Motoring News

Ford’s electric Supervan: Brute force in a panel van

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2023 FORD SUPERVAN TAKES TO THE TRACK. Image: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Ford has opened the first electrified chapter in its Supervan series with the global unveiling of an ultra high-performance Ford Pro Electric SuperVan at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK.

The Ford Pro Electric SuperVan (quite a mouthful…) uses electric performance and enhanced connectivity to achieve the highest performance of any Ford van so far and to underscore the company’s huge commitment to electrification.

It has four electric motors, a 50kWh liquid-cooled battery, and a “bespoke” control system that can produce 2000PS for sub-two-second 0-100km/h acceleration. Fid says performance is complemented by Ford’s SYNC in-cab touchscreen technology from road-going Fords, as well as additional functionality to control the Electric SuperVan’s unique capabilities.

The enhanced connectivity keeps the driver informed and enables real-time data transmission for remote vehicle management and optimised performance, just like the integrated services that can accelerate the productivity of over 125 000 Ford Pro customers across Europe.

DELIVER VANS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME, Image: Suzuki SA

Selectable drive modes and regenerative braking technologies similar to those on Ford production electric vehicles also feature. The striking, all-electric demonstrator vehicle (above) was developed in secret by Ford Performance and electrified rally and racing specialists STARD in Austria, with exterior design by the Ford Design team in Cologne, Germany.

Mark Rushbrook, Ford Performance global director, told The Corner in a media release: “We’re bringing SuperVan into the 21st century with all-electric power for unmatched excitement and unmistakeable styling inspired by the new E-Transit Custom.

“However, performance isn’t all about horsepower – the SuperVan’s processing power means engineers can use real-time vehicle data to optimise performance, just like on a top-level racing car.”

REBORN AND FACELIFTED

Ford’s first SuperVan was revealed in 1971 with a mid-mounted engine from the Le Mans-winning Ford GT40 to create a Transit Mk.1 “unlike any other”. The formula was taken further for SuperVan 2; a glass-fibre version of the Transit Mk. 2 body draped over the monocoque and 590PS Cosworth V8 of Ford’s C100 race car.

This vehicle was later reborn as the facelifted Transit Mk. 3 lookalike SuperVan 3, powered by a screaming 650 PS Cosworth HB engine shared with Formula 1 cars of the era.

‘INCREDIBLE DEMONSTRATOR’

Hans Schep, Ford Pro Europe’s general manager, added: “Ford Pro is all about accelerating productivity for our customers – so why not create a new Electric SuperVan that proves the power of electrification and connectivity?

“This incredible demonstrator vehicle takes E-Transit Custom’s advanced engineering and distinctive look to a whole new level and is high-speed proof of the power of Ford Pro’s connected services ecosystem.

THE SUPERVAN IN MOTION: Image: Suzuki SA

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