LIKE A couple of white-van men slugging it out over a lapse in highway etiquette, Ford and Vauxhall are trading videos over who has the toughest van.
In the white corner, Ford with its all-new Transit now arriving in showrooms and in the, er, other white corner, Vauxhall with its new Vivaro, destined for dealerships later this summer.
Ford got away from the lights first last week with a video showing the gruelling development testing programme that prototype Transits have been subjected to. It said test models endured the toughest possible 10-year working life in just six months. They covered the equivalent of 11m kilometres with customers, on proving grounds and across four continents.
Trials included immersion in corrosive salt and mud baths, non-stop driving for two months at top speed and, to ensure the model could carve up the traffic in classic style, continuous figure-of-eight manoeuvres for a month.
Not to be outdone, Vauxhall today released a video purporting to show a new Vivaro being subjected to the company’s standard van tests. In the film, a Vivaro is driven straight off the production line by what Vauxhall calls its resident “Stig-aro” and undergoes a series of tests that are designed, it claims, to “validate the agility, durability and safety of every new van.”
“The tests are now seen as commonplace by the 1,200-strong workforce at the Luton factory,” said Vauxhall, before cutting up Ford and taking an illegal short-cut.