With the debut of the 2022 Ford Maverick last week, the Blue Oval has expanded their pickup lineup beyond the well-loved F-150 and Ranger models. While this new compact truck has the potential to win over a ton of first time truck customers, not everyone will get behind the idea of its unibody platform. Fortunately for those who prefer a traditional truck layout, the aging Ford Ranger is slated to be replaced by a new generation for the 2023 model year. We’ve learned that the automaker is developing several models for the new generation, including a Ranger Raptor and a hybrid model. Thanks to a new trademark filing submitted to the USPTO however, we now know that Ford is considering bringing back a Ranger package from decades past. More specifically, it appears that the Ford Ranger Splash could be coming back with the 2023 update as an electric vehicle.
The Original Ford Ranger Splash
The Ford Ranger Splash first made its debut back in 1993, during the high-era of the muscle truck. The appearance package included styling changes such as a flareside bed, slightly lower suspension, body-color bumpers, unique wheels, and some slick “Splash” exterior graphics. It may not have been as heralded as the F-150 Lightning of its day, but the Ford Ranger Splash is a favorite among the compact truck’s fans. It was a bit of a mini-Lightning, if you will.
Regardless of what the truck looked like in the 1990s, the new Ford Ranger Splash appears to be something else entirely. In the trademark filing submitted on June 9, Ford gave us a good hint as to what we can expect from the new model. Namely, the automaker specifically mentions the package nameplate is slated for use with pickup trucks and electric vehicles:
“Goods and Services IC 012. US 019 021 023 031 035 044. G & S: 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”
An Electric Ford Ranger?
Based on Ford’s future business plans, the concept of an electric Ranger isn’t that surprising. The F-150 is now available with an EV powertrain, and the Maverick looks like it will receive the same treatment. Interestingly enough however, both the Ford Ranger Splash and the F-150 Lightning made their initial debuts in 1993. With the latter nameplate now representing an electric pickup, perhaps Ford intends to keep the 1990s nostalgia going with the electric Ranger model as well. Like the new Lightning, we can expect the electric Ranger variant to be the most potent in the range, outperforming even the rumored 362 horsepower and 501 lb-ft of torque on offer from the hybrid. Of course it is also possible that this name will be affixed to the hybrid, but that seems unlikely with PowerBoost being a recent addition to Ford’s repertoire.
There is still plenty of time before the 2023 Ford Ranger makes its debut, during which point we’ll certainly learn more about the upcoming models. That said, this particular trademark filing has our attention for the moment.
If the Ford Ranger Splash returns as an EV, perhaps other automakers will get in on the muscle-truck-turned-electric-vehicle trend. However, if we were to place bets, we’d wager that a midsize electric pickup truck will likely be called the Ford Ranger Lightning. This is because it’s hard to relate an aquatic-themed name of a vehicle to something that would have its output measured in kiloWatts. Anybody that’s played Pokémon knows that electric and water types don’t mix.
Whatever the “Splash” ends up being, we certainly wouldn’t mind seeing the performance truck segment reborn with the same supercar-slaying level of performance as they once had.