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Is Ford Fixing to Make a Splash Again?

 Kyle Johnson

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Ford F-250 Super Duty - Ford F-150 Lightning - Ford F-150 - Ford Ranger Tremor - Ford Maverick
Will the Ford Ranger Splash join this lineup sometime down the road? Maybe! Definitely possibly
Photo: Ford

Sometimes, you name a vehicle something particular because you want to give it attitude. Think names like the Bronco, the Raptor, or the Mustang. And sometimes, you just gotta go with a name like Splash because — c’mon, it’s cute. And if a trademark filing for the Splash name holds any water (heh), Ford might just be bringing back one of its cutest names.

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Ford Authority reported on Monday that Ford Motor Company filed to trademark the name Splash with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on June 9. The application, bearing the serial number 90764492, covers “motor vehicles, namely, automobiles, pickup trucks, electric vehicles, sport utility vehicles, off-road vehicles, and their structural parts; vehicle equipment package consisting of wheels, exterior body parts, and seats.”

Will Ford bring back the Splash for next-gen Ranger? As an EV?

Hau Thai-Tang with Ford BEV RWD-AWD Midsize Pickup
*insert Splash here*
Photo: Ford

From this information, FA’s Alex Luft draws the conclusion that Ford is looking to revive the name for the next-generation Ranger pickup. The original Ranger Splash ran from 1993 to 1998, swapping out the conventional styleside box for a more aggressive flareside box. Ranger Splash trucks also got unique exterior graphics, a lowered suspension, and body-color bumpers and grille.

CarBuzz hones in on the trademark filing specifying electric vehicles, suggesting that this could be the name of the all-but-confirmed Ranger electric. Ford Chief Product Platform and Operations Officer Hau Thai-Tang confirmed a few weeks back that Ford will build a midsize pickup truck on its battery-electric platform.

Ford Splash concept could (read: definitely won’t) live at last

Or maybe — just maybe — Ford is reviving the Splash name to pay off the unrealized potential of the Ford Splash concept of the late 1980s. The dune buggy-like four-seater with removable windows, roof, and hatch glass was conceived as a product for twentysomethings who spent a lot of time at the beach, and that’d make it a … well, let’s not say solid, but certainly an addition to Ford’s renewed focus on off-road-capable vehicles.

Either way, bringing back the Splash in some form would line up with what Ford’s been doing of late. This year alone, Ford has revived the Lightning name for its first-ever electric F-150 and the Maverick name for its sub-$20,000 small pickup.

Will anything come of this at all? Time will tell. But if Ford does indeed revive the Splash as a truck or an EV or a beach buggy or some combination of all of the above, that means there could at last be hope for the Ford Explorer Surf.

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Kyle S. Johnson lives in Cincinnati, a city known by many as “the Cincinnati of Southwest Ohio.” He enjoys professional wrestling, Halloween, and also other things. He has been writing for a while, and he plans to continue to write well into the future. See more articles by Kyle.