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Ford has revealed the first pictures and details of the eagerly anticipated Ford Transit Custom MS-RT van.

MS-RT editions of the mid-size van are something of an icon in the range owing to the motorsport inspired looks of the vehicle.

Designed as a collaboration between Ford and M-Sport, the MS-RT Transit Custom is the most eye-catching van in the line-up, sitting above the Transit Custom Sport. It will be available as both a diesel and electric version.

The fully electric Ford E-Transit Custom MS-RT can lay claim to being the highest powered Ford Transit Custom to-date. It gets a 210kW (282hp) electric motor that powers the rear wheels. It gets selectable drive modes to tone down the power when not needed with a 160kW Normal mode and 100kW when in Eco mode.

Ford Transit Custom MS-RT on track at sunset

The diesel version of the MS-RT Transit Custom gets the standard 2-litre EcoBlue diesel engine. It remains unaltered from the standard van with a 168hp output and an eight-speed automatic gearbox. There’s optional all-wheel drive, or front-wheel drive. A 148hp version will also be available along with a n MS-RT version of the recently revealed Transit Custom PHEV. That model has a 230hp plug-in hybrid powertrain that uses a 2.5-litre petrol engine and a 11.8kWh battery.

Of course, the Transit Custom MS-RT isn’t really about engines and power, it is about appearance. Its exterior styling is all about rally-inspired aggressiveness. It gets an aerodynamic front bumper with integrated spoiler, sports side skirts and a new sports rear quarter. This includes a bumper with integrated diffuser.

Naturally there’s a motorsport-inspired rear spoiler that has been optimised for airflow and plenty of downforce to keep the Transit Custom MS-RT and all your tools firmly stuck to the road. Electric van models will also get an additional LED light strip between the headlights.

Special anthracite 19-inch alloy wheels – which are a 0.5-inches wider than regular Transit Custom Sport wheels – sit beneath wider wheelarches. Each wheel is also more than 1kg lighter and comes with commercial-rated 235/45 R19 Goodyear Eagle Sport tyres.

Despite all the upgrades, it’s still a proper working van and offers the full Ford Transit Custom dimensions of up to 6.8m3 maximum load space. The MS-RT Transit Custom payload is up to 1,124kg.

On the inside it gets sporty new front seats with non-animal Eco-Leather, suede, MS-RT logos and blue stitching. Signature MS-RT colours at launch will including vivid Yellow Green and MS-RT Blue.  The van will also come with gloss black mirror caps and door handles as standard as well as MS-RT Blue painted brake callipers.

The Transit Custom MS-RT will be sold through Ford Pro dealers and undergoes final assembly and finishing at a dedicated new facility located on the Ford Dagenham Estate in the UK, right next to the HQ for Ford Pro’s engineering team.

Ford has revealed its new Ford Ranger MS-RT pick-up truck based on the styling of the M-Sport rally team.

Designed to be the ultimate street truck, the newest in a long line of Rangers that include the Ford Ranger Raptor, Wildtrak X, Wildtrak and Ford Ranger Tremor, the new MS-RT Ranger gets the powerful 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine producing 237hp and 600Nm of torque.

Ford Ranger MS-RT on track

Apparently inspired by extreme Ranger racing trucks that compete in Asia, the Ranger MS-RT gets a honeycomb grille and integrated splitter.

The visual appearance of the truck is lowered by the sculpted side skirts, while at the rear there is a distinctive bumper with an integrated diffuser.

The tailgate has MS-RT graphics and gets an exclusive ducktail spoiler that no other regular model in the line-up has. There’s also an additional cab spoiler which is to assist with overall aerodynamic balance and high-speed stability of the pick-up.

Ducktail spoler on the MS-RT Ranger

It gets diamond cut 21-inch wheels – the largest size of wheels ever to have been offered on a Ford Ranger – that have been wrapped in low-profile 275/45 R21 tyres.  

The wheel arches have been flared to extend the overall width by 82mm at the front and the rear. Ford has also increased the track by 40mm at each side to help improve the grip of the truck.

The suspension has been reconfigured with new, firmer dampers at the front, a retuned rear suspension set-up and an overall 40mm height reduction.

Perhaps most importantly, for businesses wanting to reclaim the VAT, the Ranger MS-RT has a 1-tonne load-carrying capacity making it a proper commercial vehicle.

rear view of Ford Ranger MS-RT

On the inside the double-cab seats are now more supportive and the seat backs on the front seats have been made to look sportier. Like the new Transit Custom MS-RT which has also been revealed, the interior uses non-animal Eco-Leather and suede with distinctive MS-RT pattern and blue stitching. There are plenty of MS-RT badges across the seats, dash and floor mats.

rear seats

The Ranger MS-RT will come in a range of colours that include Conquer Grey, with Agate Black painted mirror caps and door handles.

Pick up trucks will be subject to a new benefit in kind (BIK) company car tax under rules being introduced on 1 July 2024. 

Double cab pick-up trucks currently enjoy a standard rate of company car tax when driven for personal use. As such they have become a popular tax workaround for savvy drivers looking to use them as personal vehicles while paying a minimal amount of company car tax benefit in kind. 

Currently any double cab pick-up truck that has a payload of one tonne (1,000kg) or more is accepted as a van for the purposes of paying BIK. With the addition of a hardtop this threshold rises to 1,045kg making any vehicle with a payload greater than this effectively a commercial vehicle like a van. The one tonne threshold has therefore become a must meet requirement for manufacturers to sell in Britain. Consequently, registrations for pick-up trucks have been far higher than in other countries that don’t offer this generous tax break for pick-up trucks and vans. 

The official wording is that: “From 1 July 2024, HMRC will no longer interpret the legislation that defines car and van for tax purposes in line with the definitions used for VAT purposes. This VAT approach for double cab pickups differentiated based on payload, with anything under one tonne classified as a car, and anything a tonne and over as a van.“

The new ruling makes mention of double cab pick-ups were no longer predominantly used for the carriage of goods, and as such should be treated as cars. 

The notice on the gov.uk website goes on to explain that the “classification of double cab pickups will therefore need to be determined by assessing the vehicle as a whole at the point that it is made available to determine whether the vehicle construction has a primary suitability”. In other words has it been designed and purchased as a commercial pick-up or as a car. 

Furthermore the statement adds:

“It therefore follows that from 1 July 2024 most if not all double cab pickups will be classified as cars when calculating the benefit charge. This is because typically these vehicles are equally suited to convey passengers and goods and have no predominant suitability.”

The ruling will come into force in July but there is a way around the new regulations. It says that in a transitional arrangement, those that have purchased, leased, or ordered a double cab pickup before 1 July 2024 will be able to continue with the current BIK rules. However, they will only last for as long as the vehicle is owned or until 5 April 2028.  

The Ford Ranger is currently the best-selling pick-up in the UK and is ranked number four amongst all commercial vehicles. The Volkswagen Amarok has recently re-entered the UK market, and is built by Ford. Both pick-up trucks have models that are both over and under one tonne.

Tax for pick-ups is currently charged as a benefit-in-kind at £66 per month for those that are paying 20% BIK rate or at £132 per month at 40% BIK rate. This is the flat rate for 2023/2024 for commercial vehicles.

Company car tax, however, is based on CO2 emissions which will mean that fuel hungry pick-up trucks will likely be stung by a huge tax bill. Your average pick-up truck emits in the region of 250g/km. This places it in the highest possible company car tax band of 37%.

For a pick-up truck costing around £50,000 - the price of a mid-range pick-up with VAT - the BIK at 20% would be more than £3500 and at 40% more than £7000 per year.

The current rate for any commercial vehicle is a flat rate based on a nominal £3600 taxable BIK value which means that 20% taxpayers must pay £60 per month and 40% taxpayers a charge of £120 per month.

Last year in the UK the market for pick-up trucks was just over 41,000 units - a 38.7% increase on 2023 sales. It is not known how many of these were bought as company cars, but given the generous loophole it is likely the future market for new pick-ups could be considerably less.

Update:

In an amazing U-turn, HMRC abandons proposed increase to double-cab pick-up BIK tax just one week after announcing the changes above. Due to pressure from farmers and the motor industry, pick-up trucks will no longer be subject to a BIK tax.

UK demand for new light commercial vehicles (LCVs) surged by 21.0% in 2023, reaching 341,455 units, as per the latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Each month, more businesses invested in fleet renewal compared to the previous year, resulting in a record influx of zero-emission vans onto Britain’s roads.

In 2023, an additional 59,316 LCVs of various types and sizes were registered compared to 2022, following a £2 billion increase in spending by companies fulfilling essential roles in the economy, spanning from local trades to online delivery services. December notably experienced a 36.1% surge in demand, marking the strongest month since 2015. As a result of increased vehicle investment throughout the year, 2023 witnessed the highest demand for new vans since the sector’s post-pandemic recovery in 2021, with the market just -6.6% below 2019 levels.

Demand for the largest vans (weighing more than 2.5 tonnes to 3.5 tonnes) continued to rise by 9.4%, representing 66.9% of all new van registrations, driven by operators opting for payload efficiencies. Medium-sized vans (above two tonnes to 2.5 tonnes) saw the largest growth, surging by 78.4% to 57,992 units, catering to urban operators' requirements for heavy load carrying capacity and smaller vehicle sizes.

New battery electric vans (BEVs) witnessed a positive trend, reaching record volumes with a 21.0% increase to 20,253 units, constituting 5.9% of the market. December saw a remarkable 73.8% surge in BEV uptake, with the greenest vehicles representing 10.0% of registrations, marking the second-highest monthly BEV share.

The Ford Transit Custom was the best-selling model of the year, followed by its larger sibling the Ford Transit dimensions. Third place in the rankings went to the Vauxhall Vivaro dimensions and the first and only pick-up truck in the top ten was the Ford Ranger.

Despite these advancements, the Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate, mandating 10% of every van manufacturer’s sales to be BEVs this year, poses challenges. Flatlined BEV market share in 2023 compared to 2022 highlights the need to align LCV demand with supply, necessitating immediate action to address barriers to BEV uptake, particularly the shortage of van-suitable public chargers. A sustained commitment to the Plug-in Van Grant is essential for facilitating a seamless transition across all sectors and regions of the country.

Ford has unveiled its latest version of the Ford Transit Connect van which will go on sale in the spring.

The new Transit Connect will be available with a 2-litre EcoBlue engine and for the first time ever as a plug-in hybrid model.

The Ford Transit Connect PHEV will use a 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine to that will charge a high-voltage battery connected to an electric motorwith a total power output of 150PS. Torque output will be 350Nm, and it will have a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission as standard. The Connect PHEV will be able to carry a maximum payload of 770kg, as well as tow a trailer of up to 1,400kg.

The battery can be charge at up to 50kW using a DC fast charger or with a 11kW AC charger. It features three distinct driving modes to help maximise range - which Ford claims the Transit Connect PHEV will have a 68 mile range.

Drivers can choose from EV Now for electric only driving, EV Auto for a mix between battery and petrol power and EV Later which stores the battery energy for later use.

As well as the new PHEV powertrain there will also be the option of a 2-litre EcoBlue turbodiesel engine available in either 102PS or 122PS engine outputs. The entry-level model gets a six-speed manual gearbox but the higher powered van is also available with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Ford claims fuel efficiency of up to 58.8mpg for the new Transit Connect diesel van.

Another first is the availability of an intelligent all-wheel drive system. The Transit Connect will now have an electronic four-wheel-drive system with enhanced traction control that will like prove popular in the Nordic countries.

The final new plot twist in the updated Transit Connect range is a brand new flexible seating concept. Available on the Kombi models, it allows the van to be both a passenger car with a second row of seats but also a proper panel van. The second row of seats folds forward to create a full bulkhead, expanding the usable space of the rear load compartment.

The latest Transit Connect is the third generation of the compact city van, and is based on the Volkswagen Caddy as part of their ongoing partnership that has seen the new Ford Ranger shared with the Volkswagen Amarok. Other collaboration projects will be between the Ford Transit and the Volkswagen Crafter as well as the Ford Transit Custom and the next generation of the Volkswagen Transporter. Ford has also recently upadted its Ford Transit Courier, which is not covered by the Volkswagen partnership.

The Transit Connect will go into production in spring 2024 with PHEV models arriving by the end of the year. The Kombi folding seat models will join the line-up in early 2025.

Ford's Transit Connect gets a load volume of 3.1m3 or 3.7m3 depending on wheelbase length. Payload for the Ford Transit Connect is 820kg.

The Transit Connect Kombi has a load volume to 2.5 m3 (L1) or 3.1 m3 (L2) when the seats are folded forward.

Read our Ford Transit Connect dimensions guide to see how it compares to the current model.

Interior of the new Transit Connect

On the inside, all vans will get a 10-inch digital instrument cluster as standard. There's also a 10-inch colour central touchscreen that supports wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto mirroring.

Standard safety systems include Pre-Collision Assist with Auto Emergency Braking and Forward Collision Warning, Evasive Steer Assist, and Intersection Assist . A rear-view camera and Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert are standard on higher trim models.

The trim line-up for the Transit Connect will consist of:

· Trend – available on van and kombi models, aimed at fleet and cost-conscious buyers

· Limited – upmarket van with 17-inch alloy wheels, work surface in passenger seat back

· Active – a desirable, rugged Kombi with SUV-inspired styling, LED lights and roof rails

TVL Security has increased its offering for Ford vans with three new security device packs designed for added load security in Ford's latest light commercial vehicles.

Ford customers can choose from three additional TVL Security developed options, that include their SlamHandle, HookLock and ArmourShell packs.

TVL extends its working relationship with Ford which started back in 2018, and will supply the new security features on the recently revamped Ford Transit Custom van.

Ford Transit Custom vans can be factory-fitted with TVL Security equipment, speeding up the time it takes to get a van fully secured and on to the road. Their anti-pick cylinder RepLock – which prevents the driver’s door from being picked open- j has been available as a factory fit option since the partnership began.

The new options will include the following security packs:

For the first time, customers selecting the HookLock or ArmourShell packs will also be able to choose it they want the security features on the cabin or the load area individually. LatchShield, which was also previously only included with the SlamHandle pack, is now available on all packages along with LoomGaurd.

Two new matte-black lock escutcheon designs have also been developed, ensuring lock cylinders are flush to the cover regardless of whether the cylinder protrudes from the door skin.

TVL Security manufactures the products at its headquarters in Brentwood, Essex, where they are then shopped to the Ford assembly plant in Kocaeli, Turkey.

The Ford Transit Custom has won the International Van of the Year Award 2024, securing its fifth title and the most prestigious honour in the light commercial vehicle industry.

The jury of 24 members from leading commercial vehicle publications across Europe gave top marks to the latest Ford Transit Custom, ahead of the new Iveco eDaily which came in second and the Renault Trafic E-Tech in third place.

The other finalists included on the shortlist for the award were the HYVIA Master E-Tech, Mercedes-Benz eCitan and Vauxhall Vivaro-e Hydrogen, indicating the diversity and choice of drivetrains available in the light commercial vehicle sector.

“This is the fifth occasion that the Ford Transit has won IVOTY,” explained Jarlath Sweeney, chairman, IVOTY.

“First in 2001 and 2007 with the then all-encompassing model and soon after launching the new generation, stand alone, one-tonne variant, the Transit Custom secured the title in 2013 and again in 2020 and now for 2024,” he added.

Commenting prior to the IVOTY 2024 trophy presentation at the Solutrans 2023 exhibition at EuroExpo, Lyon, France, Hans Schep, Ford Pro Europe general manager said: “We are very proud that the IVOTY jury has bestowed this prestigious award on the all-new Transit Custom. As the leading one-tonne van of choice for European customers, the all-new Transit Custom has been designed and engineered to meet their wide-ranging needs. Along with our award-winning diesel, customers will soon also have the choice of electric and PHEV versions too. Every model is packed with innovation and superfast connectivity to Ford Pro’s uptime, charging and productivity software ecosystem to help our customers’ businesses thrive.”

Also recognised at the Solutrans event were the Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok. The co-developed pick-up trucks were named winner of the International Pick-Up Award, beating the Ford Ranger Raptor and Toyota Hilux GR Sport II.

The Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok have been named as the winners of the International Pick-up Award (IPUA) following the announcement and twin-trophy presentation at the Solutrans in Lyon, France.

Announced at a gala dinner at the EuroExpo fair on 22 November, it is a ‘hat-trick’ of IPUA victories for the pair. The co-developed product saw the jury decide to share the award between the two brands and models. Their combined victory and unprecedented hat-trick is the first time this has occurred since the global honour was established in 2010.

“Following the IPUA 2023 Group Tests, held in Greece last month, it was impossible to separate the two models from each other, as both the new Ranger and Amarok were co-developed and are made at the Ford factory in South Africa. Although a collaboration project, each manufacturer has managed to maintain their unique styling and driving traits, which customers will testify,” explained Jarlath Sweeney, chairman of the International Pick-Up Award jury.

The seventh running of the award sees the sixth generation Ranger adding to the titles it won in 2013 and 2020. Thel Amarok won the inaugural trophy in 2011 and again in 2018 with the upgraded version of the Amarok V6. The Ranger and the Amarok beat competition from the Ford Ranger Raptor and the Toyota Hilux GR Sport II.

For Ford Pro, there was also a significant double in securing the International Van of the Year award for the Transit Custom.

Commenting prior to the handover of the twin trophy presentation, Hans Schep, general manager of Ford Pro Europe, said: “We are delighted that the Ford Ranger has been recognised by the IPUA jury for the third time, which is testament to its enduring appeal as Europe’s favourite pickup for the past eight years. The new Ford Ranger has the most comprehensive series choice yet, offering customers the on-road refinement and off-road capability to suit work days and weekends. It’s built ready for work and play.”

Volkswagen member of the brand management board responsible for procurement, Karl Bernqvist,  said: “The Amarok is a pick-up that delivers reliable performance both on and off the road. It impressed the jury in both cases. The International Pick-up Award for 2024/2025 means the Amarok has already achieved the ‘treble’ in just 14 years of production. This demonstration of trust honours the entire team at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. We would like to say thank you!”

Ford has officially started production of the all-new Ford Transit Courier and all-new Ford Tourneo Courier at its state-of-the-art Craiova plant in Romania.

The all-new Transit Courier, designed for small van customers, gets enhanced connectivity and productivity features.

Hans Schep, general manager of Ford Pro Europe, said: “The team in Craiova is doing great work to deliver these exciting new models to our customers. We’ve made the all‑new Transit Courier bigger, more capable, and fully connected to support customers at work and accelerate their productivity, with enhanced load carrying and full integration with our Ford Pro platform of software and services. All this comes in an SUV-styled package that we know customers love.”

The initial production phase includes diesel- and petrol-engined versions of the all-new Ford Transit Courier and petrol versions of the all-new Ford Tourneo Courier. Next year, production will commence for the electric van variants, the E-Transit Courier and E-Tourneo Courier, aligning with Ford’s commitment to achieve zero emissions across all vehicle sales in Europe by 2035.

To mark the commencement of production, an official ceremony was held at the Craiova plant, attended by Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu, state officials and industry representatives.

Ford Otosan, Ford’s joint venture in Turkey, serves as the manufacturing hub for the Ford Transit Courier and Ford Tourneo Courier ranges. Originally produced at the Yeniköy plant in Turkey in 2014, production was strategically moved to the Craiova plant as part of Ford Otosan’s investment strategy.

Last year, Ford Otosan announced a substantial investment of €490 million to support the production of the all-new Courier range at the recently acquired Craiova plant. This investment, combined with Ford’s $300 million contribution, not only supports the production of the Ford Puma at the same facility but also increases the plant's capacity from 250,000 to 272,000 vehicles per year.

Ford has revealed a highly anticipated hybrid version of its pick-up range with the introduction of the Ford Ranger Plug-in Hybrid electric vehicle.

Powered by a 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, the new Ranger Plug-in Hybrid pick-up will be capable of up to 45km (28 miles) of electric only range. Despite taking its power from a petrol engine, the hybrid pick-up (which is also a first for the segment) will have more torque than any existing model in the Ranger line-up. The Ranger Plug-in Hybrid also has a 3.5-tonne towing capacity.

Pictured as a Ford Ranger Wildtrak trim, Ford has yet to reveal which models in its extensive line-up will be available as a hybrid. However, there has been a significant number of changed made to the standard Ranger in order to accommodate the batteries, maintain the towing capacity and still be able to perform off-road.

Described as “a key announcement for the Ranger product line”, the Ford Ranger Plug-in Hybrid can be driven as either EV-only or as a hybrid running off the conventional engine. Four driving modes, EV Auto, EV Now, EV Later and EV Charge allow you to choose what role the powertrain is playing. There’s also the ability to autonomously switch between modes thanks to geofencing of certain areas. This would enable the hybrid Ranger to switch to electric only mode when entering a zero emission zone.

Chris Rushton, Ford Pro Europe commercial vehicle marketing manager, said: “Our customers are telling us that they need new powertrain solutions while continuing to do everything that their Ranger does today, but able to carry as much, tow as much and tackle off-road driving. It’s an electrified Ranger that gives customers the best of all worlds.”

The suspension has been beefed up to cope with the additional weight, while the steering has also been tuned. The new petrol engine, has been calibrated for commercial uses as well.

The Ford Ranger Plug-in Hybrid joins a rapidly growing line-up of Ford Ranger models. It is not known where in the range the hybrid will sit in relation to the high-end Ford Ranger Raptor, Ford Ranger Wildtrak X and other models like the off-road specific Ford Ranger Tremor.

Currently the only electric-powered pick-up truck on sale is the Maxus T90EV that is a full battery electric pick-up, rather than a hybrid.

Order books for the Ford Ranger Plug-in Hybrid will open in mid-2024 with production beginning shortly after. First deliveries are expected in early 2025.

Q&A with Ford executives and production team

Why is the Ford Ranger Plug-In Hybrid not a full battery electric vehicle?

“It’s the right vehicle for the market at this moment in time. The customer is wanting to tow, carry payload and have the off-road capability that we currently have. It does all of that without any compromise but also allows to drive in EV only mode and get the benefit of an electric vehicle.”

Why is it a petrol hybrid?

“Diesel is popular in pick-ups because of the high torque. With this combination of the electric motor and gasoline engine, we’ve delivered the highest level of torque in any Ranger. The 2.3-litre is a good match and a little more refined, and a good match for driveability and for other technical reasons. We delivery ample torque and it’s a good match.”

What’s the weight difference between a standard Ranger and the hybrid?

“What we can say is that the PHEV will deliver all the attributes that customers have come to expect. The same payloads as on existing Ranger today, the power and performance with the EcoBoost and electric motor can compensate for any weight that comes from the battery. Weight is not an issue in how this vehicle will operate. We’ve upgraded the vehicle. It was designed from the onset to accommodate electrification and we’ve upgraded the rear of the vehicle, the frame, the suspension and tuned the vehicle for an outstanding package.”

Will it still meet the one-tonne payload capacity?


“Yes, there will definitely be variants that meet the one-tonne payload requirements for the UK.”

Is the hybrid system shared with the cars?

“Ford has series production PHEV in their small SUVs. They’re not for off-road vehicles or 4x4 vehicles and they’re not suitable for the towing requirements. We did consider them, but they’re not suitable.”

When is there going to be a Ranger Lightning like the F-150?

“We’ve looked at what is the right solution for our customers in Europe. The plug-in hybrid gives the best solution, introducing electric capability.  The F150 is a different architecture, so you can unlock different possibilities.”

Ford Ranger Plug-in Hybrid with a cable attached for a charger

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