All-New Ford Transit [w/video]
Ford of Europe has released footage and details of its accelerated ageing process for the development of the all-new Ford Transit which it claims mimic 10 years of ownership.
FORD TRANSIT CHIEF PROGRAMME ENGINEER, David Gregory, said: “I don’t think many customers would believe what this vehicle has been through. We inflict the worst possible treatment that a van could endure, and we’re only satisfied when our new vehicle comes through with flying colours – just as the Transit has done.”
“The worst possible treatment a van could endure,” he was talking about entailed the equivalent of driving 11 million kilometres – or 275 round-the-world trips – at state-of-the-art proving grounds and in extreme conditions across the globe where temperatures ranged from +40 to -40 deg C.
At Ford of Europe’s test facility in Lommel, Belgium, the all-new Transit, including van, cab chassis and minibus versions, was put through more than 30 punishing vehicle tests. These included the trailer tow general durability test, conducted while fully laden and towing a fully loaded trailer, and being driven at top speed non-stop for two months, pounding over rough gravel roads, and through salt- and mud-baths. The prototypes also were tested for corrosion resistance in high-humidity chambers for 12 weeks and put through non-stop figure-of-eight manoeuvres for one month.
Engineers have driven the all-new Transit more than 5000 times over an extreme course of potholes and bumps, and conducted a strength test by driving it at 60km/h into a 14 cm high kerb.
Ford also tested the Transit prototypes from the Austrian Alps to Death Valley: in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia. Vehicles faced the 40 deg C heat of Arizona, Dubai and South Africa, the bitter -40 deg C cold in Finland and Canada, as well as journeys through Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and Turkey.
Prior to launch, the new model covered more than 480,000km of real-world use with high-mileage Transit customers. In the test labs, the all-new Transit’s 2.2-litre Duratorq diesel engine was subjected to 46 days of continuous high-load urban driving on specialised rigs, as part of tens of thousands of hours of engine testing. Component test rigs were used to simulate real-world punishment, replicating the full 10-year vehicle life-cycle in just 30 days.
“Pushing the van to the limit and beyond helps us to deliver a stronger, more robust product. This translates directly into every-day reliability for the customer, however tough their working environment,” Gregory said.