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Ford E-Transit Custom MS-RT review: hot hatch silliness in a practical van

The Ford E-Transit Custom MS-RT is what happens when performance car fans are let loose on Britain’s most popular van.

Ford’s Transit Custom pretty much dominates the light van market across most of Europe.

It’s the go-to sensible workhorse for thousands of businesses and, in general, gets on with hauling whoever and whatever you want around with little fuss and without drawing too much attention to itself.

But for those who want some attention, Ford has for several years offered an MS-RT spec. Paying homage to Ford’s motorsport legacy, these vans added a little chassis tuning and a lot of body kit for a sportier look and feel.

For this new version of Transit, Ford has done the same. But while the changes to diesel and PHEV versions of the van are largely cosmetic, for the electric version, Ford Pro has gone completely mad. So as well as a look-at-me body kit, this E-Transit Custom MS-RT gets a unique powertrain and the sort of performance that you really wouldn’t expect.

Design, interior and technology

Let’s be honest, the e-Transit Custom MS-RT looks ridiculous. But in a way that appeals to the childish core inside all of us.

Ford has taken the regular Transit, strapped on a whacking big front bumper with gloss black fins, a deep chin spoiler and unique grille treatment. Then it’s chucked on some very sharp-looking anthracite 19-inch alloys, deep side skirts and a rear diffuser before topping it all off with a split rear wing that sticks out over and around the rear doors.

Ford E-Transit Custom MS-RT rear spoiler

It’s unquestionably over the top, especially in the acid green of our test van, but it somehow works to enhance the E-Transit’s fundamentally decent looks.

The interior layout is the same as the regular van but also gets some sporty touches including more supportive seats finished in vegan leather and suede, with MS-RT logos and contrast stitching. There’s also a thick sports steering wheel with a bright blue 12 o’clock marker.

As befits the range-topper, this van gets all the tech from other versions, including LED lights, keyless entry and a 13-inch touchscreen with smartphone mirroring, plus a well-equipped ADAS package.

Battery, motor and performance

The exterior should give a clue, but the MS-RT’s power is genuinely surprising and enough to put a grin on the face of even the grumpiest white van man.

The two lesser E-Transit Custom models have the typical initial electric surge which peters out relatively quickly. Not so in the MS-RT which continues to gather pace well into triple kmph figures thanks to a 282bhp motor.

Despite this being a ‘performance’ model, Ford won’t quote a 0-62mph time or top speed. My own very unscientific testing suggests it’s pretty damn nippy from a standstill and has a pleasingly muscular pull from almost any speed. A little time spent on the derestricted autobahn also revealed a top speed in excess of 90mph, at least according to the dashboard instruments.

Ford E-Transit Custom MS-RT

While the MS-RT gets a bespoke motor and styling, the chassis hasn’t been upgraded beyond a widened track. That’s not terrible news, as the regular van is the best handling and smoothest riding vehicle in its class and showcases Ford’s ability to make great-driving commercial vehicles.

However, halfway through my test drive we experienced rainfall on a biblical scale which did expose some issues with sending nearly 300bhp through the back wheels of a panel van. Even with 400kg of cargo in the back, pulling away too abruptly from junctions prompted a surprising amount of wiggle from the van’s rear end.

At that point it seemed prudent to abandon sport mode in favour of the slippery drive mode which significantly damped the throttle response and made everything a lot more sensible. It’s one of multiple drive modes that also include eco, normal and towing – not that we can imagine many MS-RTs hauling a trailer. If you really want to, this sportiest of E-Transit Customs will pull 2.3 tonnes, just like its slower brethren. It also has the same 6.8m3 maximum load space and up to 1,124kg maximum net payload.

The MS-RT uses the same 64kWh battery as every other version of the E-Transit Custom and, as you’d expect, the extra power harms the range. Ford quotes a maximum range of 147 miles for the hottest version, compared with up to 209 miles from the basic model. Like that van, the MS-RT has 125kW DC charging that’ll top the batteries up from 10-80% in 39 minutes.

Price and specification

The MS-RT is definitely going to appeal to a very narrow market. Our H1L1 single cab example weighed in at £62,009 before VAT, that’s almost £20,000 more than the entry-level 134bhp Trend version.

It does get all the goodies, including heated seats and steering wheel, dual-zone air conditioning, plus a rear view digital camera, cruise control and driver aids including traffic sign recognition, lane keep assist and wrong way alert.

But the 217bhp Sport version gets most of the same equipment and while it doesn’t have the wild styling or outright grunt of the MS-RT it still has a decent amount of shove and the same excellent handling and solid practicality for £12k less.


Does anyone really need a £60,000 one-tonne van with nearly 300bhp? Probably not but that doesn’t mean the E-Transit Custom MS-RT isn’t weirdly appealing.

It is silly to look at and lairy to drive but has all the day-to-day practicality of any other Transit Custom and road presence unlike any other van on the market.

Ford E-Transit Custom MS-RT

Ford E-Transit Custom MS-RT L1H1

  • Price: £62,009.83 (excl VAT)
  • Powertrain: single-motor, rear-wheel-drive
  • Battery: 64kWh
  • Power: 282bhp
  • Torque: 306lb ft
  • Top speed: n/a
  • 0-62mph: n/a
  • Range: 147 miles
  • Consumption: n/a
  • Charging: up to 125kW
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Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.