When the first spy shots of an aggressive-looking Ford Bronco surfaced, the instant buzz was that it would be a hopped-up version called Raptor. And why not? Raptor is now synonymous with Blue Oval off-roaders, but then rumors surfaced that it would actually be called Warthog. Now, it's possible that name is off the list, too.

Unfortunately, there isn't much to go on at this point to support another name change. Ford Authority cites unnamed sources "familiar with the matter" that Dearborn executives aren't keen on trying to build brand equity with a new name. They would prefer to use something that already has familiarity and recognition, though the report stops short of offering any additional insight. And with the hardcore Bronco still obscured in camouflage, Ford obviously isn't talking on the matter.

Of course brand equity is important, and the no-brainer name from the beginning would be Bronco Raptor. Then in September 2020, we uncovered a trademark application from Ford for the name Warthog. The application offered no direct connection to Bronco, but then in December, a letter from a Ford supplier mentioned Bronco Warthog by name, seemingly wrapping up the rumor with a neat bow on the top. This new report certainly backtracks on that, but Ford does have at least some history with name changes late in the game. Remember back in the late 2000s when the ho-hum Ford Five Hundred sedan suddenly became the Ford Taurus overnight?

Gallery: Ford Bronco Warthog Four-Door New Spy Photos

Whatever it's called, we suspect the amped-up Bronco will make a name for itself. The standard Bronco already has a very strong following, and Ford is tickled to death with the high rate of Bronco reservations to sales. Nearly 200,000 reservations were made when the off-roader debuted, and as of late March, over 65 percent of those followed through with a purchase.

Now, the Bronco just needs to reach dealerships. The process has been fraught with delays due to COVID, and most recently, the global chip shortage. The latest update is that the Jeep Wrangler competitor should still get into showrooms and buyers' garages this summer.

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