Motorhome Base Vehicles - Ford Transit

MMM editorial

The Verdict

The Blue Oval already appeals to many motorhomers and this all-new Transit will further strengthen that appeal. The first examples of this all-new Ford Transit are now reaching motorhome manufacturers (summer 2013), so we will see the first coachbuilt examples for the 2014 season, possibly even as early as the October NEC Motorhome Show in Birmingham. Some van converters have already got their hands on the new Transit, so expect examples of Ford-based campervans to be on the market very soon.

At a glance

Out of all the base vehicle options available to motorhome manufacturers, it is really only the Ford Transit that can possibly challenge the dominance of the Sevel-built vans (the Fiat Ducato, Citroën Relay and Peugeot Boxer). However, Ford has an uphill battle to get Europe's motorhome manufacturers to switch from Fiat et al over to the Transit. That said, the fact that the Transit is all-new, has a very car-like cab and its whole-life running costs are low will appeal to many motorhomers.

Full details

Henry’s finest is set for a strong comeback in Europe although it has failed to maintain market share among UK converters, with Tribute, which is part of the French Trigano Group, being the only coachbuilder building on the Transit now.
Another company within the Trigano Group, Chausson, will also build on the new Transit, and we may possibly see the first examples this October.
Of the converters, we know that Wellhouse is building on the new Transit already, so it is expected to be the first to launch a Transit campervan later in 2013.
The Transit is attractive to motorhomers thanks to its unrivalled availability of reasonably priced spares, its wide network of service centres and its unrivalled five-star EuroNCAP crash safety rating. However, there is no automatic transmission option available and no sign of one coming anytime soon.
Its efficient Duratorq Euro 5 engines adds to the Transit's desirability, especially with its extended service intervals.
There is a rather confusing line-up of Transit now; as Ford has extended the range considerably.

  1. Kicking off the new Transit range is the smallest version - the Transit Courier, which will be launched in March 2014 and will only appeal to those campervan converters who work on the smallest vehicles.
  2. Then there is the Transit Connect, which is likely to be used by some van converters, although most will opt for the Torneo Connect, which is more suited to conversion.
  3. Then there is the Transit Custom, which is a one-tonne (payload capacity) version and is may be used by some campervan converters as its gross vehicle weight is under the 3.5-tonne threshold. It was named 2013 International Van of the Year.
  4. March next year will also see the launch of the simply-named Transit, which will be used by the majority of the coachbuild manufacturers. It is possible that some manufacturers, such as Trigano, have already received early chassis cab versions so they can build prototype 2014 models to show at the German Dusseldorf and Britain's February NEC motorhome shows.
  5. Then there is the minibus and family-friendly Ford Torneo, which comes as a Courier, Connect or Custom. The Torneo will be used by van converters to make into campervans.

Fact file - Ford Transit range

  • Powertrain: All-new 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi turbo diesel engine producing 100bhp (310Nm), 125bhp (330Nm) and 140bhp (350Nm est). Rear wheel drive derivatives get the more powerful 155bhp (385Nm) engine. There is also a 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel with a choice of 75bhp, 95bhp and 115bhp versions, which, along with a new 100bhp 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, will only be available on the smaller versions. Front, rear and all-wheel drive are available.
  • Transmission: Manual six-speed transmission. Dual rear wheels available on RWD
  • Quoted mpg: 39.8mpg (125bhp)
  • Ride: Compliant but not soft. Happy medium!
  • Warranty: 3-years/100,000 miles comprehensive
  • Take care: No automatic transmission option at present.
  • Service schedule: 30,000 miles or every two years
  • Conversions:  Only UK volume coachbuilt converter is Auto-Trail with its Tribute range.  Popular European imports include Hobby, Chausson, Hymer, Auto Roller and CI
  • More info: www.ford.co.uk/Commercialvehicles/

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