The first Ford Transit proper was introduced in October 1965, and has been in continuous production in three basic generations to the present day. The van was produced initially at Ford's Langley facility in Berkshire, England (a former Second World War aircraft factory which had produced Hawker Hurricane fighters), but demand outstripped the capability of the plant, and production was moved to Southampton, where it has remained. Transits have also been produced in Ford's Genk factory in Belgium and also Turkey. Transits have been produced in Amsterdam for the local market from the mid seventies until the end of 1981. This factory had ample capacity, since the Ford Transcontinental produced there had little success (total production 8000 in 6 years). Although the Transit sold well in the Netherlands, it was not enough to save the factory, which closed in December 1981. The Transit is also produced in China for the Chinese market.The second generation Transit platform appeared in January 1986 and was notable for its all-new bodyshell which was of "one-box" design (i.e. the windscreen and bonnet are at the same angle), and the front suspension was changed to a fully independent configuration on SWB versions. The engine range was carried over largely unchanged from the last of the 1978-85 generation models, although in 1989 the high performance 3.0 V6 petrol was replaced by the Cologne 2.9 EFI V6. A subtle facelift in 1992 saw the fully independent front suspension adopted across the range, whilst a redesigned floorpan allowed the use of single, rather than paired, rear wheels on the LWB derivative, further increasing payload—these models are identifiable by the slightly more rounded front headlamps.The next Transit, introduced in July 2000, was the third all-new design, and borrowed styling cues from Ford's "New Edge" designs like the Focus, and Ka. Developed by Ford in the United States, the main innovation is that it is available in either front or rear-wheel drive. Ford nomenclature makes this the V184 (rear wheel drive) or V185 (front wheel drive) model. This model features the "Puma"-type Duratorq turbo diesel engine also used in the 2000 Mondeo and Jaguar X-Type, with the petrol versions moving up to the 2.3 L 16-Valve edition of the straight-4 engine. With this engine, the Transit can reach 60 mph (97 km/h) in 21 seconds and reach a top speed of 93 miles per hour (150 km/h), returning it to car-like performance as claimed for the earliest models. A demonstration of this model's speed was shown on Top Gear in 2005, where German race driver Sabine Schmitz attempted to drive it around the Nürburgring in under ten minutes, matching Jeremy Clarkson's time in a turbodiesel Jaguar S-type; she was unsuccessful, but only by a few seconds.
The Ford Transit VJX6541DK-M is the Chinese version and it based on its predecessors of the fourth and fifth generation. This generation is only built in Nanchang by Jiangling Motors and is reserved for the Chinese domestic market. Remarkable are the much larger headlights and the larger grille. The model was launched to the market in 2006. Overall, the generation have 70 improvements to its predecessor. The interior has been changed and made more ergonomic. Power windows are standard, but ABS is optional. The Chinese Transit is available with two diesel engines and one petrol. One of them has a power of 67.6 kW (Type JX493ZQ3), the other 68 kW (JX493ZQ4). Both diesels have a capacity of 2771 cc. The Petrol version uses a Barra 190 inline-6 motor. The top speed is specified at 68.35 mph (110 km/h). The Chinese Transits have a VIN in following form: LJXBMCH1××T××××××. A number of promotional Supervans were built, combining the outline and appearance of the Transit with the chassis and performance of a sports racing car. A Mark 6 Ford Transit was used in a segment on BBC's Top Gear TV show. The show was broadcast on 10 July 2005. In the segment, Sabine Schmitz drove the Transit around the Nurburgring to see if she could beat presenter Jeremy Clarkson's time in a Jaguar S-Type Diesel of 9 minutes 59 seconds. However, her best time was 10 minutes 8 seconds despite reducing the weight of the van. A modified Mark 3 Transit was also used in Top Gear Australia's Ashes Special and Top Gear series 16 episode 2, where Richard Hammond (UK) raced the van against a Holden VE Ute driven by Shane Jacobson (Australia) in a drag race. Unknown to Hammond and the Australians, the van was powered by a turbocharged Jaguar XJ220 engine, in addition to running on wheels from the same model.