What is it?
The MS-RT R-Spec Transit Custom is certainly unlike any other Transit we’ve ever come across.
Based on Ford’s regular Transit Custom - the best-selling van so far in 2018 - the R-Spec takes that winning formula of car-like handling, a punchy diesel engine and serious load-lugging capacity and, erm, adds to it. Rather significantly.
Before we delve into those additions, though, let’s talk about the company responsible for bringing the R-Spec Transit Custom into existence. Based in south Wales, MS-RT is a collaboration between Van-Sport and motorsport icon Malcolm Wilson that specialises in turning regular Ford commercial vehicles - Rangers and Transits in particular - into something else entirely.
That something else, in the case of the R-Spec, is a van that resembles the sort of vehicle Darth Vader might use to move house. MS-RT has fitted it with an extreme bodykit it says is inspired by those fixed to the cars run by Wilson’s Ford-backed M-Sport rally team, as well as 20in OZ Racing alloys shod in 255/40-section Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S rubber. It’s a menacing-looking thing, particularly when finished in black.
That’s not to say the changes made to the R-Spec are purely cosmetic. Eibach springs lower its ride height, while the standard 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ecoblue diesel engine has been tuned to produce 205bhp and 359lb ft of torque. MS-RT has also equipped the R-Spec with uprated brakes, as well cosseting bucket seats up front. There’s a twin sports-exhaust system, too, to ensure you’ll hear the R-Spec coming long before you see it. It really is that loud.