Europe gets a lot of good automotive stuff we don’t, but typically that amounts to a bunch of interesting station wagons or sports cars, not that most American of vehicle formats, pickup trucks. Someone at Ford hasn’t gotten that memo, apparently. Across the pond, not only does Ford offer the Ranger Raptor—think of the mighty off-road F-150 Raptor in smaller, Ranger-based form—it also is introducing a special edition Ranger Thunder with Raptor bits underneath. Neither are available here, at least not yet.
Limited to 4,500 copies across Europe, the Ford Ranger Thunder features black accents on its grille, and black-painted 18-inch alloy wheels, rear bumper, skid plates, fog light surrounds, door handles, and rad ’80s-style sports hoop. These details mix with red accents on the grille and the rear of the vehicle. Darkened headlight and taillight bezels look nice against the Sea Grey paint. Finally, you’ll find 3D-effect “Thunder” badges on the driver and front passenger doors, as well as the tailgate.
The interior features the same red and black color scheme. Along with black leather upholstery, there is red stitching on the seats, steering wheel, and instrument panel. Other red accents include “Thunder” red embroidery and red-illuminated sill plates.
Most of the upgrades are style-related, but there are a few goodies that improve utility. Thunder models get a bedliner and Black Mountain Top powder-coated roller shutter, as well as a cargo bay divider.
Under the hood, the Ford Ranger Thunder packs a the same 210-hp, 369-lb-ft 2.0-liter diesel engine used in the burly Ranger Wildtrak and Ranger Raptor trucks. Thunder models feature a 10-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel drive, and a Double Cab body style as standard.
Here in the U.S., the only engine available on the Ranger—which is slightly different from the global truck, including the Thunder—is a gas-fed turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. Although it makes a robust 270 horsepower, it’s less torquey at 310 lb-ft. As we’ve said in previous reviews, we’re pretty happy with this engine and how well it pairs to the 10-speed automatic. It’s also makes the Ranger one of the most efficient trucks in its class. But any engine with Raptor lineage would surely mark an improvement—or at least throw some muscle-y cred under the Ranger’s hood.
The order books are now open for the Ranger Thunder in Europe. Ford will begin its first deliveries of the truck there in late summer. As if you needed reminder, Ford will commence deliveries of the Thunder here never. Too bad—that roll bar is sweet.
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