Ford Europe, led by chief engineer Peter Horbury, introduced the Ford Transit Connect to the automotive world in 2002, although it did not make an appearance in North America until summer of 2009. Not long after it reached America it was awarded the North American Truck of the Year, by the North American International Auto Show. As the Transit Connect made its way to North America, it underwent changes to the outward appearance for the model year 2010. Some of the changes included a newly redesigned grille and changes in the dimensions of the front bumper. Many speculate that this was to appeal more to Americans, since previous year’s models looked distinctly European and even slightly Asian in body style.
The Ford Transit Connect uses the front wheel drive platform of the Ford Focus, under a cargo van body style. Unfortunately the engine of this van is lacking in several ways. It’s a 2.0-liter petrol 4-cylinder engine, with a 4-speed automatic transmission. Even for a fairly small-size van, this is simply not enough power.
In 2011 Ford came out with the Transit Connect XLT Premium Wagon in North America. The body style was redesigned to appeal to American and Canadian consumers, additional passenger seats were added, rear windows that open, a rearview parking assist camera and blind spot warning. Ford has now also come out with the Transit Connect X-Press – a much faster version that uses the engine of the Ford Focus RS.