The new Ford Ranger Thunder has finally launched in South Africa, with the local range featuring three versions.

Effectively based on locally built Wildtrak double-cab variants, the Thunder model can be ordered in 2,0 BiT guise – in both 4x2 and 4x4 configuration – or 3,2 TDCi form (the latter in 4x2 only). Four colours will be offered: Absolute Black, Frozen White, Moondust Silver and Sea Grey.

As a reminder, the twin-turbodiesel 2,0-litre, four-cylinder engine makes 157 kW and 500 N.m (just as it does in the Ranger Raptor), with drive directed via a 10-speed automatic transmission. The 3,2-litre, five-cylinder oil-burner, meanwhile, is mated with a six-speed automatic cog-swapper and offers 147 kW and 470 N.m.

So, how much cash are you looking at here? Well, the Ranger 3,2 TDCi Thunder 6AT 4x2 starts at R711 600, effectively commanding a R33 400 premium (very close to the unofficial information we received in July) over the Wildtrak model on which it’s based.

The 2,0 BiT Thunder 10AT 4x2, meanwhile, kicks off at R736 000, with the 2,0 BiT Thunder 10AT 4x4 coming in from R787 000. As with the five-pot model above, you’re effectively paying R33 400 for the Thunder extras here.

So, what exactly do you score? Well, the Thunder-badged model comes 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 furthermore ship standard, while the bakkie's taillmaps have been darkened, too. The Ranger Thunder will also boast a black powder-coated roller shutter complete with a load-bay divider.

Inside, there’s plenty of leather along with “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.

As with the rest of the Ranger line-up, the Thunder models ship standard with a four-year/120 000 km warranty and a six-year/90 000 km service plan (with 15 000 km intervals).

Pricing:
Ford Ranger 3,2 TDCi Thunder 6AT 4x2: R711 600
Ford Ranger 2,0 BiT Thunder 10AT 4x2: R736 000
Ford Ranger 2,0 BiT Thunder 10AT 4x4: R787 000