Is it something new or a rebranding of an existing product?

Some super sleuthing by GM Authority discovered GM filed a new trademark that could hint at a new all-wheel-drive system. Filed Sept. 20, the trademark filing from GM is for “Sport Control AWD.” It’s a fairly standard filing with few details. 

The Sport Control AWD trademark encompasses “All-wheel drive systems and electronic stability control systems for vehicles; steering systems for vehicles; traction control systems for vehicles; suspension systems for vehicles; braking systems for vehicles; vehicles; apparatus for locomotion by land, air or water; parts, fittings, and components thereof.” That leaves a wide-open door for interpretation. 

GM's trademark and patent filing frenzy:

While Sport Control AWD sounds fancy, it could be nothing more than a rebranding for an existing system. As GM Authority points out, GM’s Sport Control AWD sounds similar to Super-Handling AWD used by Honda/Acura. Branding an all-wheel-drive system isn’t uncommon, especially for luxury automakers. BMW has xDrive, Audi has Quattro, and Mercedes has 4Matic. Those are well-known monikers for all-wheel drive, and GM getting in on the name game can’t hurt. 

However, we don’t have any more details beyond the initial filing. Maybe it’s a name for something new, or maybe GM is just branding its current system to drum up brand identity. Looking at other luxury automakers with branded all-wheel-drive systems, giving Cadillac or Buick its own branded system couldn’t hurt. In the world of luxury cars, the brand is everything, and it couldn’t hurt the luxury automaker. 

Then again, we may not see anything come from this filing. Sometimes, automakers file trademarks to protect their intellectual property. Other times, they file a trademark with the intention of unveiling a new product, but for some reason, it doesn’t come to fruition, and it dies in development. 

In any case, GM has trademarked Sport Control AWD, and we'll have to wait to see what exactly it is. 

Source: GM Authority