While European automakers like Volkswagen have not been shy about importing diesel engines from Europe, Ford has been coy, even going so far as to say diesels don’t “make sense” for America. But the Blue Oval seems to have changed its mind with the announcement that the Ford Transit van will be available with a 3.2 liter 5-cylinder diesel engine right here in North America.
The press release doesn’t specifically say the U.S., though the engine will be installed in Ford’s Claycomo, Missouri assembly plant, which received a $1.1 billion investment to build the new Transit van. The Transit van will also be one of the only vans on the market available with a turbocharged engine in the form of an EcoBoost motor.
The 3.2 liter DuraTorq engine option is good news for Ford fans, who were limited to diesel offerings in Ford’s big Super Duty pickups. Rated at 197 horsepower and 347 ft-lbs of torque, in the global Ford Ranger platform this engine has enough power to tow a locomotive…literally.
Alas, Ford still doesn’t seem to have any plans on bringing the Ranger to America. Yet a fuel-efficient five-cylinder diesel engine is a great first step to re-introducing America to the potential of clean diesel. The engine is also expected to be B20 biodiesel compatible,and in the Ranger can deliver an average of 28 mpg, though some drivers have reported 35 mpg or more during testing.
Diesel is making a comeback in America…and even Ford is getting on board.