Feel the Rally Need for Speed From a High-Riding Position With Ford's MS-RT Vans
25 August 2020 - autoevolution
Commercial vehicles and motorsport seem like an odd choice for a mix-and-match exercise, but you should remember that behind every hard-working performance vehicle team is at least one van carrying every imaginable spare part and then some more.
As such, motorsport enthusiasts know very well the value of a big van – and some might even want to customize it according to their personal preferences. Automakers are increasingly taking notice of this possible high-value niche and have started churning out an increasing amount of factory-baked options.
The latest comes courtesy of American manufacturer Ford's European division. They are collaborating with British vehicle customization expert MS-RT to develop Transit Custom and Transit Connect mods that pay tribute to the spectacular world of rallying.
In case the MS-RT name does not ring any bells, we can tell you this is the on-road vehicle production division of UK motorsport specialist M-Sport, a long-term associate of all things Ford happening motorsport – including the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team's Fiesta WRC vehicle.
As such, the automaker had complete faith in letting the branch develop its new MS-RT Transit/Custom and Transit Connect, models that will keep their full factory warranty and become eligible for order starting this September in France, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, and the United Kingdom.
The MS-RT Transits have a modified front end with revisions to the grille, air intakes and the integrated fog lights – both coming out more aggressive now thanks to the addition of larger intakes, a restyled grille, and even a motorsport-inspired diffuser addon. That's not all – we also noticed beefier wheel arches, new 18-inch OZ Racing anthracite alloys, sportier side sills and also integrated diffuser and spoiler at the back.
While the MS-RT Transit Custom packs a double-pipe sports exhaust system, the MS-RT Transit Connect steals the visual show with a unique quad-exit assembly – especially if the owner selects the optionally available Ceramic Black exhaust tips. Further personalization can be achieved by selecting any of the exterior hues available in the SVO range and by further deepening the rally connection with a distinctive decal kit.
The interiors are well appointed with the latest Ford connected technologies and the MS-RT models also flatter their future owner with handcrafted Nappa leather and suede seats, a MS-RT sport steering wheel with carbon fiber detailing and branded floor mats.
As far as power is concerned, the new special edition models receive the company's newest EcoBlue diesel engine iterations, with the MS-RT Transit Custom equipped with a 2.0-litre good for 185 hp and the smaller MS-RT Transit Connect packing the 1.5-liter 120 PS option. No word on pricing just yet, though it will probably be revealed closer to the actual market introduction.