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Ford has been in the UK for a full century now, but for fans of its workhorse Transit van, the past four years have been the most exciting. That's because, since 2007, the Blue Oval automaker has released successive special edition SportVans that give the big wagon an added dose of attitude.

Ford Transit SportVan – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ford is launching a renewed version of its legendary Ford Transit van (a name that been around for more than 40 years) that now includes Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) as an additional option for the smaller engines. In countries like the Netherlands or Germany, the government subsidizes the installation via retrofit or on the final prize. The new van also has standard ESP and a new 6-speed gearbox.

Could this portend the impending doom of the SUV as family car? BMW will be adding sportvans to their lineup beginning with the F5 in 2009. The basis for the F5 will be provided by the X5. Following on the heels of the F5 will be a van based on the 3-series called, quite naturally, the F3. Underneath the five-door five-placers will likely be found several power options, as well as available all-wheel drive with rear-wheel drive standard. The rhetoric is that large diameter wheels will be avoide