Fans of the Ford Mustang didn't take it well earlier this year when Ford suggested it might call its upcoming 300-mile electric SUV the Mach 1.
Now new trademark filings discovered by The Drive show a new possibility for the name: the "Mach E" or the "Mach-E." Ford filed trademark applications for both names on Nov. 26, the report notes, for use on "motor vehicles, namely, electric vehicles, passenger automobiles, trucks, sport utility vehicles, off-road vehicles, and structural parts, fittings, and badges therefor; metal license plate frames"—all the things Ford sells.
Mach 1 was the name of one of the high-performance, racing versions of the Mustang in 1969 and has become one of the most revered by collectors.
When it first hinted about their upcoming SUV, Ford said it wanted the car to evoke Mustang performance and gave it Mustang-like styling.
At an event in March where the company showed some journalists a styling buck of the car, the company said it aimed to give the SUV the off-road performance of its F-150 Raptor pickup, inspired by Baja 1000 off road racing.
To drive the point home, the company suggested it might call its new electric SUV the Mach 1, though it admitted the suggestion was just a trial balloon to see how buyers might react.
When fans of the original Mustang howled in protest, Ford announced it would drop the name, but didn't immediately suggest a replacement.
It's possible that the Mach E (or Mach-E) name could be applied to a new hybrid version of the Mustang coupe, which Ford has also said is under development. The vehicle that's become known as "the 300-mile electric SUV," however, seems more glaringly in need of a good name—and soon. It is scheduled to go on sale as early as the end of 2019 as a 2020 model.
Green Car Reports' partners at Motor Authority reached out to Ford for comment on the trademark filings.
"Trademark applications are intended to protect new ideas but aren’t necessarily an indication of new business or product plans,” said Ford spokesman Mike Levine.