An updated version of the Electric Ford SuperVan is set to tackle the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this weekend.
Under the skin of the revised van — now known as SuperVan 4.2 — the drivetrain has been revised to lower weight and improve balance so the car can better tackle the hill climb’s many twists and turns.
While the SuperVan 4 had four electric motors making a total of 1471kW (2000 metric horsepower), version 4.2 has just three STARD UHP six-phase motors, with two at the rear and one up front. Total discharge power is said to be 1050kW (roughly 1400hp).
There’s also a new STARD battery pack with lithium polymer NMC pouches, and the new ability to recharge at 600kW.
While the earlier SuperVan 4 had a 50kWh battery, Ford doesn’t state the capacity of the SuperVan 4.2’s battery, but we presume it will be just enough to complete the Pikes Peak Hill Climb.
Other changes include a new regenerative braking system, upgraded driveshafts, and a perspex windshield. The interior has been stripped back to the minimum allowed by the organisers of the hill climb, and now does without the original van’s 15.5-inch Sync 4 touchscreen and dashboard top.
It rides on Pirelli P Zero race tyres allied with carbon ceramic brakes, unequal-length double wishbone suspension at both ends, and “motorsport-grade” front and rear subframes.
The most obvious external change compared to the SuperVan 4 unveiled at last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed is the new van’s revised livery, which swaps a largely all white exterior for a dark blue scheme featuring bright yellow, orange, red and purple highlights.
Up front the headlights look like they’re now decorative, but the remainder of the body, which is loosely based on the second-generation Transit Custom, looks to be carried over.
Ford has also extensively revised the van’s aero, with an even larger carbon-fibre front splitter and rear wing to increase downforce to 19,570N when driving at 240km/h.
Again, this has been done to keep the car planted to the ground as it navigates the course’s 156 turns and 1440m elevation change.
As with the original SuperVan 4, the upgraded model has a body that tapers dramatically towards the rear, severely limiting cargo-carrying space.
The SuperVan 4.2 will piloted by Romain Dumas, who notched overall victories at Pikes Peak in 2014, 2016, and 2017 with Norma prototypes, as well as in 2018 with the electric Volkswagen ID. R.