Ford's Electric Supervan entertains at Goodwood - Select Van Leasing
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Ford Electric Supervan delivers high voltage entertainment at Goodwood

Ford unleashed an ultra-high-performance version of the next-generation Transit Custom at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. With an astonishing 2,000hp going to the wheel, the Ford Pro Electric Supervan might just be the fastest delivery vehicle on the planet.

Ford Supervan at Goodwood 1

Image credit: Daniel Bevis

Ford Pro Power

Built to highlight the possibilities of electric power, the Electric Supervan brings the latest battery technology and heavy-duty motors together to create a van that can surge from zero to 62mph in just two seconds.

Under the floor is a steel spaceframe chassis with a 50kWh battery pack that might, in normal circumstances, be enough to provide a range of around 150 miles. However, in the Supervan it delivers electrons to four motors, one for each wheel, that combine to create 2,000hp and an estimated 1,800Nm of torque.

With that much power, fine-tuning is essential. An electronics package fitted to the Electric Supervan includes traction control, launch control and a pit-lane speed limiter. An E-Boost button puts a temporary power and torque boost at the driver’s fingertips, allowing access to all of the van's power.

Ford Supervan at Goodwood 2

Image credit: Daniel Bevis

Different driving modes help the driver extract maximum performance from the Supervan, including Track and Drag modes for ultimate speed, and both Drift and Rally modes for, frankly, showing off. 

Ahead of a run up the Goodwood hill, a Tyre Cleaning Mode was activated; this fully brakes one axle while spinning the other, creating impressive burnouts that not only look impressive but also clean and warm the tyres to provide as much grip as possible.

For those occasions where there isn't a race driver behind the wheel and you find yourself in the city, a Road mode cuts the power, disconnects drive to the rear wheels and engages a regenerative braking system to return energy lost during braking back into the battery. 

Ford Pro Connectivity

Just like every other Ford van, the Electric Supervan sends real-time data for remote vehicle management. As with the regular, somewhat slower, Ford Transit Custom, businesses can use the Ford Pro service to track the health and security of their fleet, and preemptively be alerted to problems. 

This saves both money and enforced downtime, something Ford estimates costs each business £600 a day.

Ford Performance trackside engineers monitor similar data from the SUpervan, although dedicated management software translates that live data into insights on speed, lap times and vehicle systems.

As such, the Supervan is more than simply a high-speed demonstrator, as it also operates as a working high-speed science experiment. The unusual demands placed on the van allow Ford to develop electric vehicle engineering and connectivity that will improve its future race cars and road-going vehicles.

Image credit: Daniel Bevis

Ford Performance Design

The Supervan was a team effort, developed in secret by Ford Performance and electrified rally and racing specialists STARD in Austria, with exterior design by the Ford Design team in Cologne.

Outlandish wheel arch extensions, a sharply tapered load box and a distinctive livery help to create the ultimate expression of the Transit Custom, with the electric drivetrain allowing designers extra freedom thanks to the lack of a bulky engine and all that goes with that.

Ford Motorsport’s influence is obvious, with dramatic and intricate aerodynamic additions to the van, such as the low front splitter, side skirts and rear diffuser. A rear cutaway reveals a dorsal fin that forces air to flow into the rear wing, increasing downforce. And pushing the Supervan hard onto the road surface for more grip.

The bits you can’t see are also significantly upgraded, with double-wishbone suspension at each corner, motorsport-grade front and rear subframes, uprights and brakes, ensuring the Supervan takes the corners every bit as well as it does high-speed runs.

And, not forgetting its commercial vehicle roots, there’s even a side door to access a bijou load area. Don’t plan on putting a tonne in there, though.

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David Hughes

Friday, 17/05/2024