Ford used the “Splash” badge on a sportier version of the second-year Ranger from the 90sby Sidd Dhimaan, on LISTEN 06:58
Ford’s revival of old monikers continues. After bringing back the Bronco last year and resurrecting the ‘Lightning’ nameplate for the recently-unveiled electric F-150, Ford has now filed the ‘Splash’ name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The trademark covers ‘Electric vehicles’, so we know this will be an EV. If history suggests anything, it might be the electric version of the Ranger. But, the automaker has a third pickup truck in its arsenal now – the Maverick.
This News Has Already Made A ‘Splash’
It hasn’t even been a month since the F-150 Lightning was launched and we now know that another electric product is in the works. Reviving the ‘Splash’ moniker for anything but a truck doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, so it is almost a given that it will be used on a truck.
The trademark filed with the USPTO covers “motor vehicles, namely, automobiles, pick-up trucks, electric vehicles, sport utility vehicles, off-road vehicles, and their structural parts; vehicle equipment package consisting of wheels, exterior body parts, and seats."
When Did Ford Use ‘Splash’ Earlier?
Back in 1993, Ford came up with a new model of the second-gen Ranger called the Ranger Splash.
The Splash came with a slightly lowered stance when compared to the standard Ranger.
It came with steel wheels on the rear-wheel- and an aluminum set of the four-wheel-drive models. Other than this, it came with Splash decals on the tailgate and the side of the truck.
As much as we hated the Mach-E slapped with the Mustang badge, using ‘Lightning’ for an electric truck was nothing short of genius. Not only is it clever wordplay, but it also makes use of the goodwill of the yesteryear performance truck, the SVT Lightning.
Which Truck Will The ‘Splash’ Be Used On?
Now that we already have an electric version of the F-150 called the Lightning, this leaves Ford with two choices – the Ranger or the Maverick.
’Splash’ Could Be The Most Powerful Ranger Ford Will Offer
Just like we say with the Lightning becoming the most powerful F-150 ever (563 horses and 775 pound-feet of torque), we could see the same being replicated here. The 2021 Ranger makes 270 horses and 310 pound-feet of torque. However, a Ranger plug-in hybrid is in the works. It will feature the same engine with an electric motor mated to it.
The Ranger hybrid is expected to churn out 362 horses and 502 pound-feet of torque. A Ranger Raptor is also apparently heading Stateside. It is said to come with a 2.7-liter engine that will make 325 horses and 400 pound-feet of torque. If we consider these figures as the best the Ranger has to offer, then the Ranger Splash could make more than this.
However, Ford will be careful to not intersect these figures with the F-150 Lightning’s outputs. In the lower trim, the Lightning makes 426 horses and 775 pound-feet of torque. So, our educated guess for the Ranger Splash would be around 400 horses and 550 pound-feet of torque. These are mere speculations at the moment, so take it with a pinch of salt.
Could Ford Bring Out A Maverick Splash Instead Of Ranger Splash?
Since we’ve zeroed on the fact that ‘Splash’ will be used on a pickup truck, Ford could use the Splash moniker on its brand new truck, the Maverick, too. However, the Maverick is yet to build a reputation in the market, and introducing a Maverick Splash could either make or break the case for it. Without letting the internal combustion engine model settle and mature, Ford would be risking its future and the Maverick will be used as a mere step-stool to push the Maverick Splash. So, it would be safe to rule out this option for now.
What Else Could The ‘Splash’ Badge Be Used For?
For A Ranger Package?
At this point, if it’s anything other than an electric truck, we’ll be disappointed. If you read the other categories that the trademark has been filed in, it could very well just be an off-road specific trim or package of any of the vehicles. Ford has a knack for coming up with random Ranger iterations instead of offering a Ranger Raptor once-and-for-all. Do you remember the off-road packages the automaker introduced for it, or the recent Ranger Raptor Special Edition? There’s no dearth of it. We hope ‘Splash’ is not just any other package.
Something To Do With The VW Amarok?
We know that the upcoming Volkswagen Amarok will essentially be a rebadged Ranger. Ford will build the Amarok for Volkswagen at a plant in South Africa. The alliance has big plans for the commercial vehicles business, too. Could a Ranger Splash instead be a commercial trim of the standard Ranger to boost sales and capture the mid-size commercial truck segment? Let’s hope Ford makes better use of the Splash moniker.
New Electric Truck From The Ground Up?
This is a far-fetched thought, but trucks are Ford’s forte and the company would like to establish its dominance moving forward. Ford’s brand value alone can only help draw the customer to the showrooms. If the product lacks the punch, there’s nothing it can do about it. So, instead of just electrifying the existing products,
Ford could actually build a new truck to offer to the market. This could work wonders as it will show Ford’s commitment to the electric future and pave way for many more products to come in the future.
What If The U.S.-spec Ranger Raptor Is Called Splash?
God NO! We don’t want that. ‘Ranger Raptor’ has an amazing ring to it and we wouldn’t want it to be called anything else. But, with Raptor taking multiple forms on the F-150 (standard Raptor, Raptor R V-8, and perhaps even a Lightning Raptor), we hope Ford won’t make the Raptor an exclusive F-150 sub-model nameplate. The erstwhile Ranger Splash was a sportier version of the standard Ranger. Who’s to say Ford won’t do that once again? It anyway looks like the company derives some sort of pleasure by denying us the Ranger Raptor. This way, we’ll get a Ranger Raptor without getting a Ranger ‘Raptor’. The horror!
For now, Ford has just filed the trademark for the name and there is no other news about it. We are quite excited to know where this will lead. If it’s any other package, we’ll hear soon. If it’s an electric iteration of a product or a new electric vehicle, it might still be a few years away. Perhaps, the electric segment will mature by then and could have a strong product with an impressive range on offer.
We’ve placed our bets 90:10 on the electric Ranger and the electric Maverick. With this in mind, what would you prefer - Ranger Splash or Maverick Splash? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.