After debuting in Europe three months ago initially as an Old Continent exclusive, Ford has added the limited edition Thunder to the locally built Ranger line-up as the spiritual successor for the pre-facelift FX4.
In a reversal of rolls though, the Thunder uses the Wildtrak and not the XLT as a base, and follows the same cosmetic approach by receiving blacked-out LED headlight clusters and fog light bezels, a reshaped Ebony black grille with red detailing, red-and-black Thunder badging at the base of the front doors and on the tailgate, plus a Mountain Top roller bed cover.
What’s more, the loading bed itself receives a divider with additional unique exterior trim pieces consisting of blacked-out taillight clusters, black 18-inch alloy wheels, black door handles and skidplates, red detailing on the black sports bar and a choice of four colours; Absolute Black, Frozen White, Moondust Silver and Sea Grey.
Inside, the Thunder’s specification sheet is carried over from the Wildtrak, but continuing with the red-and-black exterior theme, the cabin boasts aluminium door sills with red backlighting, black floor mats with red stitching also resplendent on the gear lever and instrument cluster, and Ebony black leather seats with red stitching as well as Thunder branded headrests.
Up front, two versions of the familiar Port Elizabeth built engines will be offered; the 147kW/470Nm 3.2 TDCi whose amount of twist is delivered to the rear wheels only via the six-speed automatic gearbox, and the 157kW/500Nm 2.0-litre bi-turbodiesel that can he have with rear or selectable four-wheel-drive. Like the Wildtrak, the ten-speed General Motors co-developed automatic gearbox is the only transmission option offered.
Aside from the Thunder, Ford has also made revisions to the XLS and XLT models with the former now coming as standard with the eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while the latter gets new LED headlights and fog lamps.
Standard across the line-up is a four year/120 000 km warranty as well as a six year/90 000 km service plan comes standard.
Ranger Thunder 3.2 TDCi Hi-Rider AT – R711 600
Ranger Thunder 2.0 BiT Hi-Rider AT – R736 000
Ranger Thunder 2.0 BiT 4×4 AT – R787 000