► Ford brings back the SuperVan at FOS
► All-electric van boasts 2000hp
► 0-62mph in less than two seconds
Ford has brought back the legendary SuperVan for only the fourth time ever, with the latest version appearing at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed. There’s a twist though – instead of getting a monstrous V8 or similar, this one is all electric.
This doesn’t mean it is lacking in any way when it comes to performance, and it boasts some frankly bonkers numbers.
What can the Ford SuperVan do?
The Ford Pro Electric SuperVan, to give it its full name, is powered by not one but four motors, which combines with a 50kWh battery and what Ford is calling a ‘bespoke control system’ to turn out a stupendous 2000hp. This translates to a 0-62mph time that Ford hasn’t put a precise time on, but says it will be less than two seconds.
Funnily enough Ford hasn’t gone into much detail on the range, but it has said the SuperVan can be recharged to full in just 45 minutes on a standard fast charger.
What else is special about the SuperVan?
Even though it is vaguely van shaped – and has a useable loading bay – there is very little about the SuperVan that has been carried over from a standard Ford Commercial Vehicle. The chassis is a bespoke track-ready setup while it has been fitted with motorsport-standard suspension and brakes.
That time we hitched a ride in an XJ220-powered Transit
It’s no one-trick pony though, and it has a selection of driving modes, which allows the driver to tailor the van for different uses. These include Road, Track, Drag, which enhances straight-line acceleration, Drift for sideways showoffs and Rally for heading out on low-friction surfaces.
If that wasn’t enough then there’s also launch control, pit-lane speed limiter and an E-Boost function.
Perhaps the most ridiculous feature is the ‘Tyre Cleaning Mode’ that brakes one axle and allows you to send a load of that power to the other to scrub off some rubber and warm what remains. It works on both front and rear axles, too.
There are a few energy-saving features too, including a three-stage brake regeneration and an Eco mode. For those moments when you need to pop down the shops and want to save battery perhaps.
One thing that is carried over from Ford’s more conventional vehicles is the software, which is the latest Sync system, as seen in models such as the Mustang Mach-E. This allows Ford to plot a route, find a charger, send data for analysis and get insights on the charging and battery.
Road and Goodwood hillclimb ready
The SuperVan is rumoured to be road legal, even if you might baulk at taking on any sort of speed bump or width restriction with those wheel arches and front splitter, but it’s arguably more suited to the Goodwood hill. It will spend much of the weekend heading up the course, piloted by Romain Dumas, he of the electric record at the Nurburgring, amongst other things.
What’s a SuperVan?
There have been three previous SuperVans, and, like this one, they have all been bonkers explorations of what can be done when you put a very fast engine under the most sensible and practical vehicle that Ford makes – the Transit. The first one appeared in 1971 and took a GT40 chassis and popped a van bodyshell on the top. For good measure, it then added a 4.0-litre V8 into the mix.
The second generation came in 1984 and took a C100 Group C chassis and put a 590hp Cosworth racing engine underneath. This then evolved to the SuperVan 3 in 1994 (pictured), which used the same chassis and a 650hp 3.0-litre supercharged V6 Cosworth engine of the type seen in F1 cars of the time. This was good for 150mph and it wasn’t afraid to do it either.