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Ford Ranger pick-up is Thunder struck. Image by Ford.

Ford Ranger pick-up is Thunder struck
New Ford Ranger Thunder costs almost £40k and uses Raptorís 213hp biturbo engine.
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What's all this about?

Can you hear the Thunder from Down Under?!

I'm sorry, have you completely lost the plot, or what?

No, stick with us. The Ford Ranger was developed by Ford Australia, hence the Down Under bit. And this is a new special model, called the Thunder. So we've not suddenly decided to open a fanpage to Australian cue-meister and 2010 World Snooker Champion Neil Robertson, but rather we're bringing you news of a new Ranger model.

You could have just said that in the first place. What's the Ranger Thunder all about?

Insane cue power. Sorry, wait, no; that's Robertson again, isn't it? Ahem. The Ranger Thunder is a limited-edition version of the one-tonne pick-up truck from the Blue Oval, with 4,500 units destined for Europe. Of those, 1,400 will be sold in the UK and you'll need to stump up £32,965 for one. That's excluding VAT, mind, as if you'd registered it as a commercial vehicle, so £39,558 as a civilian machine.

Right, and is it just a fancy paintjob?

Hardly. The Thunder is a development of the old Wildtrak, which used to be the Ranger flagship. But rather than using that model's outdated old 3.2-litre, five-cylinder turbodiesel, the Thunder enjoys the 2.0-litre biturbo EcoBlue plus ten-speed automatic gearbox from the very vehicle which displaced the Wildtrack at the top of the Ranger tree, 2019's ridiculously brilliant and yet somewhat needless Raptor. And as the Thunder doesn't have the Raptor's enhanced height, bulging shoulders, increased weight and high-drag balloon tyres, it should utilise its 213hp/500Nm outputs to be a bit quicker than the mightiest Ranger, so expect a sub-10-second 0-62mph time from the Thunder. Ford has already confirmed that on NEDC-correlated figures, the Thunder is cleaner than the Raptor, with 36.2mpg and 205g/km for CO2 emissions (WLTP figures: 31mpg and 239g/km).

All sounds good. So what about the specification beyond the twin-turbodiesel motor?

Every Ranger Thunder will be finished in moody Sea Grey, with a couple of bright-red highlights (for the front grille and a bit of the sports hoop in the load bed) and then many more items painted in black; such as the 'Ranger' logo, the exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels, the radiator grille, the rear bumper, the skid plates, the foglight surrounds, the main part of the sports hoop and also the door handles. LED headlights have darkened bezels, as do the taillight clusters, while 3D-effect 'Thunder' logos are plastered on the front doors and the tailgate of the Ranger. Inside, buyers will enjoy full Ebony leather seats with a red, embroidered 'Thunder' graphic on them, while contrast red stitching covers all of the seats, the steering wheel, the instrument panel and key touchpoints around the cabin. The sill plates are illuminated red and the floor mats are rendered in black.

Hans Schep, general manager for Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe, said: "With an edgier look for customers who aren't afraid to be noticed, the new Ranger Thunder will be an unmistakeable presence. This capable, comfortable and stylish addition to Europe's best-selling pick-up range is as tough and versatile as it is charismatic."

Oh, and there's been a Ranger Thunder before, by the way, as a special with that name was released in 2009. Although it didn't have 213hp and 500Nm, granted. Or the ability to pot the pink into the middle at pace and come off the top cushion with a load of check-side, in order to run round the table (avoiding the blue) to end up back at the main bunch of reds. Ah. Sorry. We've gone off on a snooker tangent again, haven't we? Ahem.

Matt Robinson - 18 May 2020

Earlier articles featuring 2020 Ford Ranger

2020-03-05: Driven: Ford Ranger Raptor

2020 Ford Ranger Thunder. Image by Ford.2020 Ford Ranger Thunder. Image by Ford.2020 Ford Ranger Thunder. Image by Ford.2020 Ford Ranger Thunder. Image by Ford.2020 Ford Ranger Thunder. Image by Ford.

2020 Ford Ranger Thunder. Image by Ford.2020 Ford Ranger Thunder. Image by Ford.2020 Ford Ranger Thunder. Image by Ford.2020 Ford Ranger Thunder. Image by Ford.2020 Ford Ranger Thunder. Image by Ford.    - Ford road tests
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