Back in 2020, Ford revealed a more rugged, Raptor-inspired version of its Transit van for Europe, called Transit Trail. Since then, we’ve been hoping we’d see a version of it come to the U.S. (why does Europe get all the good stuff?), since then, we’ve heard rumors that our wishes for an off-road-ish Ford Van could come true, and even spotted a U.S. trademark application for the vehicle as recently as last month. Now, we’ve got something physical upon which to pin our hopes, as our spy photographer caught what appears to be a U.S.-spec version of the Transit Trail near Ford’s Dearborn test track.
The vehicle captured in these photos appears to be ready for production, with its chunky black plastic cladding and all-terrain tires. These pictures also reveal some differences from the European model, like a new grille bearing the Blue Oval emblem instead of the Raptor-esque “FORD” lettering, marker lights in the grille and on the sides, beefier cladding at the fenders and 245/75 R16 Goodyear Wrangler all-terrains wrapped around steel wheels. While the European model is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel, we expect a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 making 310 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. The Transit Trail, in addition to the bolder looks and more rugged tires, gets all-wheel drive with modes for rough terrain.
Earlier rumors suggested a debut this year, and this close-to-production tester helps bolster that claim. Seeing as this has enough unique features for the U.S., including using a domestic powertrain, we could expect this to be built at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant alongside the rest of the U.S.-market transits, rather than Ford redirecting supply from Europe to America.