Ford Ranger Thunderbolt - Power and Poise for the V6 Ranger XLT
By: Mike Kowdley Posted: 06-26-02 20:00

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PONTIAC, MI: Long known for their Camaro SS and Firebird Firehawk adaptations of GM's F cars, SLP Engineering is breaking new ground with their development of the Ford Ranger Thunderbolt. Starting with the Ford Ranger Supercab XLT, SLP adds a variety of performance and styling options with appeal to the performance minded Ford enthusiast.

First, a bit about getting a Thunderbolt. These vehicles will be sold as orignial equipment straight from your Ford dealer and all Thunderbolts are completely covered by Ford's manufacturer's warranty. Choose from one of three colors (black, bright red, and Oxford white), then just ask for Option Codes 31L and D9P. Your Ranger, on it's way to your dealer from the assembly plant, makes a quick (three to five day) stop in Kentucky. Here, SLP will transform your truck with their mix of upgrades — read on for the details. When it arrives at your dealer for you to pick up, it's as if all the options had been installed by Ford itself.

The Thunderbolt base package for 2003 includes several visual upgrades:

  • Non-Functional Hood Scoop ( photo )
  • Monochromatic Side-Body Cladding and Rear Roll Pan
  • Three Exterior Badges ( photo )
  • Single Outlet Exhaust Tip
  • Thunderbolt Logo Wheel Center Caps
  • Monochromatic Grille, Front Bumper, and Fascia Extension
  • Thunderbolt Headrest Appliques

Once the base package is added, three appearance / performance option packages are available:

Thunderbolt Level I
  • Front Fascia Fog Lamps ( photo )
  • Soft Tonneau Cover
  • Rear Lip Spoiler ( photo )
Thunderbolt Level II
  • Front Fascia Fog Lamps ( photo )
  • Soft Tonneau Cover
  • Rear Lip Spoiler ( photo )
  • Performance Package
Thunderbolt Level III
  • Front Fascia Fog Lamps ( photo )
  • Performance Package
  • Hard Tonneau Cover

The performance package, with its combination of improved air inflow (via an under-hood cold air box, photo) and exhaust outflow (courtesy of a cat-back exhaust system with dual outlets) increases the engine output by about eight percent (to 160 hp for the 3.0L V6 and 222 hp for the 4.0L V6).

On top of the base package and the three appearance/performance packages, several options are available for 2003:

  • 16-inch Tremor Wheels and Bridgestone P235/65R16 Dueler H/T BSW Tires ( photo )
  • 15-inch Five-spoke, Aluminum Wheels ( photo )
  • Hoop Spoiler (available with Level III only) ( photo )
  • Handling Package (available with Level II and Level III only)
  • Exterior Graphics ( photo )
  • Body Color Rear Bumper
  • Thunderbolt Floor Mats & Key Chains (combo) ( photo )

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