from the Ranger Raptor and attached it to the front of a Transit, to create the new Transit Trail model.
Fortunately, Ford has done a little more than just some cosmetic surgery, creating an off-road Transit that should reach places other vans find inaccessible.
Transit Trail: Off Road Ability
Available with ‘Intelligent All-Wheel Drive’ for off-road action, the usual rear-drive model can send as much as 50 per cent of engine torque to the front wheels based on available grip in response to changing road surfaces and driver inputs. An all-wheel-drive lock mode splits torque 50:50 between front and rear, further increasing capability on very low grip surfaces.
This is aided by a number of selectable computer-aided driving modes, including ‘Slippery’ and ‘Mud/Rut’, chosen by using the simple controller on the dashboard.
Those used to dealing with less demanding conditions, but still in need of some off-road ability can specify the Trial with front-wheel drive only. On these models, a mechanical limited-slip differential (LSD), developed in partnership with Quaife, automatically transfers engine torque to the wheel with most traction, allowing the Transit Trail to tackle unpaved roads and gravel tracks with confidence.
Transit Trail: Design Update
Trail variants of the Transit will feature oversized “Ford” lettering in a matte black grille, much as you would find on the Ford Ranger Raptor. Additional black cladding around the front and rear lower bumpers and side panels, along with unique 16-inch alloy wheels and “Trail” logos on the front doors, finish the look and separate the Trail from the regular Transit.
The interior gets an update too, with full leather seating as standard bringing additional luxury, durability and, importantly, wipe-clean flexibility to the cabin. Standard equipment includes manual air conditioning, electrically folding door mirrors, automatic lights, and Ford’s impressive Quickclear heated windscreen.
Transit Trail: Engines and Driveline
All Transit Trail models are powered by a variant of the Ford EcoBlue 2.0-litre diesel engine, with all-wheel-drive vans available in either 130hp or 170hp states of tune. Front-driven vans get the additional choice of a more potent 185hp option. Unusually, there is no automatic gearbox option, so users will be limited to a six-speed manual option.
Transit Trail: Load and Capacities
Ford’s all-wheel-drive system does not compromise the load volume or dimensions of the Transit Trail compared with rear-wheel drive equivalents, which is pleasing.
The entry-level L2H2 model offers a loadbox length of 3,044mm, with a loadbox height of 1,786mm on the AWD model. There’s an extra 100mm available in front-wheel-drive models. The payload area extends to 3,494mm in length and 2,025mm in height on the largest Trial model, the L3H3 body. Cargo capacity ranges from 9.5cu.m to 13.0cu.m.
The gross vehicle mass for all Transit Trail variants is 3,500kg.
Transit Trail: Price and Availability
The Transit Trail with four-wheel-drive is available to order now from £40,865 (CV OTR) for the L2H2 van, while the front-wheel-drive variant, aided by the mechanical LSD, starts at £36,555 (CV OTR), each with a 2.0-litre, 130hp, diesel engine. Customer deliveries will begin in late summer.
Fuel economy of up to 35.3mpg is promised, when tested using the latest WLTP method, with CO2 emissions as low as 210g/km.
The smaller Transit Custom is also available in Trial trim, although misses out on all-wheel-drive. The LSD-equipped model starts at £30,120 CV OTR.
“The Active and Trail models demonstrate how versatile and capable the Transit range can be,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe. “From businesses that operate off the beaten track to families who want a vehicle as adventurous as they are, there is a Transit to suit every need.”