Ford stirred up a storm of speculation by asking Canada’s intellectual property office to trademark the “Thunder” nameplate in June 2022. It filed three separate applications for the Maverick Thunder, the Ranger Thunder and the F-150 Thunder, so a new trim could be around the corner.
Spotted by Motor1, the trademark application explains that the name Thunder is being claimed for motor vehicles including automobiles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. While that’s vague, and not unusual, it at least tells us that Ford isn’t planning on releasing a remote-controlled F-150 toy under the Thunder brand. And, a Thunder could nicely complement the Lightning, but we don’t think that’s what’s going on.
How about a 1990s-themed appearance package inspired by AC/DC’s 1990 hit “Thunderstruck,” complete with an in-dash cassette player? Interesting to imagine, but it’s unlikely. We’re much more likely to see a new trim level join the lineup. While the name Thunder isn’t associated with a Ford truck in the United States, it has already appeared on the Ranger in Europe. Released in 2020, the Wildtrak-based Ranger Thunder was limited to 4,500 units and characterized by Sea Gray paint with contrasting red accents and 18-inch wheels. Shown above, it was powered by a 2.0-liter twin-turbocharged diesel engine rated at 213 horsepower and a stout 368 pound-feet of torque.
Something similar could be up Ford’s sleeve: an appearance package that brings a distinct color scheme and a few edition-specific accents inside and out. The company has recently shown that it’s open to giving buyers more design-led trims and color combinations to choose from. It revealed a batch of limited-edition Ranger Splash trucks for 2022, and the 2023 F-150 gained a Heritage Edition model.
Ford hasn’t commented on the trademark filing, and it hasn’t announced plans to release a Thunder-branded variant of the Maverick, the Ranger, or the F-150. And, keep in mind that nothing guarantees the nameplate will leap out of the trademark office and land in showrooms.