Many of the most iconic cars in television have been vans. Think about it — the Mystery Machine, the A-Team van, and even that hilariously fur-covered van from Dumb and Dumber were all vans.
Vans have become famous for being both utilitarian and ideal for free spirits, all depending on the cool car mods they're given by their drivers. Considering the nice place they have in the collective psyche of car aficionados, it's safe to say there's some competition for the title of the best van ever created.
Truthfully, there are many different ways to choose the best vans ever made — but we're going to be more interested in stunt driving, speed, and other cool stuff rather than showing which is the most reliable van out there. Why? Because speed is cool, that's why.
Recently, car experts from Donut Media convened to come up with rankings for the best vans ever manufactured in terms of quality, horsepower, and stunt driving.
WTOFIT Burnout Van
This van is actually not made by any particular manufacturer; it's a modified Suzuki van that has a turbo rotary that powers its engine — and literally glows with heat.
So, what does the turbo rotary do, exactly? Well, it basically turns this Suzuki van into a stunt van. The WTOFIT is capable of doing burnouts at insane speeds, doing super tight donuts, and melting its own tires within a matter of minutes.
In terms of stunt vans, it's easy to see why this is considered to be one of the best vans ever made.
Ford XJ220 Supervan
Yes, supervans exist. We didn't know this either, but apparently, van racing is a thing. So, you're probably wondering what makes the Ford XJ220 one of the best vans ever made in the eyes of pros.
The truth is that, at first glance, this van looks like a typical Ford Transit from the late 1980s. However, it's not. The engineers at Jaguar and Ford put a Jaguar XJ220 engine into the transit to make this supervan more powerful than anything else on the market.
It was a car meant to test the XJ220, but it became so much more than that. The end result was a race-ready van that became legendary on tracks due to its impeccable 542 horsepower and its ability to hit 60 miles per hour from a standing position in under 5 seconds.
Ford Transit SuperVan 3
Apparently, Ford really likes to have badass, super-powerful vans in its arsenal. The Ford Transit Supervan 3 also made the cut for the best vans ever created in the racing, stunt-driving, and "need for speed" world of supervans.
The original Ford Transit SuperVan was created in the early 1970s, and it's been continually modified and upgraded until now, with the SuperVan 3 being the most recent (and coolest) iteration yet.
The new SuperVan 3 has a custom body kit, a Ford C100 race car chassis, a Ford Transit body, and most impressively, an incredibly powerful 730 horsepower engine.
To put that in perspective, one of the fastest muscle cars in the world right now has 810 horsepower. Needless to say, the SuperVan 3 definitely deserves its title for being one of the best vans ever made.
Honda Odyssey Race Van
Many people who have driven a Honda Odyssey would be shocked to know that there is a race van version of their favorite family car. Yes, that Odyssey. As in, one of the most reliable minivans, Honda Odyssey.
What makes the race van version different than the typical "send kids to soccer practice" van is that the Honda Odyssey Race Van has an engine that provides over 532 horsepower of "push" to it. Along with an upgraded engine with high torque and ponies, this Race Van also comes with custom brakes.
After all, you'll need them when you're packing that much power in there.
Nissan Donut Van
Stunt vans are definitely welcome on this list, and perhaps one of the only high-end vans you'll see on it comes from luxury car manufacturer, Nissan. The guys at Nissan actually created a customized Nissan van with a supercharged motor...
And then, they gave it to legendary drift driver Chris Forsberg as part of an April Fools Day prank. What's really impressive about this Nissan van is that only ONE part is customized: the upgraded hydraulic E-brake. Otherwise, it's still a stock car.
That alone can tell you why this Nissan is one of the best vans ever made, from one of the best car companies out there.
Ford Transit Center Drift Bus
If you haven't noticed, Ford Transits really seem to be a popular thing in the world of super vans. This particular Transit was modified by the folks as Ford to be an extreme drifting van capable of pulling off stunts that many sports cars can't do.
This particular Transit was made specially for Rallycross driver Marcin Wicik. They took a regular Transit exterior, gave the interior a full racing makeover with roll cage and everything — then dropped a 440 horsepower engine into the front.
Custom suspension from Bilstein keeps this thing from rolling over and a specialized gearbox, which makes it an amazing stunt car for drifting and turning lightning-fast corners.
VW FB1 Race Taxi
Culturally speaking, this VW van is amazing in more ways than just one. This race taxi is made with one of the most iconic cars of the 60s as its original body — the 1962 VW T1 Split Window.
Mechanic Fred Bernhard spent years tricking out this supervan, and eventually, it became one of the best vans ever made by a single person. This is doubly true when it comes to speed.
What really makes this such an epic van isn't just its casual nod to hippie van culture; it's the fact that Bernhard placed a Porsche 911 engine in it, too. The Race Taxi is so fast, it actually can make sport cars look like they're being a bit sluggish on the track.
Renault Espace F1
This is one of the best vans ever made in terms of speed, horsepower, and overall cool factor. Just look at it. Absorb how futuristic this Renault van looks, with its shiny gold paint and boxy-but-organic body.
It's such a legendary supervan, it was even featured in Gran Turismo 2 back in the day. The Espace F1's stats say it all: 800 horsepower, 0-60 in under three seconds, and a top speed of 194... all on the body of a van that was made decades ago!
Admittedly, it's really debatable if this is a van or not. Vans typically don't have hydraulic base, or you know, tank treads. However, this monstrosity was built on a Ford Aerostar body. So technically we can agree with Donut Media's choice as calling this one of the most badass vans ever made.
That being said, this is one of the best vans ever created for people who want to re-enact scenes from Tank Girl. However, if you're looking for street legality, or even a van that looks like a van, you might be out of luck here.