Ford has announced the addition of the Trail and Active variants to the Transit van range for Europe, bringing added ruggedness to the venerable commercial load-lugger.

Trail variants of the Transit receive added black cladding around the lower sections of the front and rear bumpers and side panels, while these and the oversized ‘Ford’ lettering in the matte black grille are joined by 16-inch alloy wheels unique to the range, along with ‘Trail’ logos on the front doors. Alongside this, the Transit Custom Trail can also be optioned with roof rails and running boards.

The Active variants of the Transit Custom and Tourneo Custom gain additional body cladding on the wheelarches body sides, rear bumper and side mirror covers, 17-inch alloy wheels, a signature Active mesh grille, as well as roof rails as standard.

The Active variants, along with the Transit Trail and Transit Custom Trail also get an optional mechanical limited-slip differential for the front-wheel-drive variants to have improved traction when operating on loose and slippery surfaces. Meanwhile, the Transit Trail can also be specified with all-wheel-drive.

The Transit Active interior gets partial leather trim, while the Tourneo Custom Active gains an additional blue accent on the instrument panel. The seats can be moved to gain legroom for passengers or to increase luggage space, or be reversed to form a ‘conference’ seating layout. The seats can also be removed completely, and their mounting points can secure racks for safely carrying bicycles.

The Trail variants gain full leather seating as standard, adding wipe-clean flexibility and durability to the cabin, says Ford, while power-folding door mirrors and automatic lighting are also standard. The Transit Custom Trail is available in panel van, double cab-in-van and kombi in a choice of two wheelbase lengths, with GVM ratings ranging from 3,000 kg to 3,400 kg. The Transit Trail adds the choice of single and double chassis cab variants, with a GVM rating or 3,500 kg.

The Transit’s all-wheel driveline is complemented by Slippery and Mud/Rut drive modes, which are selectable by the driver via the Drive Mode controller on the dashboard. In addition to these, an AWD lock mode applies a fixed 50:50 front to rear torque split when traction is required on extremely low-grip surfaces, says Ford, and the driveline does not compromise the load volume or dimensions when compared to RWD variants.

All Transit Trail and Transit Custom Trail models are powered by the Blue Oval’s 2.0 litre EcoBlue diesel engine, available outputs of 130 PS, 170 PS and 185 PS. The Transit Custom Trail can also be specified with EcoBlue Hybrid powertrains, also in 130 PS, 170 PS and 185 PS output levels, here mated to a 48-volt mild hybrid system.

Over in the United States, the 2022 Transit is set to go all-electric, and the European market models are to follow suit. The move away from internal combustion is set to benefit fleet operators from a government tax incentives standpoint, and also stand to enjoy access to high-occupancy vehicle lanes in cities. Electric vans also have an advantage in being able to operate indoors, and in areas with strict noise regulations.