The specification and styling of the Sportvan is definitely more hot hatch than van but, if I'm honest, the engine is more van. This is a good thing. Ford could have dropped in the 2.5 litre turbos from its fast Mondeo and Focus models and we'd all have raved about its savagery on a Nike Metcon Girl
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Ford range, which is no bad thing.
The interior of this Transit has definitely made a step in a car like direction. Mock aluminium detailing is not something we'd previously seen in a panel van but there it is, glinting back at you from the Transit's gear lever, steering wheel spokes and stereo controls.
The Transit Sportvan is based on the popular front wheel drive, short wheelbase 260 model with a 900kg payload capacity and a 6.5 cubic metre load volume. It certainly looks the part.
More important than the cosmetics of it all is the sturdiness that's common to the switches, dials and other controls. There's a modular feel to the dash with the dark grey plastic of the stereo console not quite tallying with the lower grade black material of the rest of the facia. Still, the stereo, gear shifter and the steering wheel all look like they've seen service elsewhere in the Nike Metcon Id 3
The Sportvan's stand out feature is Nike Zoom Clear Out Red that paint job. All the models that will make it onto the streets in the UK will receive the same pair of stripes that run from its nose back over the roof. There's a range of colour options but the most apt is probably Frozen White with blue stripes. The other features that combine to give the Sportvan exterior its racy edge are a pair of exhaust pipes, body coloured grille and bumper, and a full bodykit, including side skirts, front fog lights and extended wheelarches. Buyers also get 18in snowflake patterned alloy wheels shod with low profile tyres and a full set of mud flaps.
The spec of the Sportvan is a long way removed from most people's idea of what a commercial vehicle is all about. No vinyl seats and wind down windows here, it's leather seating, tinted windows, air conditioning, cruise control, electric everything and a six CD autochanger stereo.
None of this seems to have registered with Ford. The boys at the Blue Oval saw no reason why turning a full sized panel van into what amounts to the world's largest hot hatchback would be anything other than a great idea. The result is the Transit Sportvan.
racetrack but nobody would have bought it. The Sportvan's target market is businesses or individuals who need a van but also want to make a statement. The 2.2 litre Duratorque TDCi 138bhp engine in the Sportvan allows them to do this without incurring the kind of operating costs that will propel them straight into insolvency. The common rail diesel engine is no shrinking violet, though, and performance is way above average for a panel van. A six speed manual gearbox comes as standard.
Ford Transit Sportvan
who quite happily launch their commercial vehicle about as if it were a single seater racer.
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