Last year Ford introduced America to its very popular and very European Transit Connect Van. They sold 2,000 of them in the first month, impressive for a vehicle marketed mostly at commercial applications. It has a lot of storage space and gets 25 mpg on the highway. It is remarkable for being practical. But practical is boring. came across this Transit Connect in on the Transit Connect Forums (a very popular forum, judging by the number of posts). It has a Focus RS engine swap. Crazy, right?

Pictures: mike69woodford

It brings to mind the old turbo Dodge Caravans. But with the Focus RS engine, it makes a silly amount of horsepower, and still returns decent gas mileage fully loaded, according to the owner. The Transit Connect recently raced in the modball rally. The modball rally is a race where wacky cars of all sorts race from London “through France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Slovakia, partying at every stop,” according to It sort of like a Bullrun across America for irregular cars, much like the 24 Hours of Lemons.

With the Focus RS engine, this Transit Connect makes about 305 horsepower. The owner claims that the van is the fastest Transit Connect in the country, and that the car won the Modball Award for craziest car. It also happens to run on a Liquefied Petroleum Gas system. It is an alternative fuel system running on either propane, butane, or some combination of both. It is a cleaner fuel than gas, and the driver claims £25 (about $35) gets him 200 miles, fully loaded.

Considering the van has a 135 cubic feet of carrying capacity and about 1,400 pounds of carrying capacity with the 136 horsepower 2.0 liter non-turbo, I’d say that it is fun and practical. This kind of conversion has been done before, the Transit Connect X-Press, but that had just a 215 horsepower Focus RS engine (back in 2004). Maybe Ford should just think about doing this from the Factory. EcoBoost, anyone? Or how about the brand new 5.0 L from the 2011 GT, with a supercharger? That might make these vehicles cool here in America.

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