• Ford South Africa launched three special edition bakkies since August 2020.
• The bakkies include the Ranger Thunder, Ranger XL Sport Pack, and Ranger FX4.
• Each bakkie is based on one of Ford's existing Rangers.
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Ford South Africa had a busy past eight months, launching a total of three new special edition Ranger bakkies. Well, four - if you include the armoured Rangers built by SVI.
The Ranger has become a mainstay in the South African motoring sphere, continuously counting among the best-selling vehicles every month. It was, and is, this kind of consumer confidence that inspired Ford SA to release several special- and limited edition bakkies onto the local market.
Came August 2020, the automaker kicked off its bakkie offence with the new Ranger Thunder. Slotting in between the Wildtrak and Raptor models, the Thunder employs the same 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel engine with 157kW and 500Nm, but has several aesthetic bits and pieces to differentiate it from its siblings. These include red 'nostrils' on the grille, blackened wheels, 'Thunder' lettering on the side, a tonneau cover for the load bay, and a divider in the said load bay.
We compared the Ranger Thunder 4x4 double cab automatic against its direct rival: the Toyota Hilux 2.8 GD-6 automatic Legend RS. Read the comparison here.
Ranger XL Sport Pack
Based on the Ranger XL, the Sport Pack, introduced in October 2020, enhances the appeal and offering of the entry-level Ranger. The Sport Pack adds sporty looks to the XL model, with 17-inch black alloy wheels, a black grille, and a tubular sports bar. Engine-wise, the XL and XL Sport Pack are powered by Ford's proven 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine. This unit offers 118kW and 385Nm, with the latter available between 1500-2500rpm.
The XL Sport Pack can be chosen in single, super or double cab configurations, all with 4x4 or 4x2 drivetrains. While the 4x4 single- and super cab models can only be specified with the manual gearbox, the 4x4 double cab model can be had with either manual or automatic gearboxes.
For the first time on the Ranger XL, buyers can add an eight-inch multimedia touchscreen as an optional extra. This system is Android Auto and Android Auto compatible.
The XL Sport Pack adds R16 500 to the Ranger XL's base price.
At the start of 2021, South Africa saw a return of the popular FX4 nameplate. This model is based on the Ranger XLT double cab that is powered by the single turbo 2.0-litre diesel engine. The FX4 slots in below the Wildtrak in Ford's bakkie hierarchy and is distinguished by its black mesh grille, blackened mirrors and door handles, 18-inch alloy wheels, and the 12-volt power socket in the loading bay – to mention a few.
Inside, the bakkie's dashboard is decked in soft-touch leather that's finished off with red stitching. On the seats, occupants will find 'FX4' embroidered on the headrests. Regarding the multimedia system, FordPass Connect made its debut on the FX4. This app allows owners to control several of the Ranger's functions remotely, including scheduling services.
The Ranger FX4's engine produces 132kW and 420Nm and is mated to the automaker's ten-speed automatic gearbox. The FX4 is available with both 4x4 and 4x2 drivetrains.