Ford Motor Company could be fixing to name one of its future vehicles “Maverick”, according to a trademark application published just recently, reviving a nameplate last seen in North America on a compact, rear-wheel-drive car sold throughout most of the 1970s. The automaker first filed to trademark the name with the US Patent and Trademark Office back in December, 2016, and the application was finally published on April 17th.
While most Americans readily associate the “Maverick” name with a RWD compact car, Ford’s apparent interest in reviving the name doesn’t necessarily signal that it’s readying to introduce anything of the sort today. During the 2000s, the moniker was used on the European- and Chinese-market versions of the first-generation Ford Escape crossover, and as the automaker focuses ever-more intently on that segment, Maverick seems much more likely in North America to be the name of a new CUV than a rear-drive sedan.
In fact, the most likely candidate to get the name appears to be the unnamed small off-road utility vehicle Ford teased back in March. That model will join the Bronco and the Ranger FX4 in bolstering Ford’s appeal among off-roading enthusiasts, allowing Ford to better tap into a demographic that could all but replace the performance car enthusiasts catered to by the Fiesta ST, Focus ST, and Focus RS.
In addition to “Maverick”, Ford has also moved to trademark the name “Timberline”, filing an application with the USPTO in January of this year. That outoorsy-sounding name, too, could describe Ford’s future small off-roader. Or, it could be used on a particular model or equipment package of a Ford vehicle.
(Source: Car and Driver)