Ford SuperVan: Aero, New Look, Less Power for Pikes Peak

New Ford SuperVan 4.2: Showcasing Ford Performance Livery

Ford Performance has exposed a radically adapted installment of the electric SuperVan 4 before this weekend’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC). Affectionately labeled SuperVan 4.2, the vehicle now beams Ford Performance markings and hues. Additionally, the motorized giant puts forth an impressive aero scheme with which it hopes to succeed in the Race for the Skies.

One of the most peculiar aspects of the SuperVan 4.2 is that it has less power than the original 1,972 horsepower concept. This version is said to produce “over” 1,400 hp when used for Pikes Peak. It may seem like a decrease in power, but in reality, 1,400 hp is more than enough for the SuperVan to reach its full potential. Without the altitude losses faced by internal combustion engine competitors, the SuperVan already has an advantage.

Ford Motor Company’s relationship with Pikes Peak International Hill Climb dates back to the very first running of the event in 1916, when a Model T vehicle competed. In recent years, however, the mountain and Ford have seen significant changes. Now, Romain Dumas shall be at the wheel of the SuperVan 4.2 – and it may be familiar to many fans due to Dumas’s outright record at the 2018 race at the helm of the Volkswagen I.D. R electric racer (7:57.148).

The I.D. R harnessed only 680 bhp while being weighed less than 2,500 pounds; therefore, with over twice the power, Dumas and the SuperVan 4.2 could be ambitious to set a new record altogether.

Downforce is going to be imperative, and the SuperVan 4.2 generates a massive quantity of it. Literally, at one hundred and fifty mph, its up-to-date aerodynamic design yields over four thousand pounds of downforce due to the huge rear spoiler and front splitter both manufactured from carbon fiber.

The vehicle, of which draws its inspiration from Ford’s E-Transit, has seen a reduction to the overall weight in preparing for its hill-climbing mission. Much of the alterations made span the introduction of a perspex windscreen as well as a lean interior, and three motors instead of the initial four, topped up with STARD’s Ultra High-Performance Li-Polymer NMC pouch cell powered battery pack for rapid discharge. STARD’s motors provide an upper limit of 600 KW in regenerative capacity too, coupled up with carbon ceramic brakes for additional support.

In all four corners, forged magnesium wheels with Pirelli P Zero racing slicks offer superior grip. In order to face this additional traction capabilities, Ford has increased the strength of the driveshafts.

“At Ford Performance Motorsports, we have collaborated with our STARD partners to create the E-Transit SuperVan 4.2 – a vehicle designed to be a top-tier competitor, with the goal of quickly reaching the summit,” said global director Mark Rushbrook. “The Pikes Peak Hill Climb is the ideal platform for us to display Ford’s electric vehicle technology and demonstrate the potential of EVs in performance applications.”

“Our run times on the mountain will be worth tuning in for,” says Mike Norton, WRC Program Supervisor & Motorsports Regulations and Homologation at Ford Performance, indicating Ford’s ambition to set a new outright record.

In seven days’ time, we could be adding one more vehicle to the catalogue of ultimate Pikes Peak automobiles.

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