Ford files to trademark 'Adrenaline' and 'Badlands' names

How they might be put to use

Last September, Ford filed to trademark the name "Adrenaline" in Canada and Mexico. This month, Ford Authority discovered applications submitted July 17 to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the names "Adrenaline" and "Badlands." The applicable categories for the monikers are “Land motor vehicles, namely, passenger automobiles, pick-up trucks, sport utility vehicles,” and the generic natures of the words means we don't have a shoo-in for use, unlike as with the trademark requests for Bronco Scout and Bronco Sport also filed this year. If Adrenaline and Badlands see any use, though, the leading contenders to earn the name are pickup trucks or the Mustang-based electric crossover.

The carmaker already has a relationship with the word Adrenalin — yes, minus the "e." In 1996, Ford showed the rough and rugged Ranger-based Adrenalin concept, with an unusual-for-the-time crew-cab and short bed setup, sitting on 32-inch tires. That concept truck turned into the Explorer Sport Trac that commenced sales for the 2001 model year. In 2005, the SVT division trotted out "the world's first high-performance sport-utility truck (SUT)" at the New York Auto Show, called the SVT Adrenalin. It was a Sport Trac evoking the ere-ago Ford F-150 Lightning pickup, with a supercharged version of the company's 4.6-liter V8 making 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque, and with a heavy-duty six-speed transmission that could still handle a 6,000-pound tow rating. The first strains of The Great Recession put an end to the SVT version, the eventual retail Sport Trac Adrenalin nothing more than an appearance package.

Perhaps by adding the "e," Ford wants us to know a new Adrenaline will be all the show and all the go. On the other hand, Subaru used the intense and jumped-up Viziv Adrenaline concept to preview the bowl-of-oatmeal Crosstrek, so there are no guarantees. 

Whereas Adrenaline could realistically be stuck on a Mustang as well, Badlands seems destined for the pickup or sporte-ute lineup. General Motors filed for the trademark in 2015, not long after a Z71 Trail Boss trademark, back when hopes were high that GM would soon have a direct competitor to the F-150 Raptor. GM let the application die, and like a game of trademark gin rummy, Ford picked it up from the discard pile. Assuming it gets used, it seems ripe to join the growing constellation of trims like Raptor and Tremor in the pickup range.

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