Has it now been exposed?
Ford is definitely beefing up its Transit van lineup in the US. For starters, the all-electric Ford E-Transit is due to arrive in the near future and there's still the traditional Cargo and Passenger Wagon variants. But last year, Ford introduced a Transit unlike anything we've seen before. No other automaker has something quite like it.
The Ford Transit Trail, pictured here, was unveiled for the European market featuring an F-150 Raptor-inspired "FORD" front grille in place of the regular Blue Oval emblem. It also comes with larger wheels and some black plastic cladding surrounding the wheel arches. Rear-wheel-drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional. The latter also brings two self-explanatory driving modes: slippery and mud/rut.
To be clear, it's not all-out Raptor-ized version of the Transit, but it's the closest any OEM, at least in recent years, has done regarding a van with at least some off-road capabilities. Motor Trend recently noticed that Ford filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in April 2020. The agency granted the automaker's request earlier this month.
The patent image clearly shows the regular Transit wearing that beefier grille and those other Transit Trail-only styling add-ons. So yes, it seems this more adventurous Transit is heading stateside, only it won't come powered by the Euro version's 2.0-liter turbo diesel.
Instead, American buyers will have a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with a very respectable 310 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque and a limited slip differential. Ford has not made any formal announcement regarding the van's US arrival, so it's possible plans can still change. Bear in mind automakers routinely secure the rights to nameplates only to do nothing with them. Sometimes they expire and they're not always renewed.
Still, we think the Transit Trail would be a perfect fit in the Transit's US lineup. Americans love adventure and an AWD van with some off-roading capability with a touch of badass styling is just the ticket.