Spy Shots

Spy Shots: Ford Pro Electric Super Van Runs the Ring Alongside the Mach 1


Ford unveiled a 1,500-kW electric transporter looking much like a race car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed—and spies recently caught the car testing on the Nürburgring race track in Germany. The Ford Pro Electric SuperVan features four electric motors powered by a liquid-cooled 50 kWh battery and speeds from 0–60 in less than 2 seconds.

Released by Ford’s commercial vehicles division Ford Pro, the “SuperVan” takes clues from the more down-to-usability Transit Custom, but vows way more attention. “This incredible demonstrator vehicle takes E-Transit Custom’s advanced engineering and distinctive look to a whole new level and is high-speed proof of the power of Ford Pro’s connected services ecosystem,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Ford Pro, Europe.

Behind it, however, was the Ford Performance unit and electric racing specialists STARD in Austria, with exterior design by the Ford Design team in Cologne, Germany. They took the chassis of the new Transit Custom but redesigned almost everything else. Ford had presented the electrified Transit Custom van this May as a PHEV with the zero-emission Transit Custom slated to launch in 2023 with a range of nearly 250 miles.

The Electric SuperVan is of course already all-electric and also otherwise very unlike the E-Transit. The 50 kWh high-performance battery, for example, is not a harbinger of the energy storage system in the upcoming production model. The battery is designed to provide enough power for show appearances like Goodwood and to deliver enough power for the four electric motors.

However, Ford does not provide details on the battery and the motors. They only state that in addition to the liquid cooling of the battery, the customized drive management were essential factors in bringing high maximum power and acceleration to 60 in less than two seconds on the road.

The drive system has five modes designed for driving on the road: track, drag, drift and rally.

Still, motorsport features (there’s also double-wishbone suspension at each corner, a full roll cage and racing seats) aside, Ford Pro hopes to demonstrate enhanced connectivity and even cargo capability. The Electric SuperVan can send real-time data to software for remote vehicle management, using Ford Pro systems used at real-life businesses. Similarly, Ford Performance trackside engineers can monitor the Electric SuperVan via dedicated management software that translates live data into insights on speed, lap times and vehicle systems.

However, Ford Pro’s 125,000 clients may rest assured that the Electric SuperVan is a one-off demonstrator building on three previous ICE SuperVans. “The chance to be part of the iconic SuperVan story and reimagine what it could be in the 21st century was a dream opportunity,” said Amko Leenarts, director, design, Ford of Europe.


Photo credit: Brian Williams, SpiedBilde