In May we reported that Ford was building an exclusive Ranger Thunder for Europe. Locally Ford kept mum on whether or not we’d be lucky enough to get this model. Finally, Ford SA has revealed that we will be getting this new edition to our Ranger line-up.
IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS
The Ranger Thunder is not a new car per se, it’s a spec line, slotting in between the Ranger Wildtrak and the Ranger Raptor. Aesthetically it builds on the Wildtrak cues, there’s the honeycomb front grille with the two integrated red ‘nostrils’ making it look meaner than bigger-sibling Raptor. There are Thunder decals on the sides and rear tailgate. New for the Ranger Thunder is the addition of 18-inch black wheels, further contributing to the sporty character and baby Raptor appearance.
Exclusive colours for the Ranger Thunder are Frozen White, Absolute Black, Moondust Silver, and our favourite Sea Grey (normally only seen on German sports cars).
Much like the Ranger Wildtrak that the Thunder is based on, the interior is an ode to individual styling cues. Expect more black leather finishes, contrasting red stitching on seats, dash, steering wheel, hand brake, and everything else. Complimenting the interior details are new black leather seats upfront bearing the Thunder branding.
Digital connectivity is by way of an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment unit- the Ford Connected Touch Radio system, largely equivalent to SYNC®3 with the exception of embedded navigation and voice recognition. It offers two USB slots and full Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity for smartphones – including the ability to use a paired phone’s navigation functions – along with text-to-speech. The CTR will replace the 4-inch unit found on the Ranger XLS, and become an optional extra on the Ranger XL.
The Ranger Thunder’s main power unit will be the 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel, producing 157 kW and 500 Nm and mated to the 10-speed auto gearbox. The progressive range select feature allows for the locking out of gears to make towing, steep inclines, and slippery surfaces easier to navigate.
Much like the Raptor, the Thunder’s good looks don’t render it all beauty and no brawn. Towing capacity is a healthy 3 500kg, ground clearance is 230mm, while water wading depth is 800mm. This beauty is a beast.
On the technology front, the Ranger Thunder keeps everything the Wildtrak has as standard and adds adaptive cruise control with forward collision alert. Given how much mileage South Africans cover to seek adventure this is a welcome addition over the standard cruise control.
Standard for the Ranger Thunder is a locking Mountain Top roller shutter over the load bay, and new to the range is the load bay divider as standard. This ‘cargo area management system’ allows you to set up the divider to keep smaller items (boxes/shopping/kids bikes/golf clubs) in one space without them sliding up and down the length of the load bay when driving.
Pricing shouldn’t induce any heart attacks, given what the Ranger Thunder will offer as standard:
FORD RANGER THUNDER
Ranger 3.2 TDCI double cab THUNDER 6 A/T 4×2 – R711 600
Ranger 2.0 Bi-turbo double cab THUNDER 10A/T 4×2 – R736 000
Ranger 2.0 Bi-turbo double cab THUNDER 10A/T 4×4 – R787 000
All prices incl. CO2 tax and VAT.
All models come standard with Ford Protect comprising:
- 4-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty
- 3-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance
- 5-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty
- 6-year/90 000km service plan is included, with 15 000km service intervals