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BMW M5 power for Ford Supervan

2011-08-08 08:17

SUPERVAN: Delivery van. Slack steering ratio. M5 power. Lots of cargo-ruining sideways action.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Ford
Model Transit V8
Engine 5-litre V8
Ford’s venerable delivery van – the Transit.

Capacious. Reliable. It’s delivers goods to office and country estate with equal ease and efficiency – but it also happens to have a rather distinguished performance motoring pedigree too.

"What?" No, really, it does.

Even Top Gear’s pandered to the peculiar dynamic appeal of Ford’s Transit, the show memorably featuring an episode where Nurburgring specialist Sabine Schmidt completed a flying lap of the world’s most famous racing circuit only eight seconds shy of the 10-minute benchmark.

Suffice to say the Transit, despite its utilitarian nature, has a curious driving appeal. No surprise, then, to find Ford has a history of building one-off Transit concept cars with outlandish performance.

Back in 1971 the company’s engineers built the Supervan I based on Ford’s Le Mans-conquering GT40 and powered by a five-litre, small-block Ford V8 and capable of 250km/h. Supervan II was another ex-Le Mans car project, this one using the C100 as a donor and powered by a DFY Cosworth V8. It was good for 286km/h at Silverstone.

The madness continued with Supervan III in 1995, featuring pretty much the same 3.5-litre Cosworth V8 Michael Schumacher sat in front of for his first two World championships – producing 480kW at 13 5000rpm.

POLISH PERFORMANCE...

The latest Transit motorsport variant is from Poland. Rallycross star Marcin Wicik’s company, Transit Centre Motorsport (which specialises in preparing Ford rally and racing cars), has built a Transit which could easy slide sideways for longer than your E60 M5.

The M5 reference is not out of place; as Wicik’s Transit drift-van is powered by a modified version of the E39’s five-litre V8 driving the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. Good for in excess of 300kW, the BMW-powered Ford Transit sounds fantastic, and - thanks to impeccably calibrated Bilstein dampers - it manages to keep its (relative) balance with enough aplomb to allow lurid power slides, despite a relatively high centre of gravity and ungainly weight distribution.

What started out as a rather tired Everest logistics delivery van has been transformed into a rather accomplished box-shaped drift-special by Wicik’s technicians.

So, if you’re seeking a doughnut delivery van capable of spinning out wheelbase-sized rubber doughnuts in Pick 'n Pay’s delivery area as well, then Marcin Wicik is the man to contact…




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