Ford as trademarked the name “Puma” that could be used for their upcoming Baby Bronco.
If you remember a car called the Puma, then you’re probably a German who bought a new car between 1997 and 2002. The Puma was a compact sports car made by Ford at their German factory and was based off the fourth-gen Fiesta, of all things. It was small (as anything based on a Fiesta would be) but reasonably peppy thanks to a 1.7-L engine that was co-developed with Yamaha.
Power was rated at 153 ponies and 119 lb-ft of torque.
However, it seems highly unlikely that Ford is planning a resurrection of the Puma. First, it was only sold in Europe, and it didn’t sell particularly well there. Second, Ford has already announced that they don’t really want to make cars anymore since SUVs and pickup trucks are way more profitable.
And third, because GoAutoNews found the trademark application, and it specifically says the name is for “four-wheel drive vehicles and sports utility vehicles.”
Earlier this year, Ford announced a compact SUV that would focus on the off-road market, presumably to take a bite out of Jeep’s usual slice of pie. It would be styled after the Bronco, although having not seen the Bronco the fact the two would be related meant very little.
However, Ford did release a dark teaser image that gave us the general impression of a boxy SUV reminiscent of the Jeep Renegade, but with the Ford name emblazoned on the grille. Recently leaked images at Ford’s dealer conference in Las Vegas has done little to take away from the Renegade resemblance, right down to the circular headlights.
GoAutoNews notes that the Puma trademark doesn’t exist in Australia, so it’s possible that Ford will name the Baby Bronco different things in different places. Ford also trademarked “Maverick” earlier this year, but that could just be a high-level trim name as opposed to the new model name.
We’ll probably find out more relatively soon thanks to this leak, but until then, all speculation should be taken with a shaker of salt.