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Roar of Thunder

Roar of Thunder

Ardie Lopez

The latest iteration of Foton Thunder comes with a new 2-liter engine and all the right features for its renewed bid in the ever-growing pickup market  

The battle of the pickup trucks gets more interesting as Foton just gave us a quick immersive experience with their potent contender, the fourth generation Thunder. Fresh from assembly a mere few days back, motoring journalists were given the opportunity to break-in a batch of Foton Thunder 2.0 pickups on a quick dash from their Foton A. Bonifacio dealership in Quezon City, all the way to their new dealership in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Of course, team Inquirer Motoring didn’t miss out on the chance.

Looking more athletic and robust on this latest iteration, the armada of Thunders caused a few craned necks from passing motorists as we rolled out on a quick-paced convoy to get on the North Luzon Expressway. The 2.0 on its model name stands for the displacement of its engine that powers its three variants across the board. There’s a Thunder 4×2 M/T and a 4×2 A/T, and their top tier 4×4 M/T. Its 4F20 powerplant is a 4-cylinder inline, Turbocharged Diesel engine mated to either a 6-speed Manual, or an 8-speed Automatic transmission. Power output is rated at 161hp at 4,000 RPM, and 380Nm of Torque at 1800 RPM for the 2WD variants, while the 4×4 variant has a bit more Torque push at 390Nm. 

Foton Bacolor hosted the media briefing on the Foton Thunder 2.0
The fleet of Foton Thunder 2.0 pickups at the Foton Assemby Plant in Clark, Pampanga.

Right off the bat, the assertiveness of the acceleration was apparent, as with the smooth power delivery, minimal hiccups on the shifting as we toggled between cruising and overtaking maneuvers, zipping in and out of the middle lane and fast lane, revealing the Thunder’s predictably positive handling. There’s minimal body roll and the NVH levels were at a minimum, in fact very good for a pick-up truck. Its new 2.0-liter diesel engine proved to be one of the quietest in its class, even when punching the throttle for quick downshifts as we leap-frogged to keep the pace. The six-way leather-clad power adjustable front seats were comfortable, well-bolstered, and dialing to your most ideal driving position is a cinch. The controls on the well-designed dashboard were straightforward and laid out well, you’d feel right at home in a snap. The 10.25-inch wide display interface was sharp and vivid even in stark lighting conditions.

We arrived at the Foton Bacolor dealership in good time, and were warmly welcomed by Foton Motor Philippines, Inc. general manager Levy Santos, who gave us a more thorough briefing on the all-new Thunder 2.0. What wasn’t immediately obvious on our first drive is the myriad of active safety features built-in as standard on the three variants, with some exclusive for the 4×2, and the 4×4 respectively. If you know your automotive acronyms, you’ll know the Thunder 2.0 is full-featured, and well-equipped with ABS+EBD+TCS, including Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Brake Assist, Hill-Descent and Hill-Hold Control, as well as a Collision Warning system and a Pedestrian Protection feature.  The all-new Thunder 2.0 is equipped with a double-wishbone suspension system up front, and leaf springs at the rear. At speed, the Thunder 2.0 felt well-planted even on tight curves, despite its tall ride height. The ride comfort was nominal, better up front than at the rear on less than perfect roads considering it’s a truck, but arguably more comfortable than its leading competition.

Foton’s reliability and viability for business has been proven by their healthy growth in sales, especially with their commercial vehicles making good headway in the construction, logistics and hospitality industries. With the all-new Thunder 2.0, the private sector now has a compelling option for a very capable, good looking and reliable pick-up truck. The Thunder 2.0 is completely assembled locally in their ISO-certified Foton Plant in Mabalacat, Pampanga. With this new release, Foton’s range of nameplates make for an even more potent line-up of vehicles that the market can take advantage of at very reasonable SRP’s.

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Foton Motor PH general manager Levy Santos 

You can check out the entire range of Foton vehicles, including the all-new Thunder 2.0 at the Foton Big Show 2023. There, their fully-electric light duty truck will also be unveiled, the first-ever in the country- promoting sustainability and environment-friendliness at an attainable cost. The Foton Big Show 2023 will happen at the World Trade Center in Pasay City this February 10-12, 2023. It’s your chance to get a great deal on your next, or first Foton, especially with the Thunder 2.0, which is priced at P1,180,000 for the 4×2 M/T, P1,350,000 for the 4×4 A/T, and P1,298,000 for the 4×4 M/T.

Now it’s your turn to roar.