Introducing the Ford Transit Connect MS-RT; the vivacious little van born out of cooperation between Ford and the renowned van modifier, MS-RT. Designed and kitted out in South Wales, the new van is part of Ford’s QVM (Qualified Vehicle Modifier) program and is therefore available to order from dealers and is priced from £23,999 plus VAT.
MS-RT itself was established in 2014 as a specialist van modifier, drawing expertise from former rally driver and Ford World Rally Team manager Malcolm Wilson. Based in an old Nylon factory on the outskirts of Pontypool, the company works with Ford and uses state-of-the-art technology to give vans a sporty and distinctive look.
The company employs around 40 staff and creates its own moulds using high-pressure plastic injectors, which it finished in Ford-approved colours in its specifically designed paintshop. The first Transit Customs were produced in 2015 and this is the second vehicle in the MS-RT line-up; a Ranger is also planned for next year.
Ford Transit Connect MS-RT specifications
The MS-RT inherits all the features from the already well-specced Limited model, including rear parking sensors, air-conditioning, cruise-control, keyless start, heated driver’s seat and steering wheel-mounted audio control.
MS-RT models also come with the upgraded infotainment pack, which consists of a 6-inch touchscreen display, satellite navigation, a DAB radio, voice control and SYNC 3 (a £1,280 upgrade in itself).
However, to create a truly distinctive look inside and out, MS-RT has developed its own front bumper, grilles, front diffuser, side skirts, rear bumper, rear diffuser and spoiler, which give it a lower, sleeker and more powerful appearance. They have also fitted 18-inch Oz rims and a stainless-steel exhaust.
On the inside, MS-RT have introduced a carbon inlay steering wheel and re-upholstered the seats with nappa leather and suede. In the load area, there is a bright LED light and twin side loading doors.
Engine and driveline
As with the chassis, suspension and steering, there is no upgrade on the engine either. Meeting the latest Euro 6D-Temp (or Euro 6.2) emission standard, the 1.5-litre EcoBlue engine produces 120PS and 270Nm – the highest output on the Transit Connect. While it isn’t the most powerful small van on the market, its certainly punchy and reaches 62mph in 12.9 seconds from standstill. In addition to the six-speed manual, there is an eight-speed automatic.
Ford Transit Connect MS-RT price
The Ford Transit Connect MS-RT is priced at £23,999 plus VAT for the manual and £24,999 plus VAT for the automatic – representing a £5,000 premium over the standard Limited (£3,700 when including the infotainment upgrade). A long wheelbase and double-cab model are planned for next year.
As it’s a QVM product, the Connect MS-RT is available from Ford’s respectable commercial vehicle dealer network and is backed by Ford’s 3-year, 100,000-mile warranty. Users also receive a ‘goody box’ which includes an MS-RT cap, torch, tyre pressure monitor, alloy touch up kits and more.