Foton Philippines is cooking up something at this year's Manila International Auto Show (MIAS). While the brand is more known for selling commercial vehicles, Foton also sells light commercial vehicles as passenger models.
One of its offerings is the Thunder. On-sale in the Philippines for the past years, it replaced the Blizzard as Foton's pickup truck in the market. It received a facelift back in 2019 (as a 2020 model) but it has yet to be succeeded by an all-new model.
Luckily, it seems Foton will be revealing the next-generation pick-up next week at the annual auto show. Based on a teaser photo they posted recently, they will be taking the covers off the 2022 Thunder soon. Despite being partially hidden, it's clear that the Thunder will get a brand new look. Not only will it get LED daytime running lights, but it will get redesigned headlights, new foglights, as well as what appears to be a F-O-R-D-inspired grille.
No other details and specs have been revealed by Foton. However, a quick peek at other markets gives us a better look at the 2022 Thunder.
Also called the Tunland in international markets, the pick-up truck's new face appears to have been inspired by the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger. Meanwhile, the rear looks like it has some styling cues from the Nissan Navara thanks to the taillight design. On high-grade models, the 2022 Thunder truck gets LED daytime running lights, stylish alloy wheels, a sports bar on the bed, 4x4 decals, and turn signals on the side mirrors.
Open the doors, and the truck gets a simple and modern interior. It comes available with full-leather seats, red piping accents, faux metal finishes, and even a leather-padded dashboard for good measure. There's even a touchscreen infotainment system and what looks like an automatic climate control system.
Under the hood, the new Thunder is powered by a new turbo-diesel engine. Instead of the tried-and-tested 2.8-liter Cummins, it's now powered by a 2.0-liter Aucan turbo-diesel inline-four that makes 161 PS with 390 Nm of torque. It's then paired to a six-speed manual transmission and is available either as a 4x4 or a 4x2 pickup truck.
With Foton set to debut the all-new Thunder locally next week, we're curious as to whether the PH-spec pickup truck will get a new 2.0-liter under the hood, or will Foton keep the familiar 2.8-liter Cummins and 6-speed automatic powertrain. Watch this space.