Every time we see a van like this, it makes us a bit nostalgic for the glory days of big conversion vans in the United States. This particular model is a product of MS-RT – a British tuning company known for turning Ford vans into something a bit more interesting. In this case the foundation is a new Transit, but it’s not necessarily designed to be the ultimate people mover. Technically speaking, this is actaully commercial work van.
According to MS-RT, the van can be configured as a six-seater double cab so yes, you can shuffle the family if you so choose. However, it can also be ordered as a five-seater, three-seater, or just two seats up front with the rest of the space left to haul whatever it is you need to carry in a cool-looking van. Regardless of the configuration, interior updates include a sport steering wheel with carbon fiber inlays, MS-RT branded floor mats and dash clock, and nappa leather with suede trim on the seats. Unfortunately we don't have interior photos yet, but it sounds interesting to say the least.
Outside is where the most of the magic happens, starting with a new front grille and fascia that includes integrated driving lamps. The body kit continues along the side body arch extensions and sills, capped with a roof spoiler on the rear. To complete the racing look, the body kit adds diffusers front and rear.
The MS-RT conversion is primarily visual, but there are some mechanical upgrades as well. The suspension is lowered thanks to a set of Eibach springs that the company says helps handling without compromising load capability. It also gets a special exhaust system to help the otherwise stock 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine breathe better, and it rides on 18-in OZ wheels.
MS-RT says a full list of specs, options, and pricing will come out next month, not to mention additional photos. It won’t be available in the U.S., but if it looks as good on the inside as it does outside, we suspect there will be plenty of American contractors a bit envious of their European counterparts.
Gallery: MS-RT Transit Van
MEET THE VAN OF YOUR DREAMS!
- All new MS-RT Transit Custom on sale this spring
- Motorsport technology gives best-selling Transit a performance lift
- Each van is handcrafted in the UK
There’s an old proverb that ‘style maketh the man’, and in the case of the new MS-RT Transit Custom, it’s quite clearly a case of ‘style maketh the van’ as well.
The new MS-RT Transit Custom is a vehicle that allows its owner to get the job done, but also look good in the process.
Based on the already handsome Ford Transit Custom, the all-new model from MS-RT uses technology and aerodynamic influences from Ford’s works-backed rally team M-Sport to create a performance version of the country’s most popular commercial vehicle.
The new MS-RT Transit Custom’s exterior styling includes a full front bumper and grill replacement with integrated factory fog lamps, extreme front diffuser, wide body arch extensions, sills, rear diffuser and rear spoiler, all of which are manufactured by MS-RT at its UK factory in Pontypool, South Wales.
It also comes with a British-made twin sports exhaust system, along with unique MS-RT exterior branding and decals.
The MS-RT Transit Custom also gets exclusive new 18-inch Anthracite OZ Racing alloys with 103 XL load-rated Hankook Ventus S1 evo2 tyres, along with Eibach performance lowering springs. The combination improves handling and responsiveness, while at the same time ensuring the Transit Custom still delivers where it needs to by maintaining its payload capacity.
Inside, the performance theme continues with a handcrafted MS-RT nappa leather and suede seat facings, along with a distinctive MS-RT sports steering wheel with carbon fibre inlays. The rally-inspired interior theme is completed with MS-RT branded floor mats and dash clocks.
All MS-RT vehicles come with Ford’s latest SYNC3 entertainment system with satellite navigation, dual side loading doors, loadspace lighting, a 230v power convertor, parking sensors, reversing camera, heated windscreen, heated seats and upgraded HID headlights with integrated daytime running lights.
Under the bonnet, the van has Ford’s 170PS EcoBlue 2.0 litre TDCi engine, giving 405 Nm of torque. A choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox can be specified. There are also a number of cabin layouts – two-seat panel van, three-seat panel van, five-seat double-cab and six-seat double-cab, with a choice of long or short wheelbases and a tailgate or twin back doors.
MS-RT Founding Director, Ed Davies, said: “The new MS-RT Transit Custom takes an already excellent van and turns it into something really special, which owners are bound to cherish, and which businesses will use to make their brands really stand out.
“We’re extremely excited about the launch of the new Custom and what it means for MS-RT, as well as our many loyal customers. In addition, it’s also great news for the British economy, as every single vehicle is hand-finished in our factory in Pontypool, South Wales.”
A full list of specification, options and prices will be released next month, along with more detailed photography.