Anyone Ford Transit Wildtrak? The bloated Ford Transit Custom minivan could be in the works with a tough crossover treatment for the next next-gen version – Car News

Would you consider a mid-size SUV/crossover in the mold of the Ford Ranger Wildtrak with big wheels, high ground clearance, a sporty body kit and maybe even all-wheel drive?

This is an intriguing proposal suggested for a possible Transit Custom derivative by Ford Motor Company’s vehicle program manager for Icons and Ford Performance, Ali Jammoul, during an interview with Australian media in South Australia. last month.

While completely dismissing any prospect of a high-performance ST version of the world’s best-selling midsize minivan in the near future, the four-decade Ford veteran said that going the crossover or SUV route in this increasingly popular segment might actually make more sense for the 57-year-old utility vehicle lineup.

Learn more about the Ford Transit Custom

“I think there’s something about these vans that could play out – maybe not at the top end like Raptor and lower levels like ST – but we have to bring in a van (i.e. ) sub-ST,” Jammoul said. .

“There are also land and adventurous vehicles (options), and you can do some (of that) with Transit – go have fun and play with a vehicle like this.”

While Mr. Jammoul reiterated that there are no concrete plans for such a vehicle at the moment, the idea of ​​a performance-oriented and/or off-road minivan/crossover is very appealing and could have legs in the future of the series. .

“I don’t have the answer,” he said. “But there’s something there with vehicles like the Transit.”

Ford is already offering a warmed-up version of the Transit Custom in Australia and elsewhere, with the Sport in 320S short-wheelbase and 320L long-wheelbase versions with a slightly larger 130kW/430Nm 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. powerful (+5kW) and stronger in torque (+40Nm) than the regular versions.

Meanwhile, in Europe, the existing Transit Custom Trail brings a Quaife mechanical limited-slip differential, recalibrated traction control system and optional all-wheel drive (AWD) to the van, while the Transit Custom Active ushers in what Ford calls it a more “SUV” appearance with a mesh grille, additional body cladding, roof rails, different wheels, and more car-like interior treatments. This one is for more recreational buyers.

Going up a notch, there’s also a Ford-approved conversion offered in Europe (and available in Australia independently). Known as the Transit Custom MS-RT, it was created by UK-based vehicle design specialist MSRT, which is in turn the on-road production vehicle arm of Ford Motorsport partner M -Sport.

Boasting a rally sport look inspired by the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Fiesta WRC car, the Transit Custom MS-RT features an expanded color scheme, more aggressive grille, bumper designs front and air intake shocks, bi-xenon headlights, extended wheel arches housing lightweight 18-inch OZ Racing alloy wheels (for reduced unsprung weight), side skirts, rear diffuser, roof spoiler, a twin-pipe sport exhaust and optional decals. Inside, there are Nappa leather/suede seats, an MS-RT sports steering wheel and revised instrumentation.

With the redesigned next-generation Transit Custom expected in 2024, designed to include conventional internal combustion engines in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions as well as a pure EV from the start, the shift to electrification opens up all sorts of possibilities for go forward.

This could include a raised crossover option in the future, as Mr. Jammoul suggested, with AWD to give it extra traction and open up new niches in the growing segment.

Additional body cladding, beefier bumpers, bigger wheel arches and other additions would add an extra visual lift, while giving such a Transit a new off-road attitude that no production version has. never succeeded in Australia.

Transit Custom Wildtrak, anyone?

As detailed, the next Transit Custom will also be the basis for the next-generation Volkswagen Transporter, as part of Ford’s growing model-sharing program with the German conglomerate which also sees the VW Caddy-derived Ford Transit Connect/Tourneo .

In 2021, midsize van sales jumped 22%, about 33% faster than the pace of growth in the new-vehicle market in general, underscoring the increasingly important nature of the segment in Ford’s lineup. Australia.

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