Ford Thunder (S)truck

The Ford Ranger is one of our country’s top-selling vehicles. The fight between the Ranger and the Hilux is one of epic proportions. This battle causes manufacturers to introduce newer models at every turn. The Ford Ranger is available in a variety of different models. One such model is the Thunder, which I recently spent some time with.

The Thunder seems to be a more stylish alternative to the much loved Wildtrak but not as hardcore as the Ranger Raptor. 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 interior is adorned with leather on items such as the seats, dashboard, steering wheel, gear lever and handbrake. Striking red contrast stitching also features throughout the cabin. The infotainment system comes in the form of the latest Ford Sync 3 and it features Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Other niceties include heated front seats, electric driver seat and lane-keep assist with active cruise control.

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.

Being a special edition the Thunder is only available in a few colours, seen here is Absolute Black. I feel that it hides much of the black styling elements and if it were my choice I would have it in either Frozen White or Moondust Silver.

The Thunder is powered by the same 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo engine which produces 157kW and 500Nm which can be found in the Witdtak and Raptor it is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The Ranger’s towing capacity of up to 3 500kg remains unchanged in the Thunder, as does the 800mm water wading depth and 230mm ground clearance.

As for its off-road ability, the Thunder makes use of the same system as found on the Wildtrak which means that it is pretty capable. Not as capable as the Raptor but I’ll let Anton explain about that one.

His behind the wheel of the Ford Ranger Raptor coming later this week!

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