The trend-setting Ford Ranger and one of the top-selling vehicles in the country now offers customers a wider range of features and options. The most exciting news however is the introduction of a limited-edition Ranger Thunder.
The new Ranger Thunder model comes with a unique design and functional enhancements to what is already one of the most popular vehicles in South Africa.
Along with the introduction of the new Ranger Thunder is spec upgrades on the Ranger XLT and XLS models. The new Ranger Thunder is available with sportier exterior and interior styling elements, along with practical additions to rear load box.
LED headlamps, as well as LED daytime running lights and foglamps are all now added as standard on all the Ranger XLT, Wildtrak, Thunder and Ranger Raptor models. The Ranger XLS models now has Ford’s Connected Touch Radio that comes with an eight-inch full colour touchscreen. This addition is an optional choice for the XL model .
Derived from the 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.
From the front is a revised honeycomb-style front grille and incorporating red accents for the side air holes, which gives the new Ranger Thunder a distinctly performance-oriented character inspired by Ford’s sportiest models.
This is complemented by black detailing for the side mirror housings, and bold three-dimensional “Thunder” badges at the base of the front doors and on the rear tailgate. The new 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels are finished in black.
The Ranger Wildtrak is renowned for its luxuriously appointed premium cabin, but the Thunder raises the bar even further. The black leather seats, dashboard, steering wheel, gear lever and handbrake now features with 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.
The Ranger Thunder benefited 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 compartmentalize the available space for securely holding different-sized items. As with the Wildtrak and Raptor, the Thunder is powered by the two-liter Bi-Turbo engine which produces 157kW and 500Nm coupled to a 10-speed automatic transmission.
This combination, with the transmission’s Progressive Range Select (PRS), makes the Ranger Thunder an ideal towing vehicle or for when driving in slippery conditions or climbing steep gradients.
The Ranger’s towing capacity of up to 3 500kg remains unchanged in the Thunder, as do the 800mm water wading depth and 230mm ground clearance.
On the Ranger Wildtrak, the list of factory-fitted options has been expanded to include the roller shutter for the rear load box, along with the new black finish for the 18-inch double-spoke alloy wheels.
The Ranger Thunder continues to benefit from the raft of technologies that debuted in the current generation Wildtrak. Additional features available on the Ranger Thunder include Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Forward Collision Alert.
Lane Keeping Alert and Lane Keeping Aid are also standard on the Ranger Thunder. Additionally, a Driver Alert System informs the driver by means of visual, audible and vibration warnings if fatigue is detected.
The Ranger Thunder also comes with Semi-Automatic Parallel Park Assist (SAPPA), which takes the hassle out of parallel parking maneuvers by using ultrasonic sensors on the front and rear bumpers that search for parking spaces.
The system calculates the trajectory and steers the vehicle into the slot using the Ranger’s electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) and sensors. All the driver has to do is operate the accelerator and brake, and select the appropriate gear as indicated by Park Assist.
Ford’s innovative EZ lift tailgate is now also available on the Ranger Thunder. It makes accessing the load bin significantly easier through the incorporation of a torsion rod system that reduces the initial lift force required to raise the tailgate by 70 percent.
All the Ranger models come standard with Ford’s Protect plan, comprising of a four-year or 120 000km comprehensive warranty, a three-year or unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year or unlimited-kilometer corrosion warranty. A six-year or 90 000km service plan is included with 15 000km service intervals.