If the Ford Ranger Raptor is just a little too much for you, perhaps the new Ranger Thunder special edition might just tick your tax-efficient boxes.
With a payload that tips over the one-tonne mark, the Ranger Thunder betters the Raptor in both carrying capabilities and, importantly, its commercial vehicle status, without giving away any performance.
Ranger Thunder Design
Based on the Ranger Wildtrak, the new Thunder is finished in Sea Grey with bold red highlights on the grille and sports hoop, and some three-dimensional “Thunder” badges for the front doors and tailgate.
That’s all complemented by 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.
The Mountain Top powder-coated roller shutter and bedliner divider pictured further down are available as optional extras.
Inside, Thunder is equipped with full black leather seats with “Thunder” red embroidery and matching stitching across the steering wheel, seats, instrument panel and touchpoints throughout the cabin. Black floor mats are also standard and contrast with bespoke red-illuminated sill plates.
Ranger Thunder Power
The new Ford Ranger Thunder shares its engine with the Raptor, which means it’s powered by Ford’s bi-turbo 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine. There’s 213hp and 500Nm of torque, all going through a 10-speed automatic gearbox.
The bi-turbo engine uses both of its turbochargers at lower engine speeds to improve torque throttle response, and them bypasses the smaller turbocharger at higher engine speeds to provide maximum boost from the larger turbocharger for peak power.
The 10-speed automatic transmission is the same unit that’s offered in the larger F-150 pickup in the US, as well as the Mustang sportscar. It offers a wide spread of ratios, and includes real-time adaptive shift-scheduling that adapts to changing conditions allowing the vehicle to optimise for performance, fuel efficiency or refinement. Officially, the Ford Ranger Thunder can achieve 36.2mpg and emits 205g/km of CO2.
The Ford Ranger’s proven four-wheel-drive system remains in place for the Thunder, providing highly competent off-road capability.
Ranger Thunder Price and Availability
The new Ford Ranger Thunder is available to order now, with prices starting at £32,965 plus VAT. First deliveries are expected in late summer. There will be just 1,400 models for the UK market, providing an exclusive model to complement the success of the Ranger.
“With an edgier look for customers who aren’t afraid to be noticed, the new Ranger Thunder will be an unmistakable 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.”
Ranger had its best-ever year in 2019, with more than 16,000 sold in the UK.
This isn’t the first Ford Ranger Thunder. The model was originally launched in 2003 as a limited edition towards the end of the first-generation model’s lifespan. It was then revived for the second-generation Range in 2009, proving to be a popular model amongst both small business and fleet users.