Ford to dazzle RV and van lifers with adventure-ready Transit Trail
Whispers and rumors have long been floating about the possibility of Ford launching the rugged Transit Trail in the US. And if you follow the Twitterings of Ford execs, you might already know those whispers and rumors are true – the Trail is on its way. Ford promises the new van trim will be a "turnkey canvas" for DIY builders and motorhome distributors, bringing them "adventure-seeking capability" along with interior and exterior enhancements.
Ford Pro CEO Ted Cannis teased the new 2023 Transit Trail on Twitter on Wednesday, dropping the 19-second teaser video you can view below. While Ford's official short announcement focused in on adventure and camper usage, Cannis' tweet mentions "job site to campsite," suggesting Ford will market the Trail as a more rugged off-road-ready solution for both commercial productivity and recreational adventure (and probably also productive commercial recreation).
Ford hasn't released any further details about the American-spec Transit Trail ahead of a planned November debut. The company debuted the Transit Trail in Europe in 2020, giving the front wheel-drive model a standard mechanical limited-slip differential to automatically transfer torque to the front wheel with the most traction in slippery conditions. Rear-wheel-drive Euro-spec Transit Trail vans offer the option of an intelligent AWD system that splits out up to 50 percent of the torque to the front axle.
Beyond those grip-boosting additions, the European Trail package is largely an aesthetics kit. Exterior enhancements include black cladding around the sides and bumpers, 16-in alloy wheels, Trail badging and, most notably, a Raptor-style grille with big FORD lettering front and center.
From the twilit teaser photo at top, we can see that the American-spec Transit Trail will have beefy side and bumper cladding like its European counterpart. However, the grille close-up shows that the van drops the Raptor treatment in favor of a Blue Oval-badged honeycomb grille with central bar and integrated lighting.
And just in case you're thinking those teaser photos indicate the new Transit Trail comes complete with a kayak and outdoor camping furniture, Ford is careful to note "recreational equipment not included." So you'll have to buy your own damn kayak and folding chairs.
We'll have to wait until next month's debut to learn what else the American Transit Trail does and does not share with its older brother living in Europe, but it certainly sounds like it will be an intriguing adventure van foundation for DIYers, small, independent builders and large RV companies. Ford will build it alongside other Transit and E-Transit models at its Kansas City Assembly Plant.