Ford powers into Birmingham with one-off Transit SuperSportVan

2011 Ford Transit SuperSportVan – Click above for high-res image gallery

While the latest hot Mustang, Fiesta and Focus models may garner most of the attention from Ford and its performance divisions, back in the UK, the Blue Oval gives delivery boys and construction workers something to dream about with the occasional souped-up Transit. The last such SportVan it rolled out packed a 18-inch alloys and white stripes over red paint, but only a 140-horsepower turbodiesel engine. The model you see here, however, is another beast entirely.

This one-off Transit SuperSportVan packs a 200-horsepower, 3.2-liter turbodiesel five with a six-speed into the short-wheelbase 260 chassis. Upgraded aero package, rolling stock and classic blue stripes over white body are also part of the package, all to show the competition who's boss.

Unfortunately, just a concept, the Transit SSV was prepared for the Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC in Birmingham, England. It follows a long line of hot panel wagons from Ford UK that traces back to the 1971 GT40-based Transit Supervan, the Coworth V8-powered Supervan II of 1984, the '95 Supervan III that packed a 650hp Formula One engine and the Y2k Ford World Rally Transit complete with Martini racing stripes.

Follow the jump for the full press release, and scope out the photos in the gallery below.

[Source: Ford]
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  • Ford creates one-off Transit – Transit's biggest ever diesel engine fitted into smallest short wheelbase model
  • Project combines Transit engineering excellence with driving fun
BIRMINGHAM, NEC, April 12, 2011 – Ford has taken the wraps off the next evolution of its iconic SportVan bloodline – the one-off Transit SuperSportVan (SSV).

For this special project, the largest has been partnered with the smallest – Ford's range-topping, five-cylinder 3.2-litre, 200PS Duratorq TDCi engine has been shoehorned into a short wheelbase Transit, for maximum power-to-weight ratio. The engine, normally to be found in bigger Transit models like the 4.25 tonnes Transit Jumbo, delivers 470Nm at 1700-2500 rpm and mates with a six speed gearbox. Under the striking livery, the rest is fundamentally the base SportVan.

The regular Transit SportVan is based on the popular 260, short wheelbase model with front wheel drive, the 140PS 2.2-litre TDCi diesel engine and a six-speed transmission. The exterior features Le Mans-style bonnet stripes, twin exhausts, alloy wheels, low profile 235/45 tyres, front and rear lower spoilers, side skirts and extended wheel arches. Standard safety features include ABS, ESP and driver and passenger airbags.

Power deadlocks, rain-sensing wipers, auto headlights, front fog lights and a load area protection kit similarly come on every SportVan. Optional are leather seats, Satellite Navigation FX system with 5in colour screen, LED cargo lights in rear and LED daytime running lights.

The SuperSportVan takes centre stage at this year's Commercial Vehicle Show, at the NEC, Birmingham, but is strictly a limited production of one.

Steve Clary, commercial vehicles director, Ford of Britain, explained: "Transit has a strong reputation for its robustness and practicality. We wanted to add some contemporary fun and also showcase our engineers' skill and enthusiasm. SuperSportVan demonstrates just how far you can go with a white Transit van by mixing and matching regular technology in a different way."

The creation of the SuperSportVan is the latest chapter in the story of fast Transits, which began in 1971, with the creation of the GT40-based Supervan 1.

Transit has a strong sporting heritage:
  • 1971 Transit Supervan I made its debut at Brands Hatch It was based on a Ford GT40 sports racing car and, powered by a 5.0 litre V8 engine, could reach 150mph.
  • 1984 Supervan II, based on another Ford ex-Le Mans car, the C100 and powered by a DFY Cosworth V8, was clocked at 178mph at Silverstone.
  • 1995 Supervan III appears with a totally new bodyshell and powered by a 3.5-litre, Cosworth HB F1 V8 engine producing 650bhp at 13,000 rpm.
  • 2000 The Ford World Rally Transit is built with a carbon-fibre front air splitter and rear aerofoil, a rally interior featuring steel tubular roll cage, carbon-fibre bucket seats, racing harnesses, internal fire extinguisher system and Pi System 2 on-board data-logging system. It has an uprated version of Transit's acclaimed 2.4-litre Duratorq DI. With an available 165PS and 410Nm of torque, Ford Rally Transit can reach 60mph in less than eight seconds, onto a maximum speed of 130mph. A revised exhaust system, revised brakes and lowered McPherson strut suspension complete the Ford World Rally Transit package, finished in striking Ford Martini World Rally colours for maximum visual impact.

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