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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Forbidden Raptor-lite: Ford Ranger Wildtrak X returns Down Under

For now, the Wildtrak X is not earmarked for local introduction as it would clash with the Thunder on pricing.

Ford has re-introduced the Ranger Wildtrak X Down Under as its new flagship above the standard Wildtrak but below the Raptor.

Unveiled last year with a production run of 1 000 units, the X, which is aimed at the Toyota Hilux Rogue, repackaged as the Legend RS in South Africa, and builds on the Wildtrak by receiving the same grille as the step-down FX4 Max, the Thunder and the North American Tremor, albeit with a Saber Yellow finish, Ebony Black wheel arch extensions, a black nudge bar, bespoke 18-inch alloy wheels with a 35-inch offset, an LED light bar, black side steps, orange accents on the sports bar and an Ebony Black finish for the mirror caps, door handles, tailgate handle, roof rails and front skidplate. The snorkel option previously available has however been dropped.

Inside, the interior changes are less dramatic with the inclusion of illuminated door sills and black leather seats contrasted by Saber Orange accents. Specification and safety is unchanged from the comparable Wildtrak with an electronically locking differential and Hill Descent Control being standard.

RELATED: Numbers battle: Toyota Hilux Legend RS v Ford Ranger Thunder

Like the Thunder, the Wildtrak X offers a choice of two powertrains; the 147kW/470Nm 3.2 TDCi five-cylinder paired to the six-speed automatic gearbox or the 157kW/500Nm 2.0-litre bi-turbo hooked to the General Motors co-developed ten-speed automatic. In a departure from the Thunder though, both Wildtrak X derivatives are four-wheel-drive with Ford Australia claiming respective fuel consumption figures of 8.9 L/100 km and 7.4 L/100 km. Towing capacity is rated at 3 500 kg with the 3.2 boasting a payload of 913 kg and the bi-turbo 943 kg.

Priced at $66 490 (R745 082) with the bi-turbo commanding a sticker of $67 990 (R761 891) the Wildtrak X, as before, is unlikely to make local landfall anytime soon as it would overlap with the Thunder whose pricing starts at R733 500 for the two-wheel-drive 3.2 and ends at R811 800 for the 2.0 bi-turbo four-wheel drive.

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