Everybody shops online these days, from groceries to clothing and electronics to furniture, there's virtually nothing you can't have delivered directly to your door. And as the number of deliveries has increased, so the number of vans has too. Over the past decade the distance driven by vans increased by nearly a quarter, with the UK's 1.5 million light goods vehicles now covering more than 50 billion miles a year. So how can an independently-minded van man (or woman) stand out from the crowd?
The answer comes from Welsh company MS-RT, which has unveiled an all-new 'sports-derived' body kit for Ford's Transit Connect models. Designed and manufactured in-house, the injection-moulded plastic kit features a new front bumper, grilles, front diffuser, side skirts, rear bumper, rear diffuser and spoiler.
A stainless steel sports exhaust and 18-inch OZ Racing alloy wheels - with an optional limited edition bronze finish - complete the modifications, which are limited to aesthetic tweaks and don't provide any additional performance beyond potential aero gains. Inside, a carbon-inlayed sports steering wheel and a hand-made leather and suede interior should keep drivers in sufficient levels of luxury during long days on the road.
In addition, it gets a stainless steel sports exhaust system, 18-inch OZ Racing alloy wheels with an optional limited edition bronze finish. A carbon inlay sports steering wheel, hand-made Nappa leather and suede interior, LED load space lighting, and premium infotainment pack - including sat-nav and a reversing camera, bi-xenon headlights and twin side loading doors - complete the transformation.
The conversion has been designed to pass QVM approval with Ford, includes a three-year, 100,000-mile warranty, and will be priced at £23,995 with a six-speed manual gearbox, or £24,995 with automatic transmission, both excluding VAT. A long-wheelbase version and double cab are both set to be introduced later in the year.
MS-RT Founding Director, Edward Davies, said of the project: "We've enjoyed unprecedented success with the MS-RT Transit Custom, with the order books completely full since launch. Our customers absolutely love their vans and the uniqueness of them, so we expect that the Connect will develop a similar following among those who want a commercial vehicle with genuine motorsport heritage, fantastic sports styling and a full manufacturer-backed warranty. We can't wait to deliver the first Launch Edition models later this year."