The drive to raise new-car fuel economy in the face of tightening global emissions standards has brought a glut of green brand names for fuel-saving technologies and powertrains.
So far, few have achieved the level of recognition enjoyed by Ford's EcoBoost brand--which has grown into a line of turbocharged engines ranging from a 1.0-liter three-cylinder to 3.5-liter V-6.
Now, Ford appears to be taking things even further: It is attempting to trademark the name "EcoBeast."
2014 Ford Fiesta ST
An application was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office December 22 under the Goods and Services category for "automobiles and automobile engines," according to Motrolix.
While the application doesn't hint at the potential use of the name, the aggressive connotations of EcoBEAST would seem to point toward a performance vehicle.
It's actually not too hard to imagine a performance vehicle built around an EcoBoost powertrain, because Ford already has a few of them.
The redesigned 2015 Mustang is available with a 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, and turbocharged fours offered in the sporty Focus ST and Fiesta ST also share the EcoBoost name.
So does the turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 offered in the Taurus SHO performance sedan, for that matter.
2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost
In fact, we couldn't think of any turbocharged gasoline engine offered in a North American Ford model that isn't called "EcoBoost," regardless of whether it falls more on the Eco side (like the Fiesta's three-cylinder) or on the Boost side (the snorting V-6 in the Taurus SHO).
An EcoBeast vehicle would presumably be even more, err, beastly than these models, which are now pitched as offering a balance between performance and efficiency.
That could mean a new, more hardcore version of one of the existing performance EcoBoost powertrains--or perhaps something entirely new.
Ford Performance plans to launch 12 additional models globally between now and 2020, so there should be plenty of opportunities to use the EcoBeast name on a new vehicle.