Ford Australia has been busy with the paperwork at the trademark office, and the latest potential teasers concern its Ranger pickup.
Following the carmaker’s application to reserve the ‘Sprint’ name once again, perhaps for a trio of special edition swansongs for its performance Falcon XR variants, Ford has now filed to apply the ‘Raptor’ and ‘FX4’ titles to the Ranger.
The Raptor name is most commonly associated with the F-150 pickup in the US, with its menacing grill featuring ‘FORD’ in large block letters becoming something of a trademark in itself. (And a popular aftermarket upgrade for Ranger owners.)
But as the F-150 is not offered in an official capacity in the Australian market (Queensland's Performax International will happily sell you the larger F-250), Ford may instead choose to beef up the Ranger for a new special edition model.
A Ranger Raptor would almost certainly be offered exclusively with 4WD, and could add standard off-road features such as a snorkel, side steps and sports bars.
As the 4WD Ranger outsold its 2WD sibling by almost three-to-one last month, which is typical of the Rangers usual sales pattern, this would make commercial sense if nothing else.
Raised suspension is not out of the question, and a bull-bar and all-terrain or mud and snow tyres would be other likely options.
Ford’s plans for the FX4 name are a mystery for now, but the carmaker may simply be putting the name in the bank for use on a future variant or limited edition model.
In the US, the FX4 badge comes with a package that adds off-road goodies to the standard setup.
Ford detailed its next Ranger Wildtrak (pictured above) last week, which was originally set to serve as the range-topping model in Australia. Whether its place will be taken by a Ranger Raptor or FX4 in the future remains to be seen.
Stay tuned to TMR for more.