Ford has been dropping hints since December about the Ford Transit van that will replace its ancient E-Series van, still referred to by many as the Econoline.

Now the company has released a bit more information.

The Ford Transit full-size van that will be introduced next year will use a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine rather than the larger V-8 offered in the current E-Series, and will be rear-wheel drive like the current van.

The engine for the new Transit will be a variation of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 that's now offered in several different large vehicles from Ford and Lincoln.

Those include the Lincoln MKS sedan and MKZ crossover, the Ford Flex crossover, the Ford Taurus SHO performance sedan, and the Ford F-150 pickup truck.

The V-6 EcoBoost option has been an unexpected success in the F-150, and the company says that more than 40 percent of new F-150s are now sold with the engine.

And that's in a line of trucks that offered no V-6 at all as recently as two years ago.

Ford Transit Van, high-roof European model

Ford Transit Van, high-roof European model

Ford says the Transit van coming in 2013 will be 300 pounds lighter and get gas mileage ratings at least 25 percent higher than today's E-Series vans, cutting both CO2 emissions and customer costs accordingly.

Ford will build the new Transit at its Kansas City truck plant, where the F-150 pickup is already assembled.


Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook and Twitter.