Ford Thunderbird returning? New trademark filed for the iconic name

Ford has a history of resurrecting classic names

The Ford Bronco is back, but can a Thunderbird be circling overhead?

(Ford)

Ford has filed a new trademark application for the "Thunderbird," suggesting a possible return of the storied nameplate.

MuscleCarsAndTrucks.com discovered the submission, which states that it covers "motor vehicles, namely, concept motor vehicles; four-wheeled motor vehicles," rather than parts or merchandise.

Ford hasn't confirmed any plans for such a model, and automakers often protect their unused IP by updating trademarks, but it has shown a penchant for resurrecting its legacy names in recent years.

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Along with the Bronco Sport and upcoming Bronco, Ford also reinstituted the use of proper names across the Lincoln lineup, pulling Continental, Aviator and Corsair out of the archives.

Thunderbird, which was last used in 2005, could potentially find its way onto a future electric car, similar to how the Mustang is being used on the Mustang Mach-E SUV and GMC is rebooting HUMMER.

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Ford is planning to introduce 20 electric models worldwide by 2025, but only an F-150 and the Mustang Mach-E have been confirmed by name.