Ford Trademarks 'Stormtrak' Name, Rumors of Fusion/Mondeo Successor Swell
Ford covertly patented the Stormtrak name in Europe at the tail end of 2019, potentially foreshadowing a new model that will undoubtedly bring all-wheel drive and some unnecessary body cladding. Our extended family over at AutoGuide noticed that the filing coincided with U.S. spy shots of a new midsize wagon with an abundance of ground clearance.
Could this be the aggressively-named lifestyle and activity vehicle Ford devotees have been waiting for?
The prototype spotted in Michigan certainly fits the bill for something named Stormtrak. Roughly the size of a Fusion, the wagon was first seen in October wearing the hacked-apart face of a Ford Focus — Hannibal Lecter style. The same was also true for the rear bodywork. While some were under the impression it was actually a stretched and lifted overseas Focus, rumors were already circulating in July that Ford was considering replacing the Mondeo/Fusion with something more outdoorsy and trunkless.
The next-generation Mondeo — as the Fusion is known in Europe — will likely use a stretched version of the Focus’ platform, which also underpins the new 2020 Escape. A Stormtrak version could use a lifted wagon body style, possibly with some additional plastic cladding for extra visual toughness. We’d expect the Mondeo to also borrow the new Escape’s engines, which includes a 1.5-liter three-pot turbo, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo, and a hybrid model. All-wheel drive seems like a necessity, though lower trims could come in front-drive form.
Alternately this could just be a trim, for something like the Ranger. Ford showed off a Ranger Storm concept in Brazil in 2018, after all. Either way, with the trademark filing suggests we’ll see the Stormtrak name on the back of a Ford soon enough.
With the Mondeo’s popularity starting to decline in Europe, plenty have speculated that the prototype mystery machine wearing the Focus’ face would serve as its replacement. However, considering the success of Subaru’s Outback, such a model could be fit rather nicely into the North American landscape (where the Mondeo name has limited appeal). Nobody should rule out this becoming a global product, especially considering Ford is undoubtedly losing a few sales since effectively abandoning regular passenger cars in the United States.
While there’s nothing definitive to report at the moment, the most likely scenarios involves the hypothetical Stormtrak becoming the next-generation Fusion’s answer to the Focus Active — that crossover-ized hatchback we were supposed to get, but then didn’t — if not something a bit more hardcore. Technically, Ford plans to discontinue the Fusion next year, but said that it could keep the model name around for its successor. That would make Stormtrak a variant of the new Ford Fusion, arriving after 2021.
[Image: Ford Motor Co.]
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