Automotive

Published on May 19th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair

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Ford Ranger Thunder – A Wildtrak Alternative in Europe

Ford had themselves a pretty good sales year in 2019 in the European market. For 2020, they’ll have to do something really special to overcome the challenges posed by the coronavirus. So how about an alternative to the Ranger Wildtrak called the Ranger… Thunder? Yes, Thunder.

Ford are experimenting with a limited edition Ranger, of which only 4500 will be built. 1400 of those will end up being sold in the UK, so there’s a very, very small chance you’ll find one sneaking its way through the grey market if it proves popular enough. But we highly doubt it.

Just like the current Ranger Wildtrak 4X4, the Ranger Thunder gets its power from the Biturbo 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine. The motor produces 213PS and 500Nm of torque and is also found in the Ranger Raptor. It also gets that 10-speed conventional automatic gearbox.

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Here are some of the aesthetic features that set the Ranger Thunder apart from the Wildtrak:

  • Only one colour available: Sea Grey
  • Features red highlights on the grille and sports hood
  • 3D badges for front doors and tailgate that reads “Thunder” in red
  • “Ranger” badge finished in matter black
  • Exclusive 18-inch black alloy wheels
  • Ebony Black finishing for the front grille, rear bumper, skid plates, fog light surrounds, load bay sports hoop and door handles
  • LED headlights with darkened bezels are also standard
  • Darkened taillight bezels at the rear
  • Black Mountain Top powder-coated roller shutter with bedliner divider is an optional extra
  • Full Ebony leather seats
  • Distinctive “Thunder” red embroidery and stitching on the steering wheel, seats, instrument panel and key touch points
  • Black floor mats
  • Bespoke red-illuminated sill plates

While we’re doubtful the Ranger Thunder will be seen on Malaysian roads, it may inspire some Wildtrak owners to wrap parts of their vehicles to match this new scheme from Ford Europe.

PRESS RELEASE

The new Ford Ranger Thunder brings style and enhanced specification to Europe’s best-selling pick-up, available to order from £32,965 (RRP, excluding VAT) for late summer 2020 delivery.

Limited to 1,400 examples for the UK and 30 for Ireland, Ford Ranger Thunder adds exclusive interior and exterior design to the 2020 International Pick-up Award-winner, with plenty of popular practical options as standard.

Powered by Ford’s bi-turbo 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine, providing 213PS and 500Nm of torque, Ford Ranger Thunder also features Ford’s 10-speed automatic gearbox as standard for smooth shifting and effortless performance on- and off-road.

Derived from the highly popular Ranger Wildtrak series, Thunder combines high specification with optimised load hauling and tough four-wheel drive capability.

“With an edgier look for customers who aren’t afraid to be noticed, the new Ranger Thunder will be an unmistakeable presence” said Hans Schep, general manager, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe. “This capable, comfortable and stylish addition to Europe’s best-selling pick-up range is as tough and versatile as it is charismatic.”

Tough and distinctive design

Ford Ranger Thunder is offered in a single specification, finished in Sea Grey with bold red highlights on the grille and sports hoop, complemented by three-dimensional-effect “Thunder” badges for the driver and front passenger doors and tailgate, while the “Ranger” logo is finished in matte black.

Thunder also gains exclusive 18-inch black alloy wheels and Ebony Black executions for the front grille, rear bumper, skid plates, fog light surrounds, load bay sports hoop and door handles.

LED headlights with darkened bezels are also standard, with darkened taillight bezels at the rear. A black Mountain Top powder-coated roller shutter with bedliner divider is available as an optional extra on Thunder, enhancing load bay practicality with style.

Inside, Thunder is equipped with full Ebony leather seats with distinctive “Thunder” red embroidery and matching stitching across the steering wheel, seats, instrument panel and key touch points throughout the cabin. Black floor mats are also standard and contrast with bespoke red-illuminated sill plates.

Proven powertrain

The Ford Ranger Thunder’s powerful bi-turbo 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine offers outstanding pulling power, using twin turbochargers in series at lower engine speeds for enhanced torque and responsiveness, and bypassing the smaller turbocharger at higher engine speeds to provide maximum boost from the larger turbocharger for peak power.

Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission offers performance and durability proven in applications as diverse as the Ford F-150 pick-up and Ford Mustang. The transmission features a wide spread of ratios and real-time adaptive shift-scheduling that adapts to changing conditions – enabling the optimal gear to be selected for performance, fuel efficiency or refinement in any driving scenario.

Thunder features Ranger’s proven four-wheel drive system for highly competent off-road capability and will deliver fuel efficiency up to 36.2mpg and CO2 emissions from 205g/km (NEDC), or 31.0mpg and 239g/km (WLTP).

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About the Author

Written work on dsf.my. @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.



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