Pick-up trucks continue to increase in demand year on year in the UK and the marketplace is now more competitive than ever before. Volkswagen, Nissan, Mercedes, Isuzu, Toyota and Mitsubishi all fight amongst each other with their varying selling points to eat away at the market share, but nobody seems to be able to come close to the domineering Ranger from Ford, which had its best year ever in Europe last year, with a whopping 52,500 units sold, 16,000 of which were sold here in the UK - a market which hasn’t been traditionally favourable to pick-up trucks.
So now seems like a good time to introduce a new special edition, although it’s not as ‘new’ as it may seem. There have actually been two special edition ‘Thunder’ models before, one in 2003 and one in 2009.
The 2020 Thunder offers exclusive colour contrasting specifications on both the interior and the exterior, helping it stand out from the crowd on the building site or in the supermarket.
It is available with the award-winning bi-turbo EcoBlue 2.0 litre engine and a 10-speed automatic gearbox as standard. The Thunder will be available exclusively as a double-cab model, all of which will have four-wheel drive. This isn’t a big truck for posing, this is a serious bit of kit that is ready to take on whatever you may throw at it.
Ford has announced that only 4,500 Thunder models will be produced, and of these just 1,400 will be destined for us here in the UK, and only 30 for Ireland, so if you like the look of one then you really need to get in touch with your local Ford dealership to launch an enquiry or book a test drive.
Prices are going to start from £32,965 excluding VAT and you’ll likely find that due to the exceptionally high specification of this limited-run model, you won’t need to add much (if anything) on to the price when you get to the options list. The first deliveries are expected to be made toward the tail-end of summer.
Hans Schep, general manager, 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 unmistakable presence”
“This capable, comfortable and stylish addition to Europe’s best-selling pick-up range is as tough and versatile as it is charismatic.”
So, what’s so special about it?
The Thunder model is available with Sea Grey paintwork and nothing else - so that will save you some time with your decision making. There are bold red highlights within the front grille and the ‘sports’ hoop and, as you’d expect, there is “Thunder” badgework all over the body with a 3D effect.
As far as styling goes, the Thunder model gets never before seen 18-inch black alloys which are exclusive to the model. The front grille, rear bumper, fog lights, skid plates and door handles are all Ebony black too.
This model also comes with LED headlights as standard with darkened bezels. The roller shutter for the bed is powder-coated black which enhances the loading bays practicality as well as style.
Inside, you’ve got full black leather as standard, and this is hard-wearing leather which won’t tear and can easily be wiped clean. The leather is complemented by the contrasting red-stitching on the steering wheel, seats, dashboard and centre console.
So, what’s not to love? It’s Britain’s best-loved pickup truck available in it’s finest form, but with limited availability. If you’re interested, book a test drive with your local dealership and secure your model before they’re all gone!