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MS-RT Transit Custom R185 – limited edition 185hp Ford sport van

  • Limited to 40 examples, all finished in Slate Grey
  • Red details, carbonfibre steering wheel, noisy exhaust
  • Available as a DCiV only, priced from £38k

Written by CJ Hubbard Published: 9 December 2019 Updated: 9 December 2019

MS-RT Transit Custom R185
MS-RT Transit Custom R185

Ford-approved van modifier MS-RT is ending 2019 with the introduction of a new limited edition called the Transit Custom R185.

As the name suggest, this is based on the 185hp version of Ford’s medium van – nothing new there. But R185 buyers will get bespoke styling details and an active exhaust as standard, plus the exclusivity of a model that’s limited to just 40 examples.

Whether the differences will be enough to justify the price, well, that’s something only you can decide.

What’s special about the MS-RT Transit Custom R185?

With 185hp and 415Nm, this van already benefits from Ford’s most powerful 2.0-litre EcoBlue Transit Custom engine. It also gets the same flared wheelarches, rally car-inspired bodykit, and 18-inch alloy wheels as other MS-RT Transit Customs.

Where it differs is in the detailing. Available only as a five-seater Double-Cab-in-Van (DCiV; sometimes known as a crew van), the R185 not only features unique black and red decals, it’s also finished in Ford Slate Grey – which is not a standard Transit Custom colour.

In fact, it’s been borrowed from Ford’s own Special Vehicle Operations department.

This is combined with a new black and red grille, a full carbonfibre steering wheel with red centre line and stitching, red-stitched leather interior, gloss black alloy wheels and gloss black exhaust tips.

Hiding under the back of the van is also a standard-fit Maxhaust system – which uses an adjustable, Bluetooth-controlled speaker system to replicate the noise of a sports car (sounds like a gimmick, but is actually fairly amusing in practice – and can be switched off if you need to go quiet).

The modifications are all done by hand in MS-RT’s Pontypool factory.

Standard equipment also includes bi-xenon headlights, adaptive cruise control, blindspot monitors a rear parking camera and a lift-up tailgate.

How much does the MS-RT R185 cost?

Prices start at £37,995 before VAT and road tax for a short-wheelbase version with the standard six-speed manual gearbox; long-wheelbase examples are available, as is the optional Ford six-speed automatic transmission.

Not cheap, but production is strictly limited to just 40 examples, and since MS-RT’s Transit Custom range is now Ford-approved, you get the same three-year / 100,000-mile warranty as a bog-standard entry-level version.

Also read:

>> MS-RT Transit Custom review

>> MS-RT Transit Connect review

>> The full Ford Transit Custom review