How to convince white van man of electric? The fastest SuperVan ever…
By Matt Bird / Thursday, 23 June 2022 / Loading comments
Given the long history of the concept, we all expected crazy power from the new Ford SuperVan. Even without the back story, the 1,400hp Mustang Mach-E set the precedent for incredible battery-powered one-offs from the Blue Oval. But the Ford Pro Electric SuperVan has surpassed all expectations and predictions. Because it has 2,000hp – and the ability to hit 62mph in less than two seconds.
The SuperVan has this prodigious power thanks to the combination of a bespoke 50kWh liquid cooled battery and four (yes, four) electric motors. The battery is sited as low and central as possible for weight distribution, and Ford claims a standard EV fast charger can replenish it in 45 minutes. There isn’t a range or anything quite so tedious as that, but expect sprinting to 60mph as fast as an F1 car to deplete the battery pretty quick.
There is more to the performance than mere straight-line speed, however, the SuperVan’s foursome of motors offering all sorts of opportunities with torque distribution. There are five drive modes, for starters, ranging from Road to Rally and including everything from Drag to Drift; if the SuperVan needs maximum traction or maximum showboating potential, the motors can be configured as required. There’s even a ‘Tyre Cleaning Mode’, which can fully brake one axle and spin the other, “creating impressive burnouts on the front or rear axles”. Expect to see plenty of that at Goodwood over the weekend. We’d be disappointed if there isn’t, in fact – especially with Romain Dumas driving.
The Ford Pro Electric SuperVan has been built in secret – kind of like how nobody knew of the GT before it was shown – developed by Ford Performance, Ford Design and electric rally specialists STARD in Austria. Which means all the good stuff, basically, including unequal length double wishbones (and that looks like the KW colour scheme on the dampers to us) as well as ‘motorsport grade’ subframes, uprights and brakes, the latter clamped by Alcon calipers. Look closely and you’ll see OZ forged wheels, too, on Avon slick tyres. Plus enough roll cage scaffolding to support a three-bed semi.
We probably should talk about the looks, too, Ford Performance and STARD having worked on the front splitter, side skirts and diffuser. The incredible cutaways at the rear look set to be a signature of this particular SuperVan, working in conjunction with the dorsal fin to channel air, generate downforce and “push the Electric SuperVan into the track for more grip.” They’re some proper RS-style blistered arches, too, though this one-off livery doesn’t seem quite as memorable as some old SuperVans.
That said, there’s rather more van here than previous efforts. The road-going Transit EV has regenerative braking, and so does this, with three stages offered. There’s an Eco mode that makes it slow and front-drive only, too. The Sync touchscreen has been carried over directly from a Mustang Mach-E with the same functionality; as well as the aforementioned drive modes, it controls phone connectivity and nav, with an electromagnetic release system for the door in development. Almost a proper van, see. Ford proudly points, moreover, to the real-time data logging; for the SuperVan that means dedicated software and engineers, but it’s also possible in production Transits with Ford Pro E-Telematics or FordPass Pro, so businesses can “track the health and security of the fleet.” Or advise its drivers on how to drive an electric Transit more efficiently…
Anyway, that’s enough of the worthy stuff – this is Ford’s “high-speed science experiment”, just one that looks a bit like a van. Arguably, too, there’s a little more relevance to this SuperVan than the ones with F1 car engines in, however lovable they were. Because a faster, four-motor E-Transit Custom doesn’t seem like the silliest idea in the world given the current fondness for megavans like those from M-Sport. Ford say the Pro Electric SuperVan allows it to “push the boundaries of electric vehicle engineering and connectivity to improve its future race cars and roadgoing vehicles, software and services.” Plus, you’d like to hope, have plenty of fun in the process as well, because this looks brilliant.
“We’re bringing SuperVan into the 21st century with 2,000PS of all-electric power for unmatched excitement and unmistakeable styling inspired by the new E-Transit Custom. But performance isn’t all about horsepower – the Electric SuperVan’s processing power means engineers can use real-time vehicle data to optimise its performance, just like on a top-level racing car,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director Ford Performance Motorsport. Goodwood-goers this weekend will be able to see the SuperVan alongside the new Ranger Raptor, which is as fast as Ford commercial vehicles get. For now, at least…
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