BOURBONNAIS, IL – The international Van of the Year 2014, the Ford Transit Connect, received a makeover for the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas this past week. The Hot Wheels® concept of the Transit Connect cargo van has been transformed from a versatile people mover to a race-ready hauling machine that any kid – big or small – would want. It was one of 10 custom Transit Connect vehicles that were showcased.
“The Hot Wheels design team jumped at the chance to hot rod a Transit Connect van,” said Felix Holst, vice president of creative for Mattel Wheels Division. “The idea was to create a race-inspired support vehicle for the average guy to spend a weekend at the track testing his Hot Wheels race car.”
Michigan-based custom builder Ice 9 Group worked with designers from Ford and Hot Wheels®, taking a Transit Connect down to its basic elements and rebuilding it from the ground up, creating a one-of-a-kind dream machine.
“We basically reskinned a new vehicle,” said Keith Strong, president of Ice 9 Group. “We did all the computer-aided drafting and tooling, removing the old body panels and crafting a whole new look. Every single aspect of the exterior is different, including the roof. 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.”
The Hot Wheels Transit Connect is powered by a 2.5-liter Ti-VCT four-cylinder engine. The body of the Transit Connect was widened 4 inches in front and 6 inches at the rear. It features functional custom exhaust ports on either side, gullwing doors in place of the sliding doors, new front fascia and bumpers inspired by Focus RS, and custom 20-inch wheels. The interior of the Hot Wheels® Transit Connect has also been customized, with a Sortimo® secondary floor installed covering a set of drawers for tool storage, a 55-inch television screen, two 18-inch tablets and custom Recaro® seats from a Focus ST. The tablets are installed in the rear doors. The television screen is installed in a bulkhead 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.
Fans will get a chance to have their own Hot Wheels® Transit Connect in the form of a 1:64 die-cast scale model when it arrives on store shelves in fall 2014. As for the real Transit Connect the 2014 models will arrive to the showroom floor early 2014. We sill have quite a few 2013 Transit Connect Vehicles here at Court Street Ford. Call in or stop by to take a test drive or to get more information.
Court Street Ford, located at 558 William Latham Drive, is a multi-year president’s award winning dealership. We have been serving the Kankakee, Bradley, Bourbonnais area for 30 years and counting! We are committed to exceptional customer service. Stop by or give us a call at (815) 939-9600, our knowledgeable sales team and service department will be happy to help and are dedicated to providing the best experience for every customer.
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