2,000 PS Ford Pro Electric SuperVan to make its debut in Goodwood with Romain Dumas
The Ford Pro Electric SuperVan fully utilises the potential of electric performance and enhanced connectivity to achieve the highest performance of any Ford van ever and underscore the company’s huge commitment to electrification.
Four electric motors, a 50 kWh liquid-cooled battery and a bespoke control system produce approximately 2,000 PS for sub two-second 0-100 km/h acceleration. Performance from a purpose-built, track-ready chassis including components from the recently unveiled E-Transit Custom 1 – the first fully electric version of Europe’s best-selling van 2,3 – is complemented by Ford’s SYNC in-cab touchscreen technology 4 from road-going Ford models, 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. Selectable drive modes and regenerative braking technologies similar to those on Ford production electric vehicles also feature.
The striking, all-electric demonstrator vehicle 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.
“We’re bringing SuperVan into the 21st century with 2,000 PS 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 Motorsports.
Ford’s first SuperVan was revealed in 1971 and featured a mid-mounted engine taken 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 glassfibre version of the Transit Mk. 2 body was draped over the monocoque and 590 PS Cosworth V8 of Ford’s C100 racing 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.
“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,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Ford Pro, Europe. “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 Ford Pro Electric SuperVan is revealed today at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where the Next-Gen Ford Ranger Raptor performance pick-up is also making its dynamic debut. 5 Championship-winning racing driver and electric motorsport specialist Romain Dumas will be in the Electric SuperVan’s cockpit to demonstrate its capability on Goodwood’s famous hillclimb.
Turning E-Transit Custom up to 11
The Ford Pro Electric SuperVan is a one-off demonstrator, leaving the Ford Design team free to create a wild-looking vehicle that grabs attention and reflects its extreme performance capability. The outlandish wheel arches, muscular style and one-off livery help to deliver the most extreme expression of Transit design, while the all-electric powertrain offered the development team lots of freedom with fewer of the packaging and cooling restrictions that come with a combustion engine.
“The chance to be part of the iconic SuperVan story and reimagine what it could be in the 21st century was a dream opportunity,” said Amko Leenarts, director, Design, Ford of Europe. “The fourth chapter of the SuperVan story is designed to be the fastest, most extreme yet while keeping the Transit DNA. The proportions are a more dramatic version of what we developed for the E-Transit Custom and the front light bar creates a futuristic expression, making the Electric SuperVan the absolute pinnacle of Transit design language.”
The demonstrator vehicle’s motorsport-spec construction marries the E-Transit Custom floorpan with a steel spaceframe and lightweight composite body panels. A bespoke 50 kWh liquid-cooled battery pack is mounted for optimum weight distribution and a low centre of gravity and can be fully recharged in approximately 45 minutes using a standard electric vehicle fast-charger. The driver can access charging and battery insights via the in-cab touchscreen.
Four electric motors together deliver approximately 2,000 PS through an all-wheel drive system – enough to propel the incredible van to 100 km/h in under two seconds and making it comfortably the fastest SuperVan ever, as well as the cleanest.
Like any good van, the Electric SuperVan features a loadspace behind the driver; a door in the bodyside makes loading and unloading cargo easy, and Ford is developing a secure electromagnetic release system controlled via the SYNC screen.
A suite of onboard cameras can immerse audiences around the world in the action during SuperVan’s impressive high-performance runs. As on the Ford E‑Transit, the driver can pull camera feeds onto the in-cab screen and switch between them to help position the vehicle.
Ford Performance and STARD’s motorsport input is immediately obvious; the dramatically sculpted body’s front splitter, side skirts and rear diffuser would be at home on a racing car, while the radical rear design’s cutaways and dorsal fin flow into the rear wing to generate downforce and push the Electric SuperVan into the track for more grip.
The racing influence continues under the skin with unequal-length double wishbone suspension at each corner. Motorsport-grade front and rear subframes, uprights, and brakes deliver the braking and steering capability to match the enormous straight-line go.
Data to accelerate performance and productivity
The Ford Pro Electric SuperVan’s interior includes a full roll cage and racing seats to FIA standards for safety, as well as a large SYNC touchscreen taken directly from Ford’s production vehicles such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E 6 controlling the advanced connectivity and information systems. If required, drivers can take a break from hustling the Electric SuperVan up hillclimbs and around racetracks to plot a route, find a charger, connect to WiFi and make phone calls – all via the SYNC screen.
The touchscreen also enables control of the selectable drive modes that tailor the Electric SuperVan’s torque maps, regenerative braking and control responses to
suit different driving scenarios :
· Road – for rare cases of “normal” driving
· Track – for balancing speed and cornering on track with racing slick tyres
· Drag – for maximum acceleration on drag strips while using drag racing radial tyres
· Drift – for spectacular drifting, agility demonstrations and snow driving
· Rally – for optimum performance on tarmac and gravel rally stages with special tyres
Further performance fine-tuning is delivered by an electronics package that includes traction control, launch control, a pit-lane speed limiter and three-stage regenerative braking to return energy to the battery – similar to the L Mode function on E-Transit. At low speed, ECO Mode keeps the motors at optimal efficiency, turns the regenerative braking up to maximum and cuts drive to the rear axle. For maximum speed, an E‑Boost button puts a temporary power and torque boost at the driver’s fingertips.
A Tyre Cleaning Mode can deliver exhilarating driving displays; this new feature fully brakes one axle while spinning the other, creating impressive burnouts on the front or rear axles that help clean and warm the tyres before performance runs.
Just like a modern racing car – and Ford’s hard-working vans – the Electric SuperVan can send real-time data to software for remote vehicle management. Businesses can use Ford Pro E‑Telematics 7 or FordPass Pro 8 to track the health and security of their fleet; similarly, Ford Performance trackside engineers can monitor the Electric SuperVan via dedicated management software that translates live data into insights on speed, lap times and vehicle systems.
Beyond demonstrating Ford’s advanced electric vehicle and connectivity know-how, the Electric SuperVan is also a high-speed science experiment. Its demanding driving scenarios and unrestricted design concept allow Ford to push the boundaries of electric vehicle engineering and connectivity to improve its future race cars and road-going vehicles, software and services.
In the hot seat at Goodwood is Romain Dumas, the expert driver tasked with unleashing the Electric SuperVan’s full performance. Dumas’ track record in electric racing is unparalleled; he set outright records at the Goodwood and Pikes Peak hillclimbs, and also holds the electric lap record at the fearsome Nordschleife, where he won four Nürburgring 24 Hours races. Dumas’ diverse experience also includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans’ outright distance record, an FIA World Endurance Championship title, and a class victory at the Rallye Monte Carlo.
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