What is it?
Rally car-builder M-Sport’s modified version of Ford’s top-end European pick-up truck, the 3.2-litre diesel Ranger Wildtrack. The Cockermouth-based firm, run by former star rally driver Malcolm Wilson, is currently in expansion mode, and is keen to establish a range of own-brand modified road cars. It is concentrating at first on Ford’s commercials, and already offers M-Sport versions of the Transit Custom and Connect.
Those vehicles are all built in Abergavenny by Van Sport, using a specification laid down by M-Sport. The builders have wisely concentrated on décor and suspension for their improved models, rather than change the power trains or mess with the ultra-convenient selectable four-wheel drive system.
The two M-Sport Transits are already on sale, and the Ranger hits showrooms next month. It costs £35,995 plus VAT for the top-spec, 3.2-litre diesel, six-speed automatic version we're testing here. That’s a pretty solid £43,200 retail for those of us who can’t claim VAT, although it's likely to appeal most strongly to professional owners in search of image, and attracted by the fact that even this vast double cab pick-up attracts less benefit-in-kind (BIK) taxation than a Sportage or Discovery Sport.