Ford is making leisurely chess moves when it comes to bringing the Transit Trail to the U.S. The automaker’s European branch launched the rugged van in June 2020, two months after Ford applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a design patent for the Transit Trail’s finer features. More than a year later, in August 2021, Ford Authority reported Ford had prototypes plying public roads to develop a Stars and Stripes version of the Transit Trail. Now Muscle Cars & Trucks says Ford has returned to the USPTO to submit more paperwork, applying to trademark the Transit Trail name in the U.S. on April 20.
The slow burn might be because there’s more to creating our version than adding the same bits on the Euro van. Over there, the Transit Trail only comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel making 128 horsepower and 266 pound-feet, shifted through a six-speed transmission to either the front axle fitted with a limited-slip differential, or both axles. Our vans only come with either a 3.5-liter V6 with 275 hp and 262 lb-ft, or a 3.6-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 with 310 hp and 400 lb-ft., both of which send power to a 10-speed transmission. Our Transits are either rear-wheel drive or AWD. That might also mean no LSD for us, or Ford might move the LSD to the rear axle if it chooses to offer the van with two powertrains here. The AWD mid-roof Transit the Trail is based on is currently limited to fleet customers, so it would need to be prepped for our brand of retail buyer. And it’s not like Ford has nothing else to do right now than make all of these engineering changes.
Assuming the Transit Trail does show, we’d expect the gear the van launched with in Europe: Exclusive 16-inch split-five-spoke wheels under black fender flares, the Raptor-esque grille treatment and a hem of black cladding, a skid plate, slightly higher ride height, the Quickclear heated windshield, leather upholstery and Slippery and Mud/Rut driving modes on the AWD trim. MCT wrote, “sources have told us we could see a US-spec Ford Transit Trail debut this year.” Outfitters and #Vanlifers get ready.