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Ford’s Ranger is set to undergo a major overhaul in 2022. So, in the current model’s swansong year, the Blue Oval is rolling out a number of special editions to complement what has been a exceptional period of 10 years for the company.

The latest such edition is called Stormtrak. Available in four color options, Sea Gray, Frozen White, and Lightning Blue are common favorites across the rest of the line, but Lucid Red is unique. The black mesh grille with red inserts echoes that of the Ranger Thunder, but is enhanced by black decals for the hood and doors, black roof rails and 18-inch alloy wheels finished in gloss black.

The three-dimensional Stormtrak logos on the lower sections of the front doors, as well as on the rear hatch complete the exterior changes and provide a striking improvement over the Wildtrak on which the Stormtrak is based.

Ford Ranger Stormtrak, pictured here in Lucid Red.

A notable addition to the list of standard equipment is an electric roller shutter for the rear cargo compartment, which allows electronic opening or closing of the protective shutter on the cargo bed and provides a convenient method of stowing away safely. the cargo out of sight.

Compared to the manual roller shutter, which can only be locked in specific predetermined positions, the electric roller shutter can be securely locked in any position and has also been designed with an anti-pinch function to prevent injury. or damage upon contact with an object.

Remote control of the roller shutter covering the loading bin.

The operation of the roller shutter is managed via custom buttons on the remote control, the dashboard and inside the boot, supplemented by the tailgate locking mechanism integrated into the vehicle’s central locking system.

The adjustable bed divider kit allows the owner to easily compartmentalize the cargo space according to the size of the items being carried, preventing the cargo from rolling away while driving.

Enter the Stormtrak cabin over the special illuminated front scuff plates and you’ll be faced with subtle changes like red stitching and the Stormtrak logo etched into the seatbacks and on the panel above the glove box . As standard, a comprehensive list of active and passive safety systems and driver aids, such as Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Keeping Alert and lane keeping aid.

Ford ranger
A 4 × 2 derivative is available starting at R790 300, while the 4 × 4 sells for R846,500.

The Stormtrak is powered by the same well-established 2.0-liter bi-turbodiesel engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission you’ll find in the Wildtrak. The Ranger’s 3,500 kg towing capacity remains unchanged, along with 800mm wading depth and 230mm ground clearance.

For three days, I experienced the Stormtrak in varying conditions, but mostly along the roughly 800 km of Eastern Cape gravel roads between Storms River Mouth and its source. It is quite remarkable how well the Ranger handles long stretches in such conditions, providing a sure footing that is not easily matched by the competition. A key factor is the suspension revisions Ford introduced three years ago, including moving the anti-roll bar placement for better damping settings. The 2.0 twin-turbo powertrain is powerful but also refined and the 10-speed automatic gearbox gets the job done without really feeling it looking for the right gear, despite the choice.

Despite the luxurious guts and comfortable ride, the Ranger Stormtrak simply avoids rough terrain.

The Stormtrak, priced at R790 300 for the 4 × 2 and R846 500 for the 4 × 4, offers everything one could ask for in a top-of-the-range double cabin. A long list of standard features puts it on par with premium sedans, while limited-edition visual upgrades provide exclusivity.

Fast facts:

Ford Ranger 2.0Bi-Turbo DC 4 × 4 Stormtrak

Price: R846 500

Power: 157 kW / 500 Nm

Fuel consumption: 8.1 L / 100 km (claimed)

Top speed: n / a km / h

Rivals: Toyota Hilux 2.8 GD-6 DC 4 × 4 Legend RS A / T, Volkswagen Amarok 2.0 BiTDI DC Highline 4Motion A / T

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