Originally called the 'Tunland', the model was renamed to make its moniker sound more familiar. After all, Foton does have a habit of labeling their vehicles after forces of nature. Surprisingly, the Thunder is quite the looker from all angles. But unlike some of its siblings in Foton's passenger line-up, this pickup does not resemble any other existing vehicle in the market. It definitely comes dressed it to impress with projector headlights, an enormous chrome grill, large fenders, and front fog lamps. And at 5.31 meters long, 1.88 meters wide, and 1.81 meters high, the Thunder measures bigger than the Toyota Hilux in all dimensions.
Making the Thunder rumble is a 2.8L turbo diesel engine sourced from Cummins that's clean enough for Euro IV emission standards. According to specs, it puts out 160 horsepower and 380 Nm of torque that should allow it to reach a top speed of more than 160 km/h, not that we want to find out for ourselves. It also allows this pick-up to haul up to 1,100kg of cargo, which are impressive numbers for a mid sized truck.
Foton designed and equipped the Thunder to take the competition head-on, rather than to just to become a cheap alternative. It's also up to par with the competition in terms of safety with dual front airbags, ABS+EBD, and a four-star Euro NCAP safety rating. Of course, it does have its shortcomings such as the interior's hard plastic panels and the stiff clutch pedal on the five-speed manual. But tagged at P878,000 for the 4x2 version with a five-speed manual transmission, it's cheaper than the equivalent Japanese pick-up, and most definitely a better value than the similarly-priced Blizzard. Plus, it comes with wood trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and leather seats. Pricing for the 4x4 version have yet been announced.