PRETORIA, South Africa – The limited-edition Ford Ranger Thunder introduced to South Africa in 2020 is getting close to release here at the bottom of Africa but also based on what Ford SA describes as ”the upmarket Wildtrak”.
Its badging will read Stormtrak and should arrive some time in the third quarter of 2021.
Ford SA’s Doreen Mashinini told The Corner in a media release: “The Thunder was exceptionally well received when we launched it a year ago, proving there’s strong demand for range-topping models – units we see as different to the norm.
RED STITCHING, BLACK MESH
“The Stormtrak follows the Thunder recipe by elevating the style, sophistication and exclusivity of our most luxurious Ranger.”
In Stormtrak guise, Ford says, the Ranger gains several muscular, attention-grabbing, design elements, among them a striking black mesh grille with red inserts, a black insert in the lower section of the front bumper, black decals for the bonnet and doors, black roof rails and 18” gloss black alloy wheel rims.
They will also bear a new paint colour – Lucid Red – but can also be specified in grey, white or blue white while practicality will add Ford’s new power roller shutter for the loadbed to faclitate loading and security while a tailgate lock will operated with the vehicle’s central locking.
The loadbed can also be adjusted with a divider kit to accommodate items of varying size and there’s a rear 12V socket – perhaps for a camping fridge.
The cabin has red-stitched leather upholstery which also decorates the soft-touch fascia, steering-wheel and gear-shifter. Further premium features, Ford says, includes a SYNC3 infotainment/satnav system, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. FordPass functionality allows the keyholder to access some vehicle features from a cellphone – remote and scheduled starts to either cool or heat the cabin.
Also standard will be cruise control, emergency braking assistance, lane-drift warning, and what Ford describes as semi-automatic parallel-parking assistance. (Don’t you have to have that skill to get your driving licence? – Editor)
HOW ABOUT TOWING?
Of course such an upmarket on/off-road needs a decent engine so Ford has inserted a two-litre bi-turbo engine capable of 157kW/500Nm and hooked it to a 10-speed auto transmission.
Most important for a bakkie is towing ability and here the bakkie excels too at 3500kg and the automaker promises a wading capability of 80cm and 230mm ground clearance.
So, how much? Sorry, that’s a secret until the launch… we’ll let you know then.