Meet the WRC-inspired van of your dreams
Vans are not usually particularly exciting, right?
Hold that thought, because UK company MS-RT might just have something to say about that.
MS-RT is a collaboration between vehicle specialist VanSport and rally legend Malcolm Wilson, owner of the official Ford WRC team, M-Sport.
The company has just revealed its latest product, based on – wait for it – the Ford Transit Custom van.
A ‘‘motorsport-inspired’’ van may seem a little left of centre, but MS-RT says that its Transit Custom has ‘‘a fusion of style and practicality offered by no other vehicle on the road’’ and comes with a choice of panel van or double cab options and two different wheelbases.
MS-RT uses technology and aerodynamic influences from Ford’s works-backed rally team to create the van, each of which is hand-finished at MS-RT’s custom-built factory in Gwent, South Wales.
Exterior styling includes a full front bumper and grille replacement with integrated factory fog lamps, extreme front diffuser, wide body arch extensions, sills, rear diffuser and rear spoiler, all of which are manufactured by MS-RT.
It also comes with a twin sports exhaust system, along with unique MS-RT exterior branding and decals, exclusive 18-inch Anthracite OZ Racing alloys with 103 XL load-rated Hankook Ventus S1 evo2 tyres and Eibach performance lowering springs.
MS-RT say the combination improves handling and responsiveness, while at the same time ensuring the Transit Custom still retains its payload capacity.
Inside is no less excessive, with handcrafted Nappa leather and suede seat facings, a sports steering wheel with carbon fibre inlays and MS-RT branded floor mats and dash clocks.
It’s not all excessive silliness, however, because under the bonnet the van retains Ford’s (admittedly excellent, but hardly ‘‘motorsport-inspired") 125kW/ 405Nm EcoBlue 2.0 litre TDCi engine, hooked up to either a sixspeed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
The Transit Custom isn’t the only vehicle MS-RT does inappropriately motorsporty things with – it also does a couple of extreme Raptor-like versions of the Ranger ute, a thoroughly bonkers be-winged and bodykitted version of the small Transit Connect van and a ‘‘Guy Martin Proper’’ version of the large Transit Cargo.
While a range of strangely motorsport-themed commercial vehicles may seem strange, MSRT’s close ties with M-Sport actually make things a bit clearer. After all, if you were towing a rally car or loading up a bike or two to go to an event or a track day, then what better way to go than in something that looks like it belongs out on the track?
But that kind of style doesn’t come cheap – the prices in the UK range from £32,995 (NZ$64,107) for the base threeseat SWB manual up to £36,490 (NZ$70,900) for the six-seat LWB auto.
The MS-RT Ford Transit Custom is a motorsport-inspired van created by a rally team. Yes, really.