It’s been more than half a century since the first of Ford’s E-Series vans rolled off the assembly line in Lorain, Ohio. The year was 1961, Americans were tuning in regularly to The Red Skelton Show, and the E-Series had been introduced as a replacement for the Ford F-Series panel van. In five-plus decades since, the nameplate has been attached to a variety of body styles and configurations, including cargo and passenger vans, among others.
Today, there are many Ford models on the road that are powerful descendants of those first Cold War-era vehicles. One such model is the medium-duty E-Series Cutaway E-450 DRW. The E-450 packs a wallop with its Ford-built 6.8L EFI Triton® V10 teamed with the Ford-built TorqShift 6-speed automatic transmission. The TorqShift transmission includes a selectable tow/haul mode that automatically compensates for altitude, grade, and load conditions. The 6.8L engine offers 305 hp and 420 lb-ft torque, and there’s also an optional 6.2L flex-fuel V8 engine equipped with 331 hp and 356 lb-ft torque, which can run on unleaded or E85 gasoline. A 55-gallon fuel tank is standard on the model, as is a 50-state emissions system, an auxiliary transmission oil cooler, an auxiliary fuel port, and a modified vehicle wiring kit. The E-450 DRW relies on a standard four-wheel disc anti-lock braking system to bring it to a predictable halt.
Several options are available for customers who appreciate customization and want to maintain control, including 65 mph and 75 mph governed top-speed limitations on fleet vehicles; a driveshaft upgrade from 3-inch to 3.5-inch diameter; an engine block heater; a 40-gallon fuel tank; an integrated trailer brake controller; and daytime running lamps. A 240-amp extra heavy-duty alternator is available to replace the standard 150-amp on the 6.2L engine; and on the 6.8L engine, a 225-amp extra heavy-duty alternator is available to replace the 155-amp. There’s also a heavy-duty 78-amp battery available to replace the standard 72-amp version.
The available CNG/Propane Gaseous Engine Prep Package allows the standard 6.8L Triton V10 and the available 6.2L flex-fuel V8 to run on compressed natural gas or liquefied propane autogas, instead of conventional unleaded.
Fleet customers who routinely pull loads will appreciate the choice of equipping their E-450 DRW with power or manual telescopic trailer tow exterior mirrors, which adjust to reflect whatever type and size trailer is being towed. For finishing touches, exterior upgrades are available, including a chrome front grille to replace the standard black painted one, and/or chrome or painted white bumpers to replace the standard black bumpers. Customers also can add door-length running boards and a front license place bracket. And for safety sake, there is a remote keyless entry option and an available back-up camera.
Inside the cabin, optional seating features include dual high-back cloth captain’s chairs to replace standard dual high-back bucket seats, and a six-way power driver-seat adjuster. Another option fleet owners appreciate is Ford TelematicsTM powered by Telogis®, which collects real-time vehicle data and uses a secure web-based application to present fleet data visually. The system features dashboards, reports, real-time alerts, and maintenance reminders based on vehicle conditions, helping reduce costs and downtime.
For users who need to connect aftermarket accessories to the truck’s electrical system, there is an available panel of four up-fitter switches—a 10- and 15-amp switch, along with two 30-amps—that is factory installed and integrated into the instrument panel. A 110V A/C outlet is also available, along with power windows and locks and a day/night rearview mirror.
For entertainment on the road, SiriusXM® Radio is an available option, as is the SYNC® Voice-Activated System, which allows users to make phone calls, listen to music, select apps, and more, while keeping their hands on the steering wheel and eyes on the road. The system can read incoming text messages aloud, and 911 Assist® can call for help in an emergency, even if the driver can’t.
The list of changes made to E-Series models over the past half century is lengthy, and always aimed at improvements. If history truly is the best predictor of the future, Ford E-Series vehicles will continue to upgrade and be integral to fleets for decades to come.
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Find out more about the 2018 E-Series Cutaway E-450 DRW, visit www.ford.com.