There is a lot to like about the Ford Transit Connect, but speed isn't one of them — it was designed to haul people and gear rather than, well, y'know. An odd and awesome exception to this rule is currently listed on Cars & Bids with a Focus ST-sourced engine and gearbox.
Visually, the main indication that this isn't a run-of-the-mill van is a set of 18-inch alloy wheels from a Focus ST. Pop the hood and the full scope of this build comes to light: This 2014 Transit Connect XLT is powered by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that's bolted to six-speed manual transmission. Both come from a 2014 Focus ST, according to the auction description. The engine makes 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque in its standard configuration, but this van benefits from a Cobb Tuning "Stage 2" tune for extra power.
For context, an unmodified 2014 Transit Connect XLT uses a naturally-aspirated, 2.5-liter four-cylinder rated at 169 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. It's linked to a six-speed automatic transmission; Ford offered the city-friendly van with a manual in Europe, but the three-pedal setup was never made available in the United States. The folks who built this van didn't stop at the swap: This Transit Connect also features a Mishimoto intercooler, a Cobb Tuning exhaust system, and Eibach lowering springs, among many other modifications.
Inside, it's kind of like a reverse mullet: party in the front, with leather-upholstered Recaro seats provided by the same Focus ST that donated its engine, and business in the back, with cloth-upholstered seats that fold and tilt to clear up a cavernous amount of trunk space.
While completing an engine swap is never easy, this transplant sounds like it was relatively straight-forward ("relatively" is the key word here) because the Transit Connect and the Focus ride on the same basic C-Car platform. This also partly explains why everything seems to fit surprisingly well; it's almost as if this van was factory-built with a Focus ST drivetrain, and we think the sleeper look dials up the cool factor.
If you want to have the coolest van in the Home Depot parking lot, probably the only van at the local drag strip, and one of the most unique vehicles at the next cars and coffee gathering, head over to Cars & Bids to bid on this hot-rodded Transit Connect. Bidding stands at $10,200 as of writing with about six days left until the hammer drops, and this is a no-reserve auction so the highest bidder will take it home.
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