Many South African motorists are currently driving or have driven or owned a “Bakkie” sometime in their driving life. Over the years this segment of the vehicle market has become so popular with more and more consumers it has achieved a wider appeal than just companies looking for a work horse. Plenty families have this SUV as a first or second car and the more aggressive it looks the more demand it has for the customers. Ford Ranger holds the second spot in the SA market and it’s no surprise this new limited-edition Ford Ranger Thunder has been added as the latest trend-setter to the line-up. Essentially a Ranger Wildtrack with many cosmetic additions updating styling detail with no significant mechanical changes. Starting with a revised honeycomb-style front grill incorporating red accents for the side nostrils. This is complemented by black detailing for the side mirror housing and bold 3D “Thunder” nomenclature at the base of the front doors and on the rear tailgate. New 18’ multi-spoke alloy wheels are finished in black which adds to the Thunders assertive, aggressive, and sporty look.
The Wildtrack is already known for its luxury premium cabin and the Thunder raises the bar even further. Extensive swathes of black leather that adorn the seats, dashboard, steering wheel, gear lever and handbrake shrouds now feature red contrast stitching in place of the orange used in the Wildtrack. Red again appears on the front leather seats with “Thunder” decal embroidery. Although the visual enhancements make the new Thunder stand out from its rivals, numerous practical features have also been added in the load compartment such as the lockable “Mountain Top” black roller shutter to safely secure goods being carried. There’s also a cargo area management system with bed divider that allows the owner to easily compartmentalise the available space for securely holding different-sized items. Four colour options are available exclusively for the Thunder variant, Sea Grey, Frozen White, Absolute Black, and Moondust Silver. The Thunder is powered by the 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo engine which produces 157kW and 500Nm, and is paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. This combination makes the Thunder ideal for towing or for when driving in slippery conditions or climbing steep gradients. The Rangers exceptional towing capacity of up to 3 500kg remains unchanged in the Thunder, as do the 800mm water wading depth and 230mm ground clearance.
Additional features available on the new Thunder include…
? Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with forward collision control.
? Lane Keeping Alert and Lane Keeping Aid
? Semi-Automatic Parallel Park Assist (SAPPA)
? EZ Lift Tailgate
? LED Headlamps
? LED daytime running lights
? LED Foglamps
? Infotainment system with 4’ LCD display
? CTR 8’ full colour touchscreen
? Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
All models come with standard Ford Protection, comprising a four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty, three year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A six-year/90 000km service plan is included, with 15 000km service intervals.
Retail Price (August 2020)
? 2.0 BiT 1OAT 4×2 R736 000
? 2.0 BiT 1OAT 4×4 R787 000
? 3.2 TDCI 6AT 4×2 R711 600