Ford causes a storm with its sporty new Ranger Thunder

The new 2020 Ford Ranger Thunder is now available in SA.
The new 2020 Ford Ranger Thunder is now available in SA.
Image: Supplied

Ford SA on Thursday launched its brand-new Ranger Thunder. Based on the Ranger Wildtrak, this flagship special edition comes armed with a range of exterior and interior upgrades for an even more exclusive look and feel.

Available in four colours (Frozen White, Sea Grey, Moondust Silver and Metallic Absolute Black), the new Ranger Thunder sports an aggressive visage fitted with LED headlamps, daytime running lights (DRLs) as well as two red "nostrils" placed on either side of a restyled radiator grille.

Other aesthetic modifications include unique 18-inch ebony black alloy wheels, a sports hoop bolted in behind the rear window and a lockable roller shutter load cover designed to keep your cargo safe from thieving eyes. Underneath it you'll find a handy bed divider.

The load-bed is secured by a lockable roller shutter.
The load-bed is secured by a lockable roller shutter.
Image: Supplied

The interior of the Ranger Thunder has been luxurised with the addition of a leather-clad dashboard, leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel as well as black leather sports seats finished off with contrasting red stitching and special "Thunder" logos embroidered on the backrests.

As to be expected, there's a lot of standard technology - a must in 2020 - including Ford's excellent Sync3 infotainment system that's controlled via an eight-inch touchscreen mounted in the middle of the dashboard. Voice commands can also be used.

Ford has also equipped the Ranger Thunder with adaptive cruise control with forward collision alert as well as lane-keeping alert and lane-keeping aid.

The most noteworthy feature, however, has to be the semi-automatic parallel park assist that should prove to be a real boon in cramped urban environments.

The leather-rich interior is home to lots of standard tech, including Ford's Sync3 infotainment system.
The leather-rich interior is home to lots of standard tech, including Ford's Sync3 infotainment system.
Image: Supplied

Ultrasonic sensors on the front and rear bumpers search for parking spaces that are large enough to park the vehicle, and alerts the driver when a suitable spot is found. The system then calculates the trajectory and automatically steers the vehicle into the slot using the Ranger’s electric power-assisted steering and sensors. All the driver has to do is operate the accelerator and brake, and select the appropriate gear as indicated by the system. 

From launch the new Ranger Thunder is available in three derivatives: 3.2 TDCI Double Cab 4x2, 2.0 BiT Double Cab 4x2 and the range-topping 2.0 BiT Double Cab 4x4.

The tried and tested 3.2 TDCI engine has been around the block and produces 147kW and 470Nm. It comes paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. The more advanced 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo motor twists out 157kW and 500Nm and comes mated exclusively to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

All three models feature an electronic locking rear differential while the 4x4 variant gains a low-speed transfer case and hill descent control system. 

Sporty styling makes the Ranger Thunder stand out both on and off road.
Sporty styling makes the Ranger Thunder stand out both on and off road.
Image: Supplied

All variants lay claim to 237mm of ground clearance and a max wading depth of 800mm. 

The new Ford Ranger Thunder is available immediately and pricing is as follows:

  • 3.2 TDCI Double Cab 4x2: R711,600
  • 2.0 BiT Double Cab 4x2: R736,000
  • 2.0 BiT Double Cab 4x4: R787,000

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