Ford in Europe has taken the wraps off a new special-edition Ranger Thunder variant based on the Wildtrak derivative. 

The fresh-faced Thunder-badged model comes finished in Sea Grey exterior paint with red highlights on the grille and sports bar. You’ll also notice the chunky “Thunder” badging on the front doors and tailgate.

Other updates include the adoption of black 18-inch alloy wheels, with the grille, rear bumper, skid plates, foglamp surrounds and exterior door handles also finished in black.

LED headlamps featuring darkened bezels also ship standard, while the bakkie's taillmaps have been darkened, too. The Ranger Thunder is furthermore offered with an optional (black) Mountain Top powder-coated roller shutter complete with a load-bay divider.

Inside, there’s plenty of leather along with the “Thunder” badges embroidered in red, a colour extended to stitching on the steering wheel, seats and instrument panel. The sill plates, meanwhile, feature red illumination.

Under the bonnet, the Ranger Thunder employs the Blue Oval brand’s now-familiar twin-turbodiesel 2,0-litre, four-cylinder engine, providing 157 kW and 500 N.m to all four corners via a ten-speed automatic transmission.

“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 for commercial vehicles at 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.”

While we’ve not heard of any plans to offer the Thunder here in South Africa, it’s worth noting the Ranger sold in Europe is built at Silverton in Pretoria (with the engine coming from Ford’s powertrain plant in Struandale).