• Ford's Ranger Thunder joins the Wheels24 long-term garage.
• The bi-turbo engine is mated to a 4x4 drivetrain.
• The Thunder has covered 2000km in two weeks.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
Little over a month ago, Ford launched its new Ranger Thunder in South Africa. There was a fair amount of excitement around it, given the bakkie's exclusive nature and its uniqueness in the Ranger line-up.
The Ranger Thunder is based on the Ranger Wildtrak and has several features you'd find on said vehicle.
Inside, the Wildtrak's orange stitching has been replaced by red stitching, and 'Thunder' has been embroidered into the front seats. The rest of the cabin is standard Ranger, but the driver's seat can be adjusted electronically. All-around electric windows, as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, are standard.
Glancing at the exterior, you'd quickly note the red 'nostrils' on the grille. This is to give the Thunder its distinct personality and to make it instantly recognizable in a sea of bakkies. And we can attest that the red inserts on the grille do attract a fair amount of attention. At the bottom corner of the front doors, you'll find 'Thunder' nomenclature, but the letters have a 3D-effect about them, which is pretty cool.
At the rear, 'Thunder' has also been brought on to the tailgate, and red inserts adorn the bottom-end of the sports bar atop the loading bay. A retractable tonneau cover is standard, too.
We'd like to name our Ranger Thunder and want you, our readers, to come up with one. Email us your suggestions!
2020 Ford Ranger Thunder (Wheels24 / Charlen Raymond)
It's been two weeks that the Thunder has been in the Wheels24 garage, but already it has covered almost 2000km. The bakkie already did duty hauling some pallets around for garden box builds, and it covered a road trip to Plettenberg Bay and back via the R340 background between Plett and Uniondale.
All the while, Wheels24 team members found the bit-turbo 2.0-litre diesel engine to be efficient in its task. The 500Nm the engine churns out, especially, makes light work of any duty. On the open road, though, there is a bit of turbo lag, but it tends to become a distant memory as soon as the 10-speed automatic gearbox hooks the right gear. The engine produces 157kW.
Over the coming weeks, we will put the bakkie through its paces, as well as take on several off-road courses to test its abilities off the beaten track.