The Ford Pro Electric SuperVan Takes The Concept Of Same-Day Delivery To A New Extreme

Morning Dump Ford Pro Electric Supervan

Ford builds an electric SuperVan, McLaren teams up with Nissan for Formula E, NHTSA regulators propose new black box requirements. All this and more on today’s issue of The Morning Dump.

Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.

Ford Reinvents The SuperVan

2022 Ford E Transit Supervan 40
Photo credit: Ford

Hey you. Yes you, internet-roaming automotive enthusiast. You remember Ford’s absolutely bonkers SuperVan Transits, right? A series of batshit mid-engined high-performance vans meant for hauling ass rather than cargo. Pretty cool stuff,  yeah? It’s been about 28 years since the last SuperVan zoomed into the public eye, but that doesn’t mean Ford’s done with the concept.

Dubbed the Ford Pro Electric SuperVan, the latest in this lineup of ballistic commercial vehicles debuted at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on Thursday and is rather unsurprisingly electric. While range likely isn’t great from the 50 kWh battery pack, four electric motors are claimed to be good for 1,972 horsepower, enough to blitz the zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) dash in less than two seconds. Yeah, that’s what I’d call quick.

2022 Ford E Transit Supervan 54
Photo credit: Ford

While a bespoke chassis likely doesn’t offer much in the way of comfort or payload, the Pro Electric SuperVan still features Ford’s massive portrait-oriented touchscreen infotainment system and a proper loadspace behind the driver that’s accessible through a door in the bodyside. Super, check, van, check. What really piques my interest is the choice of five different drive modes that are mostly dependent on tire selection. There’s road for use with street tires, track for use with slicks, drag for use with drag radials, drift that Ford claims to work in the snow, and rally. Honestly, who doesn’t like a ridiculously quick vehicle that can carry a pizza or two across all sorts of surfaces?

Anyway, here’s a clip of the Ford Pro Electric SuperVan running up the hill at Goodwood. It may be quiet, but look at the sheer speed. Using green technology to go ludicrously fast and vaporize tires is always good in my books, so I’m genuinely excited to see this thing going fast.

McLaren’s Formula E Entry Will Be Powered By Nissan

Nissan Formulae Mclaren Partnership Hero
Photo credit: Nissan

More details of McLaren’s upcoming Formula E entry have come to light, specifically that the British team’s electric powertrains will be supplied by Nissan. Yes, we’re a long way from early Leafs and their tiny 24 kWh battery packs. Honestly, this is a bit weird for one big reason. While the 2022 to 2023 season is set to introduce new third-generation race cars, the current second-generation of Formula E cars uses a 54 kWh battery pack from McLaren Applied Technologies. Still, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown seems excited by the new partnership, saying in a statement, “We have full confidence that the collaboration will bring both parties much success.”

Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time that Nissan has something to do with a McLaren power unit. See, Nissan and Tom Walkinshaw Racing developed a racing V8 called the VRH35L, which saw duty in the R390 GT1 car. McLaren later acquired the rights to that engine and changed almost everything in the Ricardo-assisted process of redeveloping that engine to become the 3.8-liter M838T engine used in supercars like the MP4-12C and P1.

Toyota Recalls bZ4X Over Hub Bolt Woes

Bz Gas1

Just doing a quick informal survey of the room, how many people like their wheels to not fall off while they’re driving. Everyone? Good, then you’ll all be with me on this one. Reuters reports that Toyota is recalling 2,700 bZ4X electric crossovers because the wheels might come loose. According to Japanese regulators, sharp turns and hard braking may cause hub bolts to loosen, and loose hub bolts typically spell out bad news. While no failures have been reported yet, it’s still a little bit sketchy knowing that things might not be bolted down properly.

As for the 2,700 affected bZ4X electric crossovers, 2,200 are for the European market, 260 are for America, 20 are for Canada, and 110 are for Japan. Unsurprisingly, the bZ4X’s badge-engineered twin, the Subaru Solterra, is also affected. Subaru’s recalling a further 2,600 units of the Solterra worldwide, taking the grand total up to 5,300 vehicles. Luckily, Reuters reports that no affected Subaru Solterras have made it into the hands of American consumers. A fix for this hub bolt issue hasn’t been announced yet, so hang tight, let’s see what Toyota and Subaru have in store.

NHTSA Wants Black Boxes To Do More

Iihs Crash
Photo credit: IIHS

If you’re like me and have been the root cause of new safety policy in your workplace, college, or dwelling, you’ll know that when shit hits the fan, everyone wants to know exactly how that excrement collided with those spinning metal blades. Unsurprisingly, NHTSA crash investigators want to know more about collisions, so regulators have proposed new standards for event data recorders (EDRs), commonly known as black boxes.

Regulators rolled out a proposed amendment to black box regulations on Wednesday, calling for a higher sample rate over a longer sample period. See, black boxes in new cars are currently only required to record a minimum of five seconds of pre-collision data at a sample rate of 2 Hz, or two samples per second. The proposed amendment would ratchet that minimum requirement up significantly to 20 seconds of data at 10 Hz, 20 times the total data currently required. In addition to standard sample points like engine RPM, stability control status, ABS status, and steering input, NHTSA regulators would also like to see advanced driver assist system status voluntarily sampled by black boxes.

Honestly, this seems like a rather reasonable request. While 200 data samples seems like a lot, it really isn’t anything massive, and it could reduce some of the blind spots in current black boxes. NHTSA regulators claim in the proposal that “a better understanding of a driver’s pre-crash behavior will also assist in the evaluation of emerging crash avoidance features,” an important thing to get a grip on considering how dreadful some Level 2 assist suites are and how drivers seem to think that assistance equals autonomy when it very much doesn’t.

The Flush

Whelp, time to drop the lid on today’s edition of The Morning Dump. Happy Thursday, everyone. Friday’s little brother is here to let us know that the weekend is just around the corner. My big question of the day to you is a rather simple one – what vehicle did you covet in high school? The stuff pimply-faced adolescent dreams are made of can vary, but the vehicles that we desire in our formative years often have a profound effect on our future automotive endeavors. For me, the semi-realistic high school dream car was a Toyota Verossa VR25, while my very unrealistic dream car was the McLaren P1.

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41 Responses

  1. >what vehicle did you covet in high school
    I first saw and heard a Lancia Scorpion when I was ~14.
    Growing up I saw/experienced almost nothing but the usual American cars and a few Japanese cars.
    Seeing the Scorpion was like getting hit by a lightening bolt.
    Fell in love instantly.

  2. The Flush:
    In highschool I pined for:
    R34 Skyline GT-R (unobtainable then, still unobtainable for a few more years)
    1970 Chevelle SS (This one almost came true, test drove a so-so conditioned one and parents put a kibash on it)

    Wound up with a brand new V6 Ford Mustang, which was honestly too nice for a high schooler. It was super cool though even with only the V6 because it was the first year of the new retro styled S197 and was the only one in my small town for about half a year.

  3. Well it’s comforting to know that Toyota can successfully launch an all new vehicle and have not a single thing go wrong.

    What did I covet in high-school? Anything besides the shitty little cars I got stuck with (83 Tercel SR-5 wagon 4wd, 83 Sundowner, 85 Sentra).

    I really wanted a 1992 Ford Tempo GLS coupe 5 speed, or a 1995 or older Taurus, both with the 3.0L. I own one of those today. I’ve had a GLS coupe 5 speed, but it was a ’91 with the h.o. 4 cylinder. I still regret selling that one. I also had a V-6 Tempo, an LX sedan with an automatic. Loved that car. Still want a V-6/5pd.

    1. Not sure how shitty your tercel wagon was, but one of my buddies had one in high school as well- and we all loved that thing. We had endless amounts of fun in that little gutless wonder- perfect car for a bunch of fearless idiots heading to the beach, ski hill, bush parties, or mythical destinations we heard about through the grapevine, where hoards of ladies awaited us but sadly we never found. You name it, that little crate took us anywhere. Still have a soft spot to this day and hope my kids will have a vehicle just like it- slow, reliable, invisible to police, can sleep 5 or 6 in a pinch.. good times..

  4. The DeTomaso Pantera was what I wanted as a teen. Still do. An exotic with an engine I can work on sounds good even now but they’re way more expensive than they were back then so I’ve got even less chance of owning one these days.

    Also if it’s a SuperVan shouldn’t it be based on the full size Transit and not the Connect? A SuperVan should be able to haul a large and/or heavy load, not just have a cargo area.

  5. I wanted an R34 Skyline GTR in high school like most kids my age.. if I hadn’t moved to the US I would have purchased an R32 from a coworker but I ended up making the move and bought a Bullitt Mustang instead which was fun in an entirely different way.

  6. While the livery on the Electric Supervan is no Supervan II (it’s not even the livery on my Matchbox Supervan II that saw years of aggressive play and resultant paint chipping), it’s still pretty rad. Although, I’d like to see the Transit Custom it’s loosely based off of end up over here. Just, more vans here in general.

    And not that I particularly bleed Blue Oval Blue, but I really wanted a Fox Mustang in high school.

  7. My high-school wants were a Ford Mustang SVO and a Pontiac Fiero, followed by a VW Corrado or Mazda Miata after those two went out of production. I’ve managed to own a Miata, but none of the others.

    My absolute pie-in-the-sky dream car was, and remains to this day, a Ferrari Testarossa.

  8. >what vehicle did you covet in high school
    I wanted a Dodge Magnum (second gen). I was so happy with the updates for the 2008 model, and then they axed it the next year. Sure the hemi would be massively unwieldy for a kid who’s balls only dropped a few years prior, but I was invincible. Instead, I was given a Honda Del Sol, which turned out to be way more fun that I thought it would be. I miss that little bastard.

    Years later, I would find out Magnums were a massive money pit. You could say I

    DODGED A BULLET (cue laugh track)

  9. I’m disappointed Ford didn’t fill up the entire cargo area with batteries. Sure, it would cut into the 0-60 (a lot), but it would be funny to claim 10,000 KM range and a three week charge time. Maybe on the next version.

  10. My HS dream car was a TR6. After I got out of grad school and had some money I saw one in an informal weekend sale nearby. Got in, and couldn’t shut the driver’s door. I’m 6’5″ and there just wasn’t enough room for my legs. End of dream.

    Need to sit in a Jensen-Healy someday…

  11. Realistically: a stripper base model Nissan pickup.
    Dream: the (then) new LT1 Corvette.

    I’m happy to say that I did buy that Corvette seven years later, my first in a line of many sports cars I’ve owned since!

  12. When I was in high school, there were two cars I coveted, in order of priority:

    1) Opel Eco Speedster: 112 horsepower 1.2L CDTI turbodiesel engine in a 660 kg finished weight with a 0.20 drag coefficient. Could get 94 MPG in US gallons and top out at 160 mph

    2) AC Propulsion TZero: Predecessor to the Tesla Roadster. Built on a Piontek Sportech kit car, using a 150 kW 3PH AC Induction drivetrain and single speed reduction ratio, could accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds, while lugging around a 1,280 lb pack of Optima D750 Yellowtop lead acid batteries. Weighed 2,400 lbs in spite of all of that battery weight. Got 80-100 miles range in real world driving conditions on these primitive crap-era batteries.

    1. One of the cars I liked when I was a kid was a Lotus-built (along with a company called Zytek) electric Elise. In 1997 I thought this thing was the future, and I suppose it was in a way.
      Now that’s the real predecessor to the Tesla Roadster 😉

      1. The Zytec Elise used Zytec’s proprietary electric motors, two of them, making a total of 200 horsepower. It used a NiCd battery pack and got a 120 mile range. 0-60 mph was 5 seconds and it topped out at 90 mph. No transmission.

        The drive system in the AC Propulsion TZero was designed by AC Propulsion founder Alan Cocconi, the electrical engineer who designed the prototype inverter used in the GM Impact. It is this technology that was licensed for use in the Tesla Roadster.

        So in a roundabout way, both cars were the predecessor to the Tesla Roadster. AC Propulsion’s drive system and Lotus’ chassis.

  13. High school dream car? Either car from The Duel: Test Drive II. For those who aren’t familiar, the two cars (sans expansion set with 5 others) were the Ferrari F40 and Porsche 959. I’ll never have either of those, but I can keep dreaming and “driving” them in Forza.

  14. Back in high school, either a scirocco or 944 would have afforded the best cool to $ ratio, and I gave plenty of thought to scrimping for one, but I didn’t need my own car to get around so was ultimately happier to spend my hard earned on bike stuff. I do also recall lusting after 20v biturbo Audis and anything with a Lotus badge, new or old

  15. High school dream?
    Pure dream: 959 in Dakar trim
    Heady aspirations: 1972 911SC or v12 E-type
    >really< wanted (but more into smoking dope than actually, you know, working/saving toward it): ‘70&1/2 split-bumper Rallye Camaro.

    I’ll admit to being completely obsessed with the 3rd gen Camaro when it was being teased/first came out. *cringe*

  16. As a high schooler in the ’70s, I lusted after the green Volvo P1800ES with tan leather in the local dealer’s showroom. I’ve owned a few Volvos but never any P1800s. I did drive a ’64 Corvair coupe at that time and it was still an entertaining car, quicker than my friend’s Vega. (It ran better too!)

  17. “NHTSA regulators would also like to see advanced driver assist system status voluntarily sampled by black boxes.”

    Yeah, there’s no way ADAS data (or anything else, for that matter) is getting included voluntarily. Although if any automakers did, it would be an interesting litmus test for which ones have faith in their systems.

    The collection time/frequency requirement seems perfectly reasonable though. Human reaction times are generally considered to be in the tenth of a second range, so to only have data every half second doesn’t tell you much about how people responded during an accident. In the context of ADAS, it would be particularly interesting if you could see how ADAS affects reaction times, although I realize that may be asking too much.

    1. Well it’s comforting to know that Toyota can successfully launch an all new vehicle and have not a single thing go wrong.

      What did I covet in high-school? Anything besides the shitty little cars I got stuck with (83 Tercel SR-5 wagon 4wd, 83 Sundowner, 85 Sentra).

      I really wanted a 1992 Ford Tempo GLS coupe 5 speed, or a 1995 or older Taurus, both with the 3.0L. I own one of those today. I’ve had a GLS coupe 5 speed, but it was a ’91 with the h.o. 4 cylinder. I still regret selling that one. I also had a V-6 Tempo, an LX sedan with an automatic. Loved that car. Still want a V-6/5pd.

      1. Okay? I clicked reply and there was the comment I just posted, and before I could do anything, it posted again.

        Anyway, my reply was intended to say that Ford has an E-Transit. The Econoline is only produced as a chassis cab and stripped chassis, no enclosed body. Ford has said it has no plans to Electrify its heavy duty trucks, I’m sure that includes the E-Series.

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