Ford has taken the covers off the first ever Ranger Storm variant at the 2018 Sao Paolo motor show.
While the changes to the Ford Ranger Storm appear to be mainly aesthetic, it bares similarity to Toyota’s local ‘Rugged’ range, with factory pre-fitted off-roading bits like a snorkel and larger off-road focussed Pirelli tyres on 17-inch alloys.
The whole package seems to mirror the just-arrived-in-Australia Ranger Raptor, which will not be sold at all for the time being in the Americas, though it does not have the same off-road Fox suspension that is a major selling point of the Raptor locally.
There are some notable differences to the local model, like that grille (that is different again for the Ranger model for North America, set to launch early next year) and the concept roof rails that loop around to the tray.
The Storm seems more like an off-road focussed pack rather than a full-blown performance variant.
The Storm is powered by the older 147kW/470Nm 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbo diesel engine that is in the process of being superseded by the controversial twin-turbo 2.0-litre ‘Panther’ engine in Europe and Australia.
Unsurprisingly, it also carries-over the six-speed automatic transmission still available in local 3.2-litre Ranger and Everest variants.
When asked whether the Storm, or a variant like the Storm (to compete with the HiLux Rugged range) would be destined for the Australian market, Ford’s local operation let us know that there were no plans at this time, although the ‘factory-fitted-for-off-road’ variant was previously serviced by the FX4.
The FX4 is not set to return to 2.0-litre twin-turbo versions for the time being.
The FX4 is not set to return to the Ranger line-up for the time being.
Do you like the look of the Ranger Storm, or would you like to see a more off-road focused Ranger that sits below the Raptor? Tell us what you think in the comments below.