As part of MAMA ’s ongoing virtual series “MAMA eMeets,” MAMA members recently had the opportunity to hear from Ford’s Chief Engineer for Transit in North America, Ray Eyles, regarding Ford’s numerous upgrades to its Transit van lineup for 2020.
Among the changes are a new and improved powertrain lineup, smart new technology, advanced driver-assist features and enhanced capability to appeal to a wide range of customers whether they use their vans to carry kids, seek out adventures or deliver cargo.
Eyles discussed “American’s best-selling van” and its growing importance to larger families and adventurers, making a reference to the online movement #VanLife. Though the Transit was originally designed primarily for commercial needs, Ford sees a definitive shift in how these vans are being utilized.
To continue to attract this broader audience, Ford worked to improve and enhance the 2020 Transit. Specifically, the vehicle features a new grille with bumper updates, an upgraded 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, 10-speed transmission and a new auto stop/start feature.
According to Ford, perhaps the most notable and exciting new feature to appear in the 2020 Transit van is available all-wheel drive. Ford thinks this feature alone has potential to attract new customers, especially given this was the most requested feature by Ford ’s current customer base. The AWD feature on the Transit is “always on,” so no need to manually turn it on or off. There is also no increase to the ride and load heights—an important consideration for commercial users who are frequently entering and exiting the vehicle.
On the interior, Transit receives a new crew van configuration, including a second row bench seat and two rows of seating for up to five people. The 2020 model also features an expanded color palette including “softer” colors. Available features include swivel front seats, an 8-inch multi-function touchscreen and a new power-sliding door.
In terms of tech, Transit comes standard with plenty of new driver-assist technology, including pre-collision assist with auto emergency braking, forward collision warning, post-collision braking, lane-keep assist system with electric power steering, and auto high-beam headlamps. Available technology includes adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitor system with cross-traffic alert and trailer coverage, enhanced active park assist, and front and rear split-view cameras.
Additionally, the 2020 Transit comes with a new standard FordPass Connect system featuring a WiFi hotspot for up to 10 devices, Ford telematics, remote vehicle control, and vehicle diagnostic and trouble code data collection.
Eyles summarized that Ford is always evolving to “do the job right,” which is showcased with the latest Transit model. Moving forward, Ford says it will continue to tailor the Transit to appeal to both commercial and retail customers. An all-electric Transit will also be coming for the 2022 model year.
Stay tuned for updates on future MAMA eMeets!