It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Supervan! Well, it’s great, and it certainly flies. Down the track. We are in the era of super fast electric cars. There’s the Tesla S Plaid, Rimac Nevera, Aspark Owl and Taycan and many more on the way. When the Bugatti Veyron debuted with 1,200 hp, people couldn’t believe there was a vehicle with so much power. Since then a number of other cars had hit that benchmark, but now things have taken another leap to over 2,000bhp. Manufacturers are able to create hybrid cars that take advantage of electric motors, and now there are cars that run purely on electricity.
While it’s not crazy to believe that a sports car would do it, or even a sedan, that a minivan would be able to do it, it certainly seems more than unusual. Maybe even unbelievable, but Ford made it a reality. It arrived at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 23 and immediately caused a stir. With its neon blue and green color scheme, it’s impossible to miss and too much to ignore.
Here are ten facts that will help you understand exactly what Ford has achieved.
ten Built in the UK
The UK has a history of building fast cars, with brands like McLaren, Jaguar, Lotus and Aston Martin all British. When people think of Ford, Detroit comes to mind. Their other fast cars, like Ford GTs, Mustangs and the RS200.
They may have production plants in other countries to manufacture their products, but the whole project was developed there. But due to the Transit’s popularity in Europe, all Supervans were British projects. The good news is that even though the four is built across the pond, it is a left-hand drive car.
9 Developed in secret by the Ford Performance division
For people who don’t know, Ford has a special division dedicated to producing their performance road cars. They worked on projects like the F-150 Raptor, Shelby GT500 and Focus RS.
They also got help from STARD, Stohl Advanced Research and Development. They are based in Cologne, Germany, and built in Groß-Enzersdorf, Austria, and specialize in building racing and electric vehicles. It is the company that produces Ford Fiestas and Kia’s Cee’d cars used in Rallycross
8 Based on Custom E-Transit
The Supervan is built on the latest generation of the E-Transit van. Unlike previous versions, the new one is electric but remains focused on deliveries and commercial use. They are available in three roof heights, three body lengths and the choices of a Chassis Cab, Cutaway or Cargo Van. The two reclining bucket seats in the front are the only configuration offered.
They are fully electric with a single-speed transmission and an RWD electric motor. The battery is a 68 kWh lithium-ion battery that gives the vehicle a range of 126 miles and a top speed of 75 mph, depending on cargo load.
seven Actually Ford’s 4th Supervan
Before the last Supervan, Ford had built three others. Supervan 1 debuted in 1971 with the chassis of a GT40 and a mid-engined V8 with a top speed of 150 mph. The Supervan 2 was built in 1984. Its body was the standard Mark II Transit but was fiberglass. It was lowered and fitted with a front air dam, large side air intakes, a raised rear spoiler and a Cosworth DFL engine.
Supervan 3 was released in 1994. Like the Supervan 4, it was built to show off a new model of Transit, as opposed to the other two which were made with outgoing models. The 3 also existed the longest and served as a showcase until 2001.
6 A unique piece
Unfortunately, this Supervan is only a concept vehicle, and there are no plans to build any more. Although there is no doubt that the Supervan is exciting, the production price and lack of need for this type of vehicle, and the practicality will make it an on-off
Like many automakers who build concept cars to demonstrate what their engineers can do, it was designed purely to demonstrate how far it’s come in passenger and utility vehicle production, not to mention a bit of fun.
5 Custom Engines
Anyone who has ever charged their cell phone and felt it heat up knows the byproduct of lithium-ion batteries. Now consider that there are 5.4 watt hours in a smartphone and a 50 kWh battery is over 9,000 times more powerful. You can imagine it will take some serious cooling to keep this battery from losing power with every charge and to keep it from exploding. This is why electric cars are equipped with special liquid-cooled batteries enclosed in a carbon fiber casing.
Charging the Supervan’s battery takes 45 minutes with a fast charger, which is faster than average for an electric car to fully charge. Teslas do it faster because they use superchargers, but the Supervan doesn’t support them.
4 Designed for racing
It’s quite unusual to see a van doing laps on the circuit, but there have been instances of this, such as when Sabine Schmitz took a lap in a standard Transit in 10:08 and the Revo Technik modified VW T5 Van that did it in 9:57 seconds.
The T5 was stripped for weight but had 1500 horsepower less than the Supervan. There’s no guarantee it’d be able to beat the T5, but with carbon fiber parts, a large rear wing and plenty of air splitters, it wouldn’t be out of place on the track.
3 0-60 in less than 2 seconds
Unlike combustion vehicles, which must start first, electric cars can use their full power immediately. Even a Bugatti Chiron needs 2.4 seconds to hit 60 mph, and the Lamborghini Huracan Evo needs 2.8 seconds.
As far as electric cars go, the Audi e-tron GT RS can hit 60 mph in 3.1 seconds. The Porsche Taycan Turbo S takes 2.8 seconds. You’ve probably heard stories of how Teslas accelerate so quickly with launch control that you’re violently pushed back into your seat, sometimes painfully. It reaches 100 km/h in less than 2 seconds, but remember that the Supervan is a van that weighs a lot more.
2 Five selectable driving modes
In many sports cars you will see three or maybe four driving modes, such as comfort, sport and track. These options adjust the dampers, throttle response, shift timing and traction control. The Taycan has four ranges, Normal, Sport and Sport Plus.
The Supervan has five. Road, Track, Drag, Drift, Rally do what you would expect from their names. There’s also another choice, tire cleaning, which brakes one axle and spins the other to clean and warm the tires before performance, but it will also do some awesome burnouts. This comes from a company that knows a thing or two about revving engines.
1 A cabin of a racing car
Inside, you’ll also find a setup built for speed. It features a full roll cage, FIA-certified racing seats and the Mustang Mach-E’s touchscreen that controls performance and powertrain, as well as race telemetry access.
Plus, because it’s connected to the cloud via its own Wi-Fi hotspot, it can send battery usage and location information to the pit or wherever support personnel are and can receive information about route planning and driving lines.