Transit Connect X-press: a Union of Performance and Practicality

By: Terry Brown

Ford is known for creating great designs and high performance cars. But just imagine what the result will be if Ford fuses one of its low-roof' Ford Transit Connect van with one of its legendary high performance Focus RS? The product is the remarkable Transit Connect X-Press which is considered to be one of Ford's fastest and highly versatile small commercial vehicles to hit the market.

Transit Connect X-Press is lowered by up to 70 mm with 18-inch OZ alloys and emitting an exhaust note that is likened to that of the Ford's Focus RS WRC. It has a race-spec roll cage inside while its exterior is done in a pearlescent white paint job and set off with a tri-color X-Press graphics.

According to Barry Gale Ford of Europe's Chief Engineer for Commercial Vehicles, "Transit Connect is such a strong and dynamically capable vehicle to begin with, that we knew this project would be feasible from the outset. Certain drivetrain and suspension components are common with the first generation Ford Focus, so the transformation was relatively straightforward from an engineering point of view. We now have a unique commercial vehicle that performs like no other. If pushed, it is capable of a 0-60mph time in less than 7 seconds and a 130mph top speed. As you might expect from a Ford, it handles, steers and stops like a sports car."

The team of engineers that developed the Transit Connect range found it a challenge on how to fit a high performance, turbocharged and intercooled 215PS engine into a vehicle with only minimal changes required. Unfortunately, the X-Press calls for something more and has pushed Ford's engineers to develop the X-Press from the ground up. But according to Gale, "It wasn't difficult really. Once everyone understood what we were doing they all offered to help in their spare time to make special parts or work on the vehicle. It became a true labour of love and as we're basically all car nuts, we're very pleased with the end product."

The X-Press also shows Ford's solid commitment in developing vehicles that are not only high performance but offer rewarding driving experience. This does not only cover the passenger cars segment but also applies to other lines of Ford vehicles.

One of the features that make the X-Press really standout is its lowered suspension which makes it look meaner and sleeker. The lowered suspension also makes the X-Press or any car for that matter more stable especially when making turns since it tend to drop the vehicle's body closer to the center of the gravity. There are lowering springs available like the that are applicable for 2-wheel-drive car, van, SUV, trucks including a number of 4-wheel-drive trucks which private car owners may use on their cars.

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