Ford Transit Custom MS-RT R-Spec review: a rally-bred delivery van

Ford Transit Custom MS-RT R-Spec review: a rally-bred delivery van
Ford Transit Custom MS-RT R-Spec review: a rally-bred delivery van

The MS-RT R-Spec is not your average van

When the doorbell rings and the courier drops off your latest purchase from Amazon or Ann Summers or whoever, it’s unlikely you’ll see this van behind them. It’s black of course, which makes it different, but there are a few other changes. Which would have meant your delivery got to you quicker than by virtually any other means, short of electronic transmission.

It comes to you from Wales, from a collaboration between Van-Sport and motorsport hero Malcolm Wilson. From this you just know that it’s going to be quick. That’s underlined by the 2.0-litre Ecoblue four-pot diesel now making 205bhp and 359lb ft of torque. Performance is brisk indeed, with all that torque making overtaking dead easy. And that in turn is underlined by the twin exhausts that alert you to the vehicle’s presence long before you actually see it.

Ford Transit Custom MS-RT R-Spec review

MS-RT R-Spec Transit Custom

Price: £35,995 excl VAT and RFL
Engine: 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, diesel
Power: 208bhp
Torque: 358lb ft
Gearbox: 6-spd automatic
Kerb weight: Not stated
Top speed: 92.8mph
0-62mph: Not stated
Economy: 27.9mpg (test)
CO2: Not stated

And when you do see it you’ll be left wondering by that hugely aggressive snout, which looks like it was based on a Darth Vadar mask. The bodykit is, as they claim, extreme, and is actually based on Wilson’s M-Sport rally team cars.

Under it, the Transit sits on lowered suspension to increase the air of menace, although the engine note means there’s no need to add anything to it. Actually, we’ll admit to getting a bit of a headache after quite a few miles behind the wheel. It really is that loud, but there is an app you can download to dial the exhaust noise up or down, and we’d recommend getting it.

Ford Transit Custom MS-RT R-Spec review

The performance is halted by uprated brakes on those 20-inch OZ Racing alloys. With the uprated suspension that does allow you to chuck this thing into corners with a sense of abandon that would be reckless in a standard van, but even so it’s still a van and is never going to be a hot B-road missile. Ride quality is quite brittle, but if you have the three rear seats and the cargo area filled up maybe that would settle things down a bit.

Ford Transit Custom MS-RT R-Spec interior

The front two racing seats certainly look the part and do give quite a bit of support. And there’s a decent amount of kit thrown in too, like air con, rear camera, sat nav, Bluetooth and more. You probably wouldn’t buy this as a high-miler runner, but we didn’t manage to get near 30mpg during out time with the thing.

There will only be 50 of these made, and if you want your van with a bit of thuggery as standard, it certainly backs up the looks and sounds. The price of £35,995 isn’t crazy either, so if you need a van but don’t fancy being white van man, then go to the dark side with the MS-RT R-Spec.

Ford Transit Custom MS-RT R-Spec review

Mazda MX-5 2.0 review - still as sharp as a surgeon's scapel