Why were we so excited when Ford unveiled the 2014 Transit Connect Hot Wheels concept at the 2013 SEMA show this year? Because it takes an already great van, and transforms it into a really cool one… plus, it has Hot Wheels stickers all over — and who doesn’t like that?
Lest you think the Hot Wheels Transit Connect Cargo Van is just a Transit Connect with a fancy paint job wearing some aftermarket wheels, know that the van seen here was reskinned form the ground up by Ice 9 Group.
“Every single aspect of the exterior is different, including the roof”, said Keith Strong, the president of the Michigan-based custom builder. “The idea was to show just how far out you can take a vehicle like this – a small van – that isn’t typically thought of when you go to SEMA.”
It all started with computer-aided drafting and tooling, followed by replacing the van’s original body panels. The hotted-up van now has a more authoritative appearance thanks to a custom euro-look wide body kit that makes it four inches wider in the front and six inches wider in the rear. There are also gullwing doors in place of sliding units, a new front fascia and bumpers inspired by the Focus RS, custom Rotiform ROC 20-inch wheels, sleeping quarters and tool storage. It even has slide-out drawers to keep Hot Wheels cars, of which over 4 billion have been produced, with you at all times.
Under the hood is Ford’s 2.5 liter Duratec Ti-VCT four-cylinder engine, with the concept taking the van’s breathing a step further with functional custom exhaust ports on both sides. A trailer hitch in the rear permits the Transit Connect’s 2,000-pound towing capability.
Inside, the Hot Wheels Transit Connect concept sports a Sortimo secondary floor covering a set of drawers for tool storage, a 55-inch screen, two 18-inch tablets, and custom Recaro seats from a Focus ST. The tablets are installed in the rear doors while the display is behind the front seats. Two Hot Wheels orange tracks are recessed in the bed, forming a drag strip right down the center of the van.
The Motrolix Take
While it may take quite a bit of time, money, or a combination of both to build one of these unique custom vans for yourself, Ford says that Hot Wheels will make a 1:64 die-cast scale model of the Transit Connect concept of its namesake. The scaled toy car will be available for purchase in the fall of 2014. We’ll take two, please.