The Thunder will be available in three versions: the 3.2 TDCI Double Cab 4x2 at R711 600, the 2.0L BiT Double Cab Thunder 4x2 at R736 000 and the 2.0L BiT Double Cab Thunder 4x4 at R787 000. They will slot in just above the current equivalent 3.2 Wildtrak 4x2, the 2.0 BiT Wildtrak 4x2 and the 2.0 BiT Wildtrak 4x4 models with the flagship Raptor still the apex model.
Derived from the Ford Ranger Wildtrak, the Thunder boats design features such as a revised honeycomb-style front grille, incorporating red accents for the side “nostrils”.
This is complemented by black detailing for the side mirror housings, and three-dimensional “Thunder” nomenclature at the base of the front doors and on the rear tailgate. The new 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels are finished in black. Additionally, the integrated sports hoop fitted as standard on Wildtrak models now gains red inserts.
The Thunder raises the bar even further with black leather on the seats, dashboard, steering wheel, gear lever and handbrake shroud with red contrast stitching instead of the orange used on the Wildtrak. New front leather seats have been fitted, featuring bold “Thunder” decals embroidered in red.
Apart from the visual enhancements, the Ranger Thunder benefits from additions in the load compartment too, including a lockable “Mountain Top” black roller shutter to secure goods. There is also a cargo area management system with a bed divider that allows the owner to compartmentalise the available space to hold different-sized items.
Ranger Thunder models are exclusively available in grey, white, black and silver. As with the Wildtrak and Ranger Raptor, the Thunder is powered by the 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo engine that produces 157 kW and 500 Nm and is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission with the 3.2 TDCi using Ford’s 3.2-litre, five cylinder oil burner that delivers 147 kW and 470 Nm with a six-speed auto box.
Ford also enhanced features on other models in the Ford Ranger range.
On the Ranger Wildtrak, the list of factory-fitted options now includes the roller shutter for the rear load box, along with the new black finish for the 18-inch double-spoke alloy wheels.
The Ranger XLS line-up receives an upgrade to its built-in infotainment system, with the current first-generation system replaced by a Connected Touch Radio (CTR) system. The CTR infotainment system is available as an option on the XL derivatives, which also gain side steps as an optional extra.
At the same time, Ford has bolstered the standard specification on almost its entire Ranger line-up, most notably introducing LED headlamps with LED daytime running lights and front fog lamps as standard on the new Ranger Thunder, and on all XLT, Wildtrak and Ranger Raptor derivatives.
In a report by Auto Trader, the Ford Ranger comes out on top as the best-selling used vehicle on the market, while the Ford Fiesta and Ford EcoSport are also among the best-selling used cars on the market. Around 65% of all vehicles sold in South Arica are in the second-hand market.