Ford has created its fourth and most powerful SuperVan to date, the Ford Pro Electric SuperVan. The new SuperVan has a staggering 2000hp from four electric motors to give it a 0-62mph time of less than 2 seconds and a top speed of more than 185mph.
It uses parts from the upcoming Ford E-Transit Custom and has been fully connected using the recently launched Ford Pro tool kit. That will allow real-time data from the SuperVan to be uploaded to the Ford Pro cloud and analysed by fleet managers or would-be race directors.
Four electric motors, one in each wheel, are powered by a 50 kWh liquid-cooled battery. It uses a bespoke control system to produce a combined 2000hp.
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The Electric SuperVan also gets a purpose-built, track-ready chassis steel with a steel spaceframe and lightweight composite body panels. Under the skin there is unequal-length double wishbone suspension at each corner with motorsport-grade front and rear subframes, uprights, and brakes.
Unusually for an electric van, it has a two-speed gearbox with a very short first ratio to ensure maximum gearing to get the best possible acceleration.
As it is a connected van, the new SuperVan 4 gets a host of onboard cameras that can be broadcast to its audience, with the driver also able to pull camera feed into the on-board Sync 4 screen which is a carry-over from the new Ford E-Transit and the E-Transit Custom.
Despite its massive aero wing rear diffuser, front splitter and side skirts, not to mention its staggering performance, the Electric SuperVan is still a commercial vehicle and has a loadspace! There's a side door for loading and unloading and Ford is said to be developing a secure electromagnetic release system which can be controlled via the SYNC screen.
The Electric SuperVan’s interior gets a full roll cage as well as FIA approved racing seats. Not going to the racetrack? SuperVan can use the Sync 4 system as a normal sat nav or to find a charger, connect to WiFi and make phone calls. But the touchscreen also lets you control the selectable drive modes. They have been tailored to the Electric SuperVan’s torque maps and regenerative braking to give five very different driving modes.
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
Drift – for spectacular drifting, agility demonstrations and snow driving
Rally – for optimum performance on tarmac and gravel rally stages with special tyres
Built by Ford Performance and motorsport experts STARD, the SuperVan’s cutaways and dorsal fin help to push air onto the rear wing. This will generate downforce and keep the Electric SuperVan on the track.
Other electronic features include launch control, a pit-lane speed limiter and three-stage regenerative braking. The braking is similar to the L Mode function on E-Transit van. At low speed, Eco Mode keeps the motors at their optimal efficiency and turns the regenerative braking up to max. It also disengages drive to the rear axle. At the other end of the scale there’s an E-Boost button which gives a temporary power and torque boost.
Perhaps the maddest digital decision is the inclusion of something which Ford are calling a Tyre Cleaning Mode. This they say “can deliver exhilarating driving displays”. That's because it allows you to fully brake one axle while spinning the other. That should mean some impressive burnouts on the front or rear axles. Which of course would only be every used appropriate to help clean and warm the tyres before performance runs…. Yeah right!
Ford’s first SuperVan was revealed in 1971 with a mid-mounted engine from the Le Mans-winning Ford GT40. It was based on the Transit Mk1. SuperVan 2 followed shortly after with a glassfibre version of the Transit Mk2 body. It had a 590 PS Cosworth V8 put under the bonnet. SuperVan returned for a third time as the facelifted Transit Mk3. Power came from a 650 PS Cosworth HB engine shared with Formula 1 cars of the era.
The Electric SuperVan will be making its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The driver will be Romain Dumas, a multiple record holder at Goodwood, Pikes Peak and the Nurburgring.
Also going up the famous hill climb will be the new Ford Ranger Raptor with its V6 petrol engine.
Needless to say, the SuperVan is a one-off and won't be going on sale! But it does demonstrate the capabilites of Ford's electric vans as in between runs, the Ford Electric SuperVan will only need 45 minutes to full recharge using a standard fast charger. Electric motorsport has never looked so good.