The Ford Transit Connect is neither fast nor does it sound great – but it shouldn’t, as this wasn’t what it was made for. However, there’s one exception; this example that strays away from the Transits that we’re used to seeing.
Built by the brand’s European arm, this Transit RS Connect uses the same fire power as the first-gen Focus RS. The 215 PS (212 hp / 158 kW) and 310 Nm (229 lb-ft) of torque produced by the 2.0-liter four-banger allow it to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 7 seconds.
Besides the turbocharged engine and manual gearbox, it features the same front suspension and brakes all around as the old hot hatch. There’s still a lot of torque steering, so driving the van doesn’t feel that different compared to driving the original Focus RS, according to Carfections’ video review, which calls it a hot hatch with a really big boot.
The project is completed by a couple of racing stripes and OZ wheels on the outside, and a roll cage, Recaro seats and some controversial materials in the cockpit.
Don’t go anywhere just yet, because there’s another Transit Connect built by the Blue Oval, which is newer and uses the Mk3 Focus ST running gear, complete with the 250 PS (246 hp / 184 kW) 2.0-liter engine. Compared to the RS-powered van, this one is said to be more refined overall. Power delivery is smooth, it feels quicker and is more fun to drive.
No matter how nicely you’ll ask Ford, they’ll never build a performance-oriented van, as their sole purpose is cargo hauling, and these two were made just to show what could be done.