Price: $25,859; Weight: 3,546 lbs.; Power (hp/torque): 100 hp/169 lb.-Ft.; Fuel
Economy: N/A; Available: Europe
Let's talk manufacturing: The Transit is an example of the sort of production smarts we hope to see more of in the future. The ugliest vehicle on our list serves, as Ford spokeswoman Jennifer Flake puts it, as â€the equivalent of the FedEx truck" for all of Europe. â€It's kind of a cross between the E-Series (Econoline) and F-Series." It's used for a million purposes in a score of countries with varying weather and road conditions. All of which explains why Ford decided to offer customers a chance to choose front- or rear-wheel-drive configurations-and
then build both versions on the same assembly line. Typically truckers prefer
rear-wheel drive for heavy payloads and towing, but some opt for the Transit
in front-wheel drive for added traction. Front-wheel drive also eliminates
the bulk of a driveshaft, which lowers the floor by 4 inches.
Ford of Europe's Nicholas Martinos says the flexibility begins with â€unusual commonality between our components for the front drive and the rear drive." Transit engineers had to make the â€locating points"-the points on the frame where the assembly line affixes the powertrain-the
same for different drivetrain configurations. The resulting platform is so
flexible that technicians could theoretically change an already-built truck
from front- to rear-wheel drive in about 30 minutes.
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