Ford's 1,400-hp electric SuperVan 4.2 will basically fly up Pikes Peak
About a year ago, Ford revived the Supervan for the electric era with an absolutely audacious 2,000-hp quad-motor bullet van built to deliver all world records, no packages. It described the vaguely E-Transit Custom-related Supervan 4 as a rolling laboratory, and its mad scientists have been hard at work doing some tinkering. They've actually scaled output back to a "modest" 1,400 hp but have also broadened out the rear spoiler to near aircraft levels of span, lightened the entire vehicle and splashed it with the new livery it will wear when tackling the great Pikes Peak.
At some point, Ford Performance figured that 2,000 hp might just be overkill for a minivan-shaped racer. So it went about pulling out one motor from the original quartet of STARD UHP six-phase units, scaling things back to the more reasonable, commuter-friendly 1,400 hp (1,050 kW) your local Amazon driver might enjoy.
The motors maintain all-wheel-drive capabilities but this time with a rear bias – two motors in back, one in front. They're powered by STARD's ultra high-performance lithium-polymer pouch cells, which are able to regenerate at up to 600 kW. Ford says the new powertrain better optimizes energy management and power-to-weight.
The aero package has been even more drastically overhauled than the powertrain, with the aim of slipping the beefy "van" through the thin 14er air of America's Mountain while developing upward of 4,400 lb (1,996 kg) of downforce at 150 mph (241 km/h) to glue tires to the 156 switchbacks and turns up to the top.
We're not sure the SuperVan 4.2 even counts as a van after its rear cabin was transformed into a massive, elevated rear spoiler and fin combo, but it still looks vaguely like one from the right angles. That protruding carbon spoiler is complemented below by a diffuser, out in front by a carbon fiber splitter, and along the sides by ground-skimming skirts, all exaggerated about as much as physically and visually possible.
Ford Performance also sent the Supervan through a lightweighting program so it can more deftly whip and float around Rocky Mountain corners. Efforts included the indulgent use of carbon fiber materials, the addition of magnesium forged wheels, the stripping of the already spartan interior, and the fitment of a perspex windscreen.
A revised regenerative braking system will help feed the power-hungry battery, while lightweight carbon-ceramic discs bring the Supervan 4.2 to full-stop. Pirelli P Zero race tires will hold the road as the 4.2 corkscrews up the mountain.
Pro driver Romain Dumas raced the Supervan 4 up the hill at last year's Goodwood Festival of Speed, finishing in 46.58 seconds. He'll take the wheel once again this Sunday at Pikes Peak, where he still holds the all-time record with the 7:57.148-minute time he ran in 2018 at the helm of the VW ID. R Pikes Peak. We look forward to seeing what he can do with an insanely over-powered e-van.