Including the Capri, Escort, and more.
Automakers often submit trademark filings to protect a name before revealing a new model. Ford did just that when it filed to protect the Maverick name back in 2016, eventually releasing the 2022 Ford Maverick pickup truck earlier this year. Not every trademark ends up making it onto a production car, but it's worth noting the Blue Oval also filed to secure the Thunderbird name with the USPTO.
Ford may just want to ensure its classic monikers don't fall into the hands of another automaker, but a recent bombardment of trademark filings with the EUIPO and UKIPO lead us to believe the American automaker may bring back at least one nameplate from its past. On December 23, 2021, Ford filed for a whopping five trademarks of the following vehicles:
One of only two models on this list to sell in the United States, the Ford Escort was the company's entry-level car before the Fiesta existed. Our North American Escort was nothing special, but Europe received countless sporty versions that are all sought after classics today. Some of these include the RS2000, RS 1600i, XR3i, RS 1700T, and RS Cosworth. If the Cosworth ever came back, we'd like to see it revived as a sporty electric hot hatchback.
Long before Ford made the Fusion (or Mondeo in Europe), there was the Cortina. This humble family saloon lasted five generations from 1962 to 1982 before being replaced by the Sierra. Most Cortina variants wouldn't move the needle for a classic Ford fan, except for the Ford Cortina Lotus. This version used a twin-cam Lotus engine and received special tuning from the UK sports car manufacturer. Since Ford and Lotus no longer have ties, it's hard to imagine any interesting modern cars using this name, maybe a mid-size EV of some kind.
While Ford lovers in America got the Mustang, European Blue Oval fanatics lusted over the Capri. Based on the Mk2 Cortina, the Capri sold nearly two million units from 1968 to 1986. Much like how the Mustang Mach-E brought a classic sports car name to an electric SUV, the Capri name seems ripe for an EV revival of some kind. Ford already sells the Mach-E in the UK and Europe, so perhaps the Capri could be a smaller model in the lineup.
Though Ford offered a Granada in the US and Europe, the two cars were not related at all. The original North American version came as a coupe that replaced the Maverick, eventually spawning full-size sedan and wagon variants before Ford replaced it with the LTD, and later the Taurus. In Europe, the Granada was marketed as an executive sedan to replace the Ford Zephyr. It was sold under various names, including Consul, Scorpio, and in the US market, the Merkur Scorpio. If it came back today, we could imagine the Granada being a full-size premium EV of some kind.
Last and likely least on this list, the Ford Orion was a compact car that succeeded both the Escort and Cortina without reaching the heights set by either. The Orion arrived at a point when affordable cars were shifting to front-wheel-drive, but before hot hatchbacks became popular. It never spawned a cool Cosworth variant, though the Orion 1.6i did share an engine with the Escort XR3i. Of all the cars on this list, the Orion is the one we'd care the least to see again today.