Ford's punishing Transit test regime

Ford has revealed the extent to which the new Transit Custom was tested, with 10 years of punishment and use simulated over six months. Torture-testing the Transit simulated the equivalent of six million miles and involved more than 150 test drivers, customers and engineers.

Every component undergoes stress and abuse - the 2.2 Duratorq engine, for example, was subjected to 46 days of high-load urban driving, part of tens of thousands of hours of testing to simulate ten yeurs of driving in as little as 30 days. The van is also tested at autobahn speeds for two months, non-stop.  

It’s not just the engine that undergoes such arduous testing – the van was driven through figure eights for a month, non-stop, crashed into a 140mm kerb at more than 35mph, and driven over heavily potholed roads more than 5000 times. It was also subjected to rough gravel, salt and mud baths and high humidity to test corrosion resistance.

As a result of the strenuous testing Ford engineered 100 improvements into the Transit Connect before production started, including stronger engine brackets and body rocker panels, ensuring all of the new Transit models are as strong and durable as they can be.

“I don’t think many customers would believe what this vehicle has been through,” said Barry Gale, commercial vehicles chief engineer, Ford of Europe. “We inflict the worst possible treatment that a van could endure, and we’re only satisfied when our new vehicle comes through with flying colours – just as the Transit Custom has done.” Said Barry Gale, commercial vehicles chief engineer, Ford of Europe.

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