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Ford Transit Trail – the mud-thirsty, AWD van

The Ford Transit Trail is the new Raptor-esque off-roader van from Ford, offering an ESC system from the Focus RS and optional AWD. Priced from £35,685 plus VAT, the Transit Trail is aimed at commercial operators who regularly access low traction work sites and remote areas.

While there are already a number of 4×4 vans on the market like the Iveco Daily 4×4, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4×4 and VW Crafter 4Motion, the Transit Trail stands out thanks to its distinctive styling kit.

“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.”

Distinctive look

Inspired by the Ranger Raptor, Trail variants feature oversized ‘F-O-R-D’ lettering in the grille with additional black cladding around the front and rear lower bumpers and side panels for protection. There are also a set of industrial 16-inch alloy wheels and ‘Trail” logos on the front doors.

Ford Transit Trail FWD

Front wheel drive versions offer enhanced traction thanks to its mechanical Limited Slip Differential (mLSD), developed by driveline technology specialists Quaife, which automatically transfers engine torque in low grip conditions to the wheel with the most traction.

Ford Transit Trail

The vehicle’s Electronic Stability Control system has also been recalibrated to harmonise with the mLSD and this has already been used to enhance the traction and handling characteristics of Ford Performance models including the Focus RS. This time, however, the purpose is to more comfortably tackle unpaved roads, gravel tracks and challenging surfaces.

Ford Transit Trail AWD

Transit Trail is also available with Intelligent All-Wheel Drive for optimised traction off-road. The technology enhances the base rear-wheel drive configuration by sending up to 50 per cent of engine torque to the front axle based on available grip in response to changing road surfaces and driver inputs.

Transit Trail’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive technology is also supported by additional ‘Slippery’ and ‘Mud/Rut’ selectable drive modes, designed to improve performance and driver confidence across a variety of driving scenarios. These are easily selected using the Drive Mode controller on the dashboard.

Intelligent All-Wheel Drive also features AWD Lock mode to split torque 50:50 between front and rear axles on extreme low-grip surfaces. The system does not compromise the load volume or dimensions of the Transit Trail compared with rear-wheel drive equivalents.

Specification

Trail models also benefit from an enhanced interior specification, with full leather seating as standard bringing additional luxury, durability and wipe-clean flexibility to the cabin. Air conditioning, power-foldable door mirrors and auto lighting are also standard, as is Ford’s Quickclear heated windscreen, which allows an easy departure in freezing conditions.

Summary

All Transit Trail models are available in panel van and double-cab-in-van body styles, and are powered by Ford’s advanced 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine with a choice of 130PS, 170PS and 185PS power outputs.

In addition, Transit Trail models offer the efficiency benefits of electrified powertrains with Ford’s unique-in-segment 2.0-litre EcoBlue Hybrid powertrains in 130PS, 170PS and 185PS form. The 48-volt mild hybrid technology recovers energy during deceleration, stores it in a 48-volt battery pack, and uses the energy to increase fuel efficiency.