Distinguished new Thunder model seen here in Absolute Black paint expands the local Ford Ranger line-up. Picture: SUPPLIED
Distinguished new Thunder model seen here in Absolute Black paint expands the local Ford Ranger line-up. Picture: SUPPLIED

There’s a new Ford Ranger Thunder model on sale. It’s characterised by a distinctive sporty exterior and interior styling elements, and in terms of pricing it slots between the Wildtrak and the Raptor.

Unique design elements of the new Thunder model include a new honeycomb-style front grille that incorporates red side nostrils which we’ve seen on modified Mustangs, black side mirror housings, three-dimensional "Thunder" nomenclature at the base of the front doors and on the rear tailgate and black 18-inch multispoke alloy wheels.

It also benefits from standard fitment of a lockable roller shutter load bay top in black and a cargo area management system with dividers. Ranger Thunder models are exclusively available in Sea Grey, Frozen White, Absolute Black and Moondust Silver.

Power is provided by a choice of two engines: a 2.0l Bi-Turbo four-cylinder diesel engine with 157kW and 500Nm managed through a 10-speed automatic transmission. In this flavour it can be had in both 4x2 and 4x4 derivatives.

You can also have the Ranger Thunder in 3.2l TDCI form with 147kW and 470Nm. This model is available with six-speed automatic transmission and in 4x2 form. Towing capacity is 3,500kg with a wading depth of 800mm and 230mm ground clearance.

Black leather seats with contrast red stitching and a larger infotainment screen are found inside the new Ranger Thunder model. Picture: SUPPLIED
Black leather seats with contrast red stitching and a larger infotainment screen are found inside the new Ranger Thunder model.   Picture: SUPPLIED

Furthermore, the new Thunder can be optioned with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Forward Collision Alert fitted with emergency braking. Lane Keeping Alert and Lane Keeping Aid are standard.

A semi-automatic Parallel Park Assist feature is optional. It uses sensors on the front and rear bumpers to search for parking spaces that are big enough accommodate a Ranger and it alerts the driver. Pressing some buttons will see the Thunder autonomously steer into the empty bay.

Ford SA has also announced a raft of changes to the rest of its Ranger range. On the Ranger Wildtrak, for instance, there’s the option to fit the same roller shutter door for the load box that’s standard on the Thunder model, along with the black 18-inch alloy wheels.

LED headlamps, as well as LED daytime running lights and fog lamps are now standard on all Ranger XLT, Wildtrak, Thunder and Ranger Raptor models.

The Ranger XLS now gets a Connected Touch Radio with a 20.3cm full colour touchscreen and smartphone mirroring as standard fitment. This system is optional on the XL trim, as are side steps.

All models come standard with a four-year/120,000km warranty and a six-year/90,000km service plan.

Pricing:

Ranger 3.2 TDCI double cab Thunder 4x2 six-speed — R711,600

Ranger 2.0 BiTurbo double cab Thunder 4x2 10-speed — R736,000

Ranger 2.0 BiTurbo double cab Thunder 4x4 10-speed — R787,000 

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