Ford looks set to use another 90's name on a future model.
Ford made a huge splash when it reintroduced the F-150 Lightning as an all-electric pickup truck. Attaching the Lightning name to a vehicle powered by electricity was a stroke of genius, but it may not make as much sense for Ford's other trucks. The Ford Ranger never spawned a Lightning variant in the past, so we don't think Ford will attach this name to the rumored electric version. Instead, a new trademark application from Ford could hint at the electric Ranger reviving a different trim from the 1990s.
Ford recently filed for the name "Splash" with the USPTO on June 12, 2021. The trademark 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."
For those who don't remember, the Ford Ranger Splash was a sporty variant with a flareside bed. It featured lowered suspension, body-colored bumpers, and grille, and unique "Splash" decals. Rear-wheel-drive models rode on steel wheels, while the four-wheel-drive ones received steelies. The Ranger Splash isn't as well-remembered as the F-150 Lightning, but it's still a cool name to revive.
The mention of "electric vehicles" in the description seems like a tell-tale sign that Ford won't use the "Splash" name the same way it back in 1993. If it is used for the upcoming electric Ranger, it's unclear how much power it will produce. Since the F-150 Lightning produces more power than any gas-powered F-150, we expect the same from the Ranger Splash. Rumors suggest the next-generation Ranger Hybrid will produce 362 horsepower and 501 lb-ft of torque, so the electric version should have an even greater output with at least a 300-mile range.
Very few pickup trucks in 2021 offer a sporty, street-focused variant like the original Ranger Splash, so we strongly believe this will be the name for the electric Ranger or possibly the hybrid model. Of course, the trademark leaves open the possibility for an off-road vehicle or equipment package. Ford is already working on the next-generation Ranger, which will also spawn a Volkswagen pickup truck. The new Ranger should arrive sometime in 2022 as a 2023 model year vehicle.