Ford Transit and Transit Connect Sweep Arctic Van Test
The results are in from one of the most challenging vehicle performance tests on the planet – the 2014 Arctic Van Test – and the Ford Transit and Ford Transit Connect each won their own categories, a remarkable achievement for such a demanding test.
The Arctic Van Test proceeds over a five day period. It is held in the north of Finland, and subjects vehicles to temperatures as low as -50 Centigrade, as well as courses that traverse ice and snow. Individual performance tests include racing across a rutted, icy 700 kilometer route, and careening across a frozen solid airfield. The contest pits competitors against each other in categories that include overall handling, fuel efficiency and ability to carry heavy loads. Also noted are the ability to start after having been left out in the cold overnight and the heater operation.
The vehicles were driven by experts from six commercial vehicle magazines, and they awarded the prizes. This marks the first time in the contests 23-year history that Ford has won in two categories. The Transit competed against vehicles from Mercedes, Volkswagen and Opel, and rated either first or co-winner in nine of the thirteen categories. The Connect was competing against vehicles from Renault, Volkswagen and Citroen, and led in seven categories. According to Paul Randle, vehicle line director of Global Commercial Vehicles for Ford of Europe, “Every one of our new Transits is tested in the world’s toughest climates and driving conditions long before launch, so they are prepared for just this kind of challenge. Our customers depend on their Transits to get the job done, and we have made sure they are ready for work, whatever the weather.”