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HomeLAUNCHEDFORD RANGER PLATINUM & TREMOR

FORD RANGER PLATINUM & TREMOR

The new Ford Ranger has been a competitor’s nightmare since its introduction in 2022. The model quickly became a popular and highly sought-after bakkie, drawing sales from existing and new customers. Given its great looks and proven performance, it is easy to see why it has been a successful bakkie. To maintain this positive momentum, Ford has launched two new models to satisfy customers on opposite ends of the need spectrum. We attended the launch event in Cape Town to test the new Ford Ranger Platinum and Tremor models.

The 2024 Ranger needs no introduction, as more than 33,000 roam the local roads. The bakkie is instantly identifiable thanks to its angular silhouette and distinct C-shaped DRLs. The Platinum takes that winning formula and adds on some goodies of its own. What is the Platinum? The Platinum is a new high-end model aimed at the lifestyle buyer, explicitly focusing on luxury and image. Put differently, where the Raptor is the best in performance that the Ranger has to offer, the Platinum leans more towards providing the best in luxury. 

As such, the range-topping Platinum sees model-specific upgrades that set it apart from the rest of the pack. Most evident is the generous use of satin chrome around the accented mesh grille, window trim and other accent pieces. The bonnet boasts proud “PLATINUM” lettering, whilst the headlight units come with Matrix LED headlights, which were formerly found strictly on Raptor models. The bakkie also gets sidesteps and a sports bar at the rear to add to the visual theatrics. To tie it all up, the bakkie rides on diamond-cut 20″ alloys, which are more at home in the city than off-road. 

Enter the cabin, and you will be treated to a more upmarket interior, noting the quilted and stitched leather seats, which have heating and cooling for the front seats. The model also boasts a 12.4″ infotainment screen, which is larger than that found in the other Ranger models. Since we are fast approaching winter, the steering wheel comes heated as standard with the Platinum model.

TREMOR EXTERIOR AND CABIN 

Unlike the Platinum model, the Tremor takes a decided focus on off-roading than it does on luxury. The idea behind the model is to offer excellent off-road capabilities without breaking the bank as you would with the much more expensive Raptor and Wildtrak X models. 

Visually, the Tremor is identified by its dual recovery hooks up front, a steel bash plate, model-specific mesh grille and 17″ alloys wrapped in chunky tyres. Where the Platinum opts for chrome for its accents, the Tremor makes do with a much more sinister gunmetal grey. 

Eagle-eyed observers would also note that the bakkie rides 24 mm higher than the standard Ranger and has a 30 mm wider track. The interior is a standard Ranger affair with a 12″ infotainment system dominating the cabin. Instead of leather, the Tremor comes with water-resistant vinyl upholstery with Tremor badging. Staying with the hard-wearing theme, there are no carpets in the foot wells since water-resistant vinyl flooring is used instead. This would make cleaning out the mud and dust easier if you use the bakkie as intended.

DRIVING THE DERIVATIVES

The Tremor is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder bi-turbocharged diesel engine, which produces 154 kW and 500 Nm and is mated with a ten-speed auto transmission. That’s ample performance for anyone not concerned with Raptor-like speed levels and is more than appropriate for a vehicle designed to tackle wild terrain. That said, the Tremor is no less suited to urban driving than any other Ranger model. 

The Tremor excels off-road thanks to its Bilstein Position-Sensitive dampers, which are responsible for the increased ride height and significant ground clearance of 267 mm (the Platinum sits 237 mm off the ground). The suspension is further aided by the Tremor’s 265/70 all-terrain tyres and underbody protection for a competent off-road experience. And, if this is your first foray into the world of off-road driving, Ford is offering free 4×4 courses for customers to familiarise themselves with the bakkie’s capabilities.

Conversely, the Platinum comes with a 3.0-litre turbodiesel V6 that produces 180 kW and 600 Nm and is mated to the now familiar Ford ten-speed auto with a selectable 4WD with low range. 

Hardcore performance is not the focus of the Platinum, although the powertrain is more than capable of achieving hair-raising speeds. Instead, the Platinum is one vehicle that can be driven calmly and smoothly, like any other luxury-oriented vehicle. Ride quality was compliant as expected, though I fear the big alloys came with a slight comfort penalty.

LAST WORD

Ford’s addition of the two new models is a clever capitalisation on demand. Any potential buyer has a great selection from the nine models available. The latest models will quickly carve niche pockets to resounding success, as there is no satiated demand for prestigious bakkies in Mzansi. Pricing starts at R977,500 and R1,119,000 for the Tremor and Platinum models.

Report by BRYAN KAYAVHU | Images © FORD SOUTH AFRICA

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