I have heard so much about the well documented yet lesser travelled Baviaanskloof Pass. So you can imagine my delight when I drove the entire pass in the new limited-edition Ford Ranger Stormtrak. And yes, we did kick up quite a storm as the convoy drove up and down the treacherous pass with style. We went over the most undulating gravel dirt tracks, across streams and rivers, over boulders and stones and on badly corrugated paths, but the Stormtrak was equal to all we threw at it, apart from getting a very muddied vehicle at the end of the day.
Besides adding exclusivity to the range, the Ranger Stormtrak is unmistakable with distinctive features viz black mesh front grille with red inserts, custom decals and black accents, 18-inch gloss black alloy wheels, 3D Stormtrak decals, four colour options including vibrant new ‘Lucid Red’. Other colours include Sea Grey, Frozen White and Blue Lightning.
Add to that enhanced security and practicality with the fitment of a Power Roller Shutter, adjustable bed divider and black roof rails. The cabin includes leather seat trim with red stitching and Stormtrak logo, red stitching on dashboard upper, steering wheel and gear lever, illuminated scuff plates and 18-inch alloy wheels finished in gloss black.
Power roller shutter
The styling upgrades to the Stormtrak are matched with carefully considered convenience features to aid day-to-day practicality, including a Power Roller Shutter for the rear load compartment, which allows the driver to electronically open or close the protective shutter over the loadbox and provides a convenient method to securely stow cargo out of sight. I found this to be a big plus factor.
Adding further versatility is the adjustable bed divider kit that makes it easy for the owner to compartmentalise the cargo area according to the size of the items being carried – thus preventing goods from shifting around when driving. A drop-in bedliner provides a useful 12-volt socket for powering accessories such as a camping fridge.
As with the Ranger Wildtrak, the premium level of standard features in the Stormtrak is exceptional, including the Sync 3 infotainment system with embedded navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a nifty USB charging port located in the rearview mirror makes for easy fitment of a dash cam.
The Stormtrak is also equipped with Ford’s innovative FordPass functionality that allows owners to remotely access numerous vehicle features from their phone – such as remote and scheduled starts to either cool or heat the cabin. Through the FordPass app’s Vehicle Status feature owners can also check their vehicle’s key variables including fuel level, oil life status, tyre pressures (on models fitted with a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) and mileage through the convenience of their smartphone.
Other useful features include a vehicle locator courtesy of a map and location tracker in the FordPass app, Vehicle Health Alerts, which can be sent directly to a smart device pre-empting service needs, and Roadside Assistance, allowing customers instant access to Ford’s 24-hour emergency Roadside Assistance which is valid for a period of three years/unlimited distance.
As standard is an extensive list of innovative active and passive safety systems and driver aids, such as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Forward Collision Alert, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Keeping Alert and Lane Keeping Aid, and Driver Alert System.
Safety is further aided by the fitment of LED headlamps as standard for improved safety when driving at night. Daytime visibility is also improved with the inclusion of the distinctive LED daytime running lights.
In line with its range-topping status, the Ranger Stormtrak is powered by Ford’s 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo engine which produces 157kW and 500Nm.
It is paired with an advanced 10-speed automatic transmission that delivers seamless shifts matched to responsive performance and impressive fuel economy.
The Ranger’s towing capacity of 3,500kg remains unchanged, along with the 800mm water wading depth and 230mm ground clearance. The wading depth and ground clearance helped driving the Baviaanskloof Pass that much more comfortable.
The recently-announced Ranger Stormtrak makes its debut in Mzansi. Based on the luxuriously appointed Wildtrak, the Stormtrak is poised to continue the success of Ford’s popular recent limited-edition model, the Ranger Thunder. The much anticipated Baviaanskloof Pass driven in the Stormtrak and conquered. Done and dusted. Pun intended.
The Ranger Stormtrak is priced at R790,300 for the 4×2 model while the off-road-ready 4×4 model costs R846,500. All prices include VAT.
All-new Ford Rangers come standard with Ford Protect, comprising a four-year/120,000km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty.
A six-year/90,000km service plan is included which covers six services. The recommended service interval is 15,000km or annually, whichever occurs first.
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