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New Ford Ranger and Transit Custom get sportier MS-RT makeover

Popular pick-up and van get a host of visual and mechanical changes

The MS-RT treatment brings a range of sporty changes. (Ford)
The MS-RT treatment brings a range of sporty changes. (Ford) The MS-RT treatment brings a range of sporty changes. (Ford)

Ford has revealed two new flagship MS-RT versions of its popular Ranger pick-up and new Transit Custom van.

MS-RT is an offshoot of M-Sport, Ford’s global rally partner based in the Lake District, and in recent years has turned its attention to giving the firm’s commercial vehicles a sportier look.

Ford is now presenting new MS-RT versions of its new Ranger and Transit Custom van, with the grade sitting at the top of the range of the two models. Both will undergo the final ‘MS-RT’ makeover at a new facility based on Ford’s large estate in Dagenham, Essex.

The MS-RT models are part assembled in Dagenham. (Ford)
The MS-RT models are part assembled in Dagenham. (Ford) The MS-RT models are part assembled in Dagenham. (Ford)

Things kick off with the Ranger MS-RT, which is dubbed as the ‘ultimate street truck’. Using a 236bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, it gets a unique suspension setup with firmer front dampers and sits 40mm lower than the standard model.

Cosmetically it’s said to be inspired by racing pick-up trucks and it comes with a larger honeycomb grille and splitter as well as a rear ducktail spoiler. Large 21-inch alloy wheels with low-profile tyres are also included and widen the track of the Ranger significantly to the point the bodywork has had to be extended.

Leather and suede sports seats are also fitted, with a new steering wheel and various blue detailing also included.

The MS-RT models also get various interior styling changes. (Ford)
The MS-RT models also get various interior styling changes. (Ford) The MS-RT models also get various interior styling changes. (Ford)

Ford’s new Transit Custom – by far the UK’s most popular new van – has also had a makeover, getting much more aggressive bumpers, side skirts and a large rear spoiler. These also feature large 19-inch alloy wheels, while the interior gets upgraded seats and specific MS-RT upholstery.

The Transit Custom is available with a choice of 2.0-litre diesel engines, as well as a 229bhp plug-in hybrid model. The MS-RT treatment also extends to the new electric E-Transit Custom but also gets a significant power hike as part of this update – its rear motor producing 281bhp, the most of any Transit Custom.

The new Ford Ranger MS-RT and Transit Custom MS-RT are both available to order, with first deliveries expected in the middle of the year.