Test all limits in the Nissan Navara
Test all limits in the Nissan Navara

Ford SA brings the Thunder

The Ford Ranger is one of South Africans best-selling vehicles and it comes in a wide range of offerings to suit both work and play. At the top, you will find the hardcore Raptor Ranger model. Ford South Africa has, however, identified a gap between the Raptor and the more luxury-focused WildTrak model. Enter the Ford Ranger Thunder.

The exclusive limited-edition Ranger Thunder was recently launched and includes a raft of unique design features and functional enhancements to what is already one of the most popular vehicles in South Africa. Derived from the highly successful Ford Ranger Wildtrak, the addition of the exclusive Ranger Thunder brings even greater style, luxury, capability and practicality to the range. Numerous distinctive design features are unique to the Ranger Thunder, starting with a revised honeycomb-style front grille incorporating red accents for the side “nostrils”, which gives this new derivative a distinctly performance-oriented demeanour inspired by Ford’s sportiest models.

This is complemented by black detailing for the side mirror housings, and bold 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 which adds to the Ranger Thunder’s assertive and sporty character. Additionally, the integrated sports hoop fitted as standard on Wildtrak models now gains a striking red insert that adds further stylistic flair.

The Ranger Wildtrak is already renowned for its luxuriously appointed premium cabin, but the Thunder raises the bar even further. The extensive swathes of black leather that adorn the seats, dashboard, steering wheel, gear lever and handbrake shrouds now feature striking red contrast stitching in place of the orange used on the Wildtrak. New front leather seats have been fitted, featuring bold “Thunder” decals embroidered in red.

Aside from the visual enhancements, the Ranger Thunder benefits from numerous practical additions in the load compartment too, including a lockable “Mountain Top” black roller shutter to safely secure goods being carried. There’s also a cargo area management system with a bed divider that allows the owner to easily compartmentalise the available space for securely holding different-sized items.

Powering the Thunder is Fords impressive 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo engine which produces 157kW and 500Nm, and is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. This combination, which benefits from the transmission’s Progressive Range Select (PRS) function by giving the driver the ability to lock out gears from the automatic shifting range, makes the Ranger Thunder ideal for towing or when driving in slippery conditions or climbing steep gradients. The Ranger’s exceptional towing capacity of up to 3 500kg remains unchanged in the Thunder, as do the 800mm water wading depth and 230mm ground clearance.

Ranger Thunder continues to benefit from the raft of technologies that debuted in the current generation Wildtrak, including Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) that uses a combination of radar and camera systems along with new software to detect pedestrians, as well as stationary and moving objects.

Ford has enhanced the standard lighting, and resulting driving safety, on all Ranger models from the XLT model and above with the fitment of LED headlamps across the board. The new lights incorporate LED daytime running lamps for improved visibility, as well as LED front foglamps. Additional features available on the Ranger Thunder include Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Forward Collision Alert. The system gives a visual and audible warning if the gap to the vehicle ahead falls below a critical distance. Furthermore, the brake system is pre-tensioned and the servo boost assistance system is modulated to provide immediate brake performance if required by the driver.

All models come standard with Ford Protect, 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.

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