It isn't uncommon to see some odd vehicles roaming the streets surrounding Ford's headquarters in Dearborn, Mich. We found one, a Chinese-market Ford Transit minibus, parked at a local shopping center.
The smaller Transit Connect gets most of the hype here in the U.S., since it will go on sale later this year. However, overseas, the hot seller is the full-size Transit. In fact, the Transit is Europe's best selling van, and has been for decades.
The current Transit, which competes against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz (or Dodge) Sprinter, is offered in all shapes and sizes. This particular model is a medium wheelbase, medium roof minibus in "Frozen" white. As shown by the pictures, it boasts 12 seats with a center aisle. It packs a TDCi diesel engine, although we can't tell if either a 2.2- or a 2.4-liter I-4 lurks underhood. The unusual script on the back doors undoubtedly indicates the market this Transit is destined for.
We'd like to say the presence of this test vehicle indicates Ford's desire to replace the aging E-series, but we can't -- Ford tests plenty of foreign models in the States, often without officially importing them for our consumption. Still, if the smaller Transit Connect succeeds in the U.S. market, Ford could very well import its other Euro-van to North America.