Ford’s replacement of its entire van range within two years continues apace with the launch of a Sportvan version of the much-acclaimed Transit Custom.
Fleet Van managed to get behind the wheel of the Sportvan at an event at Dunton in Essex, home of Ford’s designers and engine boffins.
The Sportvan isn’t exactly aimed at fleets – more at owner-drivers and SMEs – but vans like this do have a place among bigger business users.
One idea mooted in Fleet Van by George Alexander, editor of Glass’s Guide to Commercial Vehicles, was to use a Sportvan as a “prize” – the driver that manages the best fuel economy from a standard van each month gets to drive this little beauty the next month. Just watch your fuel bills fall!
For £25,445 ex-VAT, you get 18in alloy wheels on low profile 235/50 tyres, leather seats, a special muscular body kit with colour-coded bumpers, stripy metallic paintwork, a rearview camera with a trailer hitch assist system, a lane-keeping alert system, front foglights, cruise control, air-conditioning, a heated windscreen, electronic stability control (ESC) and ABS brakes.
Under the bonnet is Ford’s tried and tested 2.2-litre turbodiesel offering 155bhp and 284lb-ft of torque.
Behind the wheel
This new model has stunning looks, but it’s a cracking drive in many others ways too.
The driver’s seat is superb, with plenty of side support for fast corners, and the power on offer from the standard (albeit most powerful 155bhp) Ford engine, is lively in the extreme, nicely linking with the Transit’s much improved drivability.
It may lack the sheer power of some rivals, but it’s such a good looker and such a delight to drive that Ford will have no problems selling all it can make.