DEXTER, Mich. — Ford and its Ford Pro commercial vehicle business have unveiled the 2023 Transit Trail, a lifted, off-road-ish version of its Transit van. In addition to commercial uses, this is a platform with the #Vanlife crowd — both DIY and dealer-bought — squarely in its sights.
The Ford Transit Trail replaces the former Adventure Prep Package, and has several standard items direct from the factory that should appeal to the adventure set. It gets a 3.5-inch lift for better ground clearance. Its 30.5-inch Goodyear Wrangler Workhorse all-terrain tires are 2.5 inches larger than what were previously available, ensuring a balance between capability and a compliant ride, and the track is also widened by 2.75 inches.
It’s powered by Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, producing 310 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque, paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is standard, and there are five selectable drive modes: Normal, Eco, Mud/Ruts, Tow/Haul and Slippery. It can be had with either the medium or high roof in long length, or extended length with high roof for up to 487 cubic feet of cargo/living space. A 25-gallon fuel tank is standard, but an optional 31-gallon tank is available to extend range.
Other factory content includes the black grille with embedded marker lights, black HID headlights, swivel or fixed front seats, dual 12-volt battery power supply with a 400-watt AC inverter, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, a 12-inch touchscreen running Sync 4, and adaptive cruise control. A roof vent fan, tow package, dual alternators can also be had from the factory, under warranty (3-year, 36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper).
While Ford will sell its Transit Trail to upfitters and distributors, it also expects a significant number of DIY customers, who appreciate Ford providing things like a lift kit, an optional roof vent and pre-positioned drillable areas to ensure vehicle safety and durability, as well as the integrity of the warranty. “What we heard,” said Ford Pro product marketer Julie Ellenberger, “is that they want Ford Pro to do the must-have, functional stuff — the ‘scary’ stuff, if you will — so that they can then focus on what matters most: making the van individual to what they want it to be, their home away from home.”
For those who don’t want to go it alone, Ford has numerous partners and distributors, and customers can either buy it from one of them, or go to the Ford Upfits website to find a Ford-approved modifier. Ford had an example of the 2023 Transit Trail on hand at a media preview event, where we got to see a version of the van that had been upfit by VanDOit Adventure Vans, which you can see in the video below.
The order books for the 2023 Ford Transit Trail open today, but we’re warned supply is limited for now. It starts at $67,770 including $1,795 in destination fees.