Hey, everybody. Things are pretty wild outside right now, and if it starts to get any worse, I’m going to have to initiate my apocalypse plan of fleeing to the wilderness in a van sooner than later. Luckily, the 2021 Ford Transit van has been SUV-ified, but there’s just one major problem.
According to the release, the new Transit Trail uses the van platform’s current limited-slip differential and either rear-wheel drive, or optional all-wheel drive. What’s new is that it pairs them with a new Ford Raptor-inspired face design, additional black cladding around the wheel wells, and new, trim-specific “trail” 16-inch wheels. A heated windshield, leather, and air conditioning come standard with the trim.
Here is where I would have suggested going with the smaller Transit Custom model, which is available in the new “Trail” trim, almost purely for aesthetics. But it isn’t available with all-wheel drive, kind of killing any semblance of seriously rationalizing the “Trail” designation for this model, so maybe skip the Custom.
And none of that matters, because the van trim won’t be sold stateside.
The new Ford Transit Trail is only available in Europe, alongside another new van variant, the Transit Active. Ford confirmed to Autoblog there are no plans yet to sell the new trims in the U.S. Regardless, the one I still want to know more about is the hauler pictured above that looks like a bunny from the animated Rabbids.
The other new SUV-ified European van is the Transit Active, which gets similar treatment to the previously-released Fiesta and Focus Active models. It gets its own unique grille design, additional body cladding, roof railing, and 17-inch wheels, however this trim is exclusive to the smaller Transit Custom, not the full-sizer.
Across the proverbial pond that is in fact a terrifying chasm of cold spineless creatures we’ve yet to even begin to comprehend, the new Transits are available with the model’s lineup of engine tunes featuring a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged diesel rated to either 130, 170, or 185 horsepower.
Jumping back into my previously-mentioned apocalyptic van life scenario, the dream would have been to salvage a Focus RS and transplant its running gear to a Transit body, mostly for shits and giggles. I will have none of this 130 HP diesel bullshit in the apocalypse, though it’s probably the wiser fuel choice.
While the actual Transit Trail is still pretty far off the mark from what I’d really want, I’m still happily surprised to see a factory Ford van checking anything off of my personal apocalypse dream van checklist. As Autoblog noted, the only way for us to get this cool looking Transit is if you buy yourself an American one (ideally with all-wheel drive), and then have someone ship you the body panels from Europe. Look at it as a favor of global solidarity.
If I had access to this van, I would immediate test to see just how “Active” it can get on a “Trail.” Since I am a dumb American, though, I leave this as a public call to my friends overseas: Rally the factory off-road van. Don’t do it for me, do it for the content.