Brand equity. Before someone can buy a product, they have to know what it is, and believe it or not, sometimes this basic formula is completely overlooked by companies. Ford is guilty of this in the past – remember the Ford 500 / Taurus name-change debacle in 2007? It seems this time around, the automaker is keen to stick with a name the world already knows and loves.
That's the main reason why the fender-flared Bronco with fat tires is called Raptor, according to Muscle Cars & Trucks. The news outlet recently spoke with Bronco Marketing Manager Mark Grueber about this very topic, as there was a lengthy period where the world thought this aggressive off-roader would be called Warthog. If you recall, there were all kinds of clues supporting that name, from leaked internal documents to official trademark applications. Ultimately, Grueber told MC&T that the Raptor name was widely recognized and people knew what it meant. He goes on to say it was "developed and intended to be a Raptor."
Gallery: Ford Bronco Raptor Lightly Camouflaged Spy Shots
However, the article stops short on explaining where all the Warthog talk came from. It's possible the name was an internal designation or even an unofficial insider nickname. It's also likely that Ford was still in the decision-making process earlier on, especially since we reported on that very topic earlier this year. Warthog has a certain charm to it, but it implies something slower that crawls over obstacles. Raptor certainly conveys a faster image, especially in the world of Ford off-roaders. So yeah, brand equity wins out in the end.
How much longer will we have to wait for the Bronco Raptor to arrive? It's expected to enter production next summer, and recent spy shots show prototypes wearing just a thin camouflage body wrap. That means an official reveal could be just a couple of months or even weeks away.