Ford’s SuperVan delivers close to 2,000 horsepower.
There are four electric motors aboard the EV prototype.
Romain Dumas will be at the wheel of the SuperVan 4 at the Pikes Peak this year.
For the 101st edition of the famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) to be held on June 25 later this year, Ford will be entering… a commercial van, a Ford Transit if you prefer. But then this is not just any van, but the fourth version of the SuperVan series.
Ford unveiled the SuperVan 4 last year, but it’s worth remembering that this fourth version of the super van – the first one appeared in 1971 – has traded in its combustion powertrain for a purely electric arrangement, like the other ultra-high performance electric car, the Ford Mustang Mach-E 1400 concept unveiled in 2020.
Ford also points out that the very first Ford vehicle to climb the 156 curves and 4,725 feet of elevation gain was a Ford Model T, and that was in 1916. Another regular of the annual race will be the one piloting the SuperVan 4, the French driver Romain Dumas, who has participated in a few editions of the famous high-altitude race. Indeed, the ace driver has won the event a few times in addition to being the holder of the best time in the discipline, at the wheel of Volkswagen’s ID.R prototype, back in 2018.
This time, the French driver, who has also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans on three occasions, will have the task of driving this van, which is surprisingly aerodynamic for a commercial vehicle. The 1,973 horsepower is powered by four electric motors and a water-cooled battery with a capacity of 50 kWh.
Since the climb only takes a few minutes, the designers of the special van didn’t need to install a very large battery like in the F-150 Lightning, for example. However, the sheer pace of this type of event can drain the battery very quickly.
“The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the perfect next step for Ford Performance and the perfect venue for SuperVan 4, as both have a long history that fires the imagination of racing fans around the world,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsports. “Both have evolved over time, and it’s time to take our electric vehicle technology and put it to the test on the mountain against some of the world’s most impressive performance vehicles.”
More details will be released in the coming months as the event is held at the end of June. Oh yes, and if everything goes to plan, this feat featuring the fastest van in Ford’ history should become the benchmark time for a commercial van at the famous event.