Giniel speaks on Dakar podium place

Things were not always easy for the Toyota SA team but Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz fought hard to reach the Dakar 2015 podium.

2015 Detroit auto show

From concepts to new models, get the latest news from the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Torture tests hammer Transits

2013-04-09 09:23

FORD’S ACTION VAN IN TRANSIT: Ford’s new Transit van was subjected to a punishing series of tests to simulate a grueling abusive ten-year cycle.


2012 Ford Transit

2012-12-27 09:38

2012 Ford Transit

LOMMEL, Belgium– Ford has put its SA-bound Transit Custom van through its most comprehensive vehicle testing regime yet -  the equivalent of 10 extremely punishing years in just six months.

More than 150 professional test drivers, plus customer fleet drivers and Ford engineers, put a number of vans through a punishing series of tests covering the equivalent of 4.8-million kilometres and including non-stop driving to simulate an extremely demanding 10-year life cycle along with extreme climate testing and corrosive salt and mud-baths.


Barry Gale, Ford Europe commercial vehicles chief engineer, told Wheels24: “I don’t think many customers would believe what this vehicle has been through. We inflict the worst possible treatment that a van could endure and we’re only satisfied when our new vehicle comes through with flying colours – just as the Transit Custom has done.”

Ford analysed data from more than 600 Transits around the world to assess its  “worst-case usage durability targets” based on a 10 -year, 240 000km life.

Accelerated durability testing took place at Ford’s Lommel proving ground in Belgium, which included a “trailer tow general durability” test.
Extreme tests included: (remember, this is a van...)

Autobahn speed: Maintaining maximum speed for two months non-stop.
Figure Eight: Executing figure-of-eights non-stop for a month.
Chassis strength: Crashing into a 140mm kerb at about 60km/h.
Potholes and bumps: Completing a potholed and bumpy course at up to 70km/h more than 5000 times.
Corrosion resistance: Driving over rough gravel roads, salt and through mud-baths and soaking in high-humidity chambers for 12 weeks.

During its development, Ford Transit Custom prototypes also endured 40C in Dubai and -40C in Finland.


In the test labs, Ford subjected its 2.2 Duratorq diesel, which will power all Transit Customs, to 46 days of continuous high-load urban driving on specialised rigs.

Ford has engineered more than 100 significant improvements as a direct result of its testing regime. These include the redesign and strengthening of the engine mount brackets and body rocker panels.

The same regime will deliver similar benefits to the all-new Ford Transit and Ford Transit Connect models due to be launched in 2014.

Gale said: “Pushing the van to the limit helps us to deliver a stronger, more robust product. This translates directly into everyday reliability for the customer, however tough their working environment.”

The SA units will have the 2.2 Duratorq TDCi diesel engine and be offered as long and short-wheelbase variants. The new Transit will arrive later in 2013.

Read more on:    belgium  |  ford

Read Wheels24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside Wheels24

2015 SA Ford Fusion launch - full story

Ford SA has launched possibly its best-looking car yet, the Fusion, in South Africa. Wheels24's DAVE FALL was in Cape Town for the event.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.