The Ford Transit Connect has always shared a platform with the Focus hatchback, and as a result, I've always wondered if you could stick the guts from an ST or an RS in one. Some Ford employees with extra time on their hands must have wondered the same thing, too, and they actually went out and built two—an early Transit Connect with Mk1 Focus RS running gear, and a later version with the heart of the old ST.
For Carfection, Alex Goy got to drive both, and admittedly, we're pretty jealous. You are too, if you're a fan of seemingly ordinary vans that pack a surprising punch. And who isn't?
The white Transit Connect RS is powered by a 212-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that might seem quaint by today's standards, but is muscular enough to turn the van into a torque-steering goofball. Goy says it's real fast, too, especially with an almost completely empty cargo floor. And it looks so cool sitting low on those five-spoke wheels.
The newer Transit Connect ST isn't quite as silly as the old RS, but it's quicker and better made. It's subtle, too, with only the wheels from a Focus ST and two badges to distinguish it from any other Transit Connect.
I've always wondered if it'd be possible to build a Transit Connect with the drivetrain from the outgoing Focus RS. Some serious work would need to be done in order to accommodate its center differential, though the results would be well worth it. A 350-hp all-wheel drive mega-van? Sign us up.