Ford Progresses with U.S. Testing of Transit Van
Ford Motor Co. continues to press ahead with development of the U.S. version of its European Transit van – a popular RV base platform – which is slated to replace Ford’s venerable Econoline wagon and van in 2013.
According to a report by Examiner.com, durability testing of the Transit van chassis continues at Ford’s “top secret” 3,880-acre Michigan Proving Ground (MPG) located in Romeo.
Although the Transit van has been extensively tested at Ford’s Lommel Proving Ground in Belgium, Ford engineers wanted to reassure U.S. customers that the new vehicle can meet their requirements. For that reason the Transit van is scheduled to be put through three months of “durability” testing including curb climbing on the 41 miles of specialized test roads at the MPG facility (probably equivalent to about one week of driving on the dreadful roads here in Los Angeles).
The latter includes a high-speed track and a variety of special surface roads – like gravel, cobblestones and even a road full of potholes – which are designed specifically to assess vehicle performance and durability.
A number of Ford Transit vans have also been loaned out to Ford’s commercial and fleet customers for “real world” testing though they will have to return these loaners after the test period expires.