Factory 4WD/AWD on Ford Transit?


Chateau spotter
Rumor is we only have to wait until the NYC Auto show (4/19) to find out what the 2020 Transit is like.


I always found it strange that full sized vans never got 4x4, and rarely got AWD style systems (as factory options). I mean, literally every other vehicle class has a 5+ 4x4/AWD options. I know the vans don't have huge sales numbers, but there are plenty of Americans who will pay the premium for the extra drive axle. Mercedes really screwed up with there supply chain ownership and contracts on the sprinter, so they can't meet demand. Ford does quigley with the vans. There is a big difference between the after-the-fact install and something that is engineered and packaged from conception.

Given the wheel/steering and trans placement on the transit, I am not sure how they will package the front diff without a significant lift. And a big lift could be a deal breaker with regards to fuel economy and entry/egress.


My prediction is that Ford won't have an AWD Transit until the VW joint venture is worked out. It doesn't make much sense to design a USA-specific Transit AWD system to span 1-2 models years then transition over to VW's 4motion or equivalent. I'm not a VP or the CEO at Ford though so I can't be 100% certain but given the challenges and platform differences between the European designed/USA adapted Transit and all the USA designed/built Ford vehicles, I just can't put the logic together. Not to mention that historically there hasn't been enough demand for AWD or 4x4 in vans so why would Ford all of sudden re-tool a factory for what might only be 1-2 MYs? I don't see it happening. I'd love to be wrong because I'd just apply all of what I've developed into performance parts for the factory AWD.

There's also the fear of getting what you wish for.... As 4x4 van enthusiasts, do you want an electronic nanny-ized AWD with no low range? Only in our dreams can we hope that Ford puts a 4x4 system like the Raptor's in a predominately fleet oriented vehicle...


OP here....

I really appreciate all the feedback.

Seems the consensus is that we really don't know if this will happen next year or never.

I think my GF and I are going to go ahead with a 2wd low-roof Transit and see how it serves our needs. Will add a pop-top from SM or CCV.


Go read the thread on this forum about about a Pop Top or Fixed Raised Roof on a van before you order your new low roof Transit.
Thanks Mike....

We have agonized over this decision quite a bit.

A big issue we are contending with is trying to build a vehicle that will fit in our garage. We will be moving into a new house that has a pretty strict HOA that prohibits occupant vehicles from being parked in the driveway routinely. We did have an oversize garage door installed so we have 8.5 feet vs the standard 7.0 feet of opening height. That said, it is still not enough room to accommodate
a mid-roof Transit once you slap stuff on the roof (solar, fan, rack).

The low-roof Transit with SM pop-top will fit in the garage even after the addition of roof-top goodies and a small bump in tire size.

Some will say "Screw the HOA and move!" but since the house is a gift from my folks, we will be living mortgage free which is more important than trying to fit the house around the vehicle.

First-world problems for sure...


My prediction is that Ford won't have an AWD Transit until the VW joint venture is worked out.
Personally, I would love to see a 4Motion-style setup in a van. The Sprinter's 4x4 system is so bastardized that I just wouldn't have it. It can't even run down the road without a ton of noise and vibration even in 2WD. These vans are too big for rock crawling, so I think an AWD system that adds snow, sand and some offroad driving would be a nice addition.

Funny, if you didn't have shift-on-the-fly 4WD in the early 90s, you were way behind. The Sprinter doesn't have it or even a 50/50 torque split!

I love my 2WD Sprinter but would buy a 4WD Transit in a heartbeat over the 4x4 Sprinter.


Once again Ford does something awesome but it makes me scratch my head. I can't wait to see what components they're using for AWD!


Interesting. I would bet they are using a variant of the front suspension used on another north american drivetrain? I doubt its the F series, as quigley would have a meltdown.

b. rock

Active member
Ski shuttle upfit business might take a kit, and maybe people won't be asking 6 figures for 4x4 Sprinters anymore? I don't see any downside here and maybe as with the chevy awd vans, someone will figure out how to put in a transfer case with low range.

Scotty D

Active member
I have so many questions now.
10 speed transmission ? Is this a good idea? Is it in any of their trucks already?
What sort of pricetag?
Any chance of getting those little flare outs on the side to increase bed length like the sprinters have been spotted with?
I am an odd mixture of skeptical and very excited.
I usually hate to get the first year of anything but I might make an exception.