So this is what I’m proposing, and I hope you’re listening car manufacturers of the world because you’ll want to here this. Forget China and SUV’s and sedans called coupes, just focus on The Van, because this is a highly exploitable sector of the market whose sales figures are about to explode as a result of my insightful brilliance. So here’s my idea, make a fast, fun to drive van. Please hold your applause until the end.
Just think about it, we already know and love fast, understated and practical cars like the E Class AMG Estate and hot hatches, so imagine a vehicle with similar performance credentials but dressed in an even more practical and dowdy van body style. It would be the ultimate practical and understated performance car. It would be simply sublime.
Vanists would no longer be restricted to dull and dreary white vans with pathetic performance and terrifying handling, oh no sir. They would instead have the opportunity to choose from a selection of powerful, agile and fun vans. They’d be able to deliver things more quickly, increase their productivity and their attractiveness to the opposite sex. Surely this would be appealing to all van drivers? Even non-vanists could entertain the idea, because what these performance vans would represent is something seriously cool – a van capable of embarrassing sports cars. The ultimate sleeper.
Ford has a history of taking the Transit van – the ideal platform for a performance car, sorry, van – and turning it into a track gobbling monster. There’s even a single make race series called the Portuguese Ford Transit Trophy. And currently there’s a one off road-going version of the ‘supervan’ racing car roaming the streets of Britain challenging aftershave-wearing Ferrari owners at the lights and embarrassing them dearly. It produces 200hp and a not-too-shabby 347lb ft of torque from its 3.2 liter five pot engine. Ford created it as a kind of joke car to show that it still has a sense of humor, but seriously Ford, you have the opportunity to become the pioneer in road going performance vans! Put it into production and you’ll be the only manufacturer occupying this new niche in the market. What’s the
worst that could happen?
Then we have Volkswagen, Caddy Van GTi anyone? The Caddy is already based on the MQB platform, which underpins the Golf, so it wouldn’t take much investment to get this one into showrooms. Think of it as the hot hatch, er, van. Small, nimble and playful, it can only be superb.
How about Mercedes AMG? The Viano is the only Mercedes product yet to receive the AMG treatment so it only makes sense for Merc to hand over their van to the crazy AMG boffins. An AMG version of the Viano would be the ultimate performance van, blending luxuriousness, subtleness, utter madness and van-ness. Ok, so there’s already a Brabus version of the Viano, but the upgrades are pretty pathetic if you ask me. The AMG version however would be a proper, fully re-engineered lunatic beast that could only be the work of the madmen who crammed the Bi-Turbo V12 into the prehistoric G Wagon. It would make use of the new 4MATIC all wheel drive system and 550hp twin turbo V8 from the face lifted and face bending E63 AMG. It would be a supercar destroyer, capable of hitting 60mph in under 4 seconds, it would sound manic and top out at 190mph despite its aerodynamic inefficiencies. It would do mahooosive powerslides and wreck its tyres with all the vengeance and fury of that crazy goat from the Doritos Super Bowl commercial. The world needs a van like this.
So, esteemed car manufacturers reading this, I leave you with this; don’t bother with economic crisis this and pie chart that. Just build the damn things and people will buy them. People like silly, bizarre cars. People like madness. People like vans! Ok maybe not, but they will once you give them something interesting. So go forth and maketh.
*I’ve already trademarked the names Sports Van, Van Speed, and my personal favorite Shark Jet Super Speedster Van. Willing to sell for $$
By Aiden Taylor
Aiden is an enthusiastic car crazy university student studying the art of wordsmithery AKA journalism. He thinks he has a Stig like ability to tame his beastly Mazda mx-5 with the use of numerous technical sounding car control terms, some of which probably don’t exist. His views are often whacky and ridiculous but sometimes vaguely logical as well. His dream car is the insane 1200hp Koenigsegg Agera R. Please do get in touch on Twitter (@AidenT_RD)