How do we make sure the new Ford Transit can handle anything customers can throw at it?
By putting it through hell.
Ford ensured the new 2-tonne van will still be going strong in ten years through an “accelerated ageing” process. This simulates in six months the toughest treatment that customers can dish out in a decade.
Prototypes for the new Transit have been plunged through mud-baths and salt-baths, forced to do figures-of-eight for a month, and exposed to temperatures from –40 C to 40 C.
Some tests are so tough, drivers need to swap every two to three hours.
From the Austrian Alps to Death Valley, California and over the equivalent of more than 275 round-the-world trips, Transit has come out the other end with engineers having identified more than 100 significant improvements as a direct result of testing.
“I don’t think many customers would believe what this vehicle has been through,” said David Gregory, Transit chief programme engineer, Ford of Europe. “We inflict the worst possible treatment that a van could endure.”