Ford's new Ranger Thunder expected imminently: How the bakkie could be priced when launched in SA

• Ford to expand its local Ranger range with a new Thunder model.

• Ranger Thunder to slot in between WildTrak and Raptor derivatives.

• Thunder will be available in double cab configuration, only.

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We suspect Ford to expand its Ranger line-up locally with the arrival of a new model, called the Thunder. Slotting in above the WildTrak models but below the impressive Raptor, the Ranger Thunder will look to win over several lucky owners.

Why? Because only a select number of units are destined for the local market.

Given the unique nature of the Ranger Thunder, expect a slight premium over the 4x4 and 4x2 WildTrak models. The Thunder will be available in double cab (D/C) configuration, only.


Ranger family

The local Ford Ranger line-up is quite a comprehensive one, consisting of 26 models. Only diesel engines are implemented, with the 4.0-litre V6 and 2.0-litre petrol units falling by the wayside some years ago. The range of turbo diesel engines comprises of a 2.2-litre, 3.2-litre five-cylinder, 2.0-litre, and a 2.0-litre bi-turbo.

The latter does duty in both the WildTrak and the Raptor, producing a healthy 157kW and 500Nm of torque. The same engine will find its way to the Thunder, so expect fuel consumption in the region of 7.8-litres/100km for the 4x2, and 8.1 for the 4x4.

READ: Ford has two new Ranger bakkies - Will they make it to South Africa?

Though the Thunder's specifications are yet to be confirmed for our market, expect some of the WildTrak's features to be carried over. These include seven airbags, front and rear electric windows, rain sensor wipers, head-display, front and rear park distance control with rear-view camera, satellite navigation, and active adaptive cruise control.

Ford Ranger Thunder

2020 Ford Ranger Thunder (Ford Media)

Pricing

Ford lists its Ranger's pricing from R323 400 for the 2.2 single cab base 5MT 4x2 to R875 700 for the Ranger Raptor 4x4. The WildTrak family begins life at R678 200 for the 3.2 DC 6AT 4x2, with the 2.0-litre bi-turbo WildTraks priced at R702 600 (4x2) and R753 600 (4x4).

Special edition models usually carry a premium of around R50 000 over the model they are based on. Playing it safe, though, we can assume that the Thunder will be priced between R30 000 and R40 000 more than the equivalent WildTrak. This would mean that the Ranger Thunder could flirt with the R800k-mark when based on the bi-turbo 4x4 WildTrak. It remains to be seen if the Thunder will be powered by the 3.2-litre engine, as well.

READ: Is this the perfect bakkie? Ford's 'Mustang F-150 Raptor' is what dreams are made of

The Ranger's biggest rival, the Toyota Hilux, also has a special edition model in its range, that being the Hilux GR Sport priced at R750 800. This bakkie's turbocharged 2.8-litre diesel engine (130kW/450Nm) is somewhat down on power compared to the Thunder's engine, and it makes use of a six-speed automatic gearbox compared to the 10-speed Ford's bi-turbo is mated to (the 3.2 WildTrak makes use of a six-speed automatic).

Our take is that the Ranger Thunder will be a hit among local buyers given its unique design and expressive accessories, so expect to see several of these bakkies on our roads.

Ford Ranger Thunder

2020 Ford Ranger Thunder (Ford Media)

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