Ford in Australia could expand the Ranger Raptor family to include a more affordable off-road weapon as the brand looks to "give customers what they want".
A baby Raptor has been mooted since Ford trademarked the name "FX4 Max" with the Australian Intellectual Property Office in December last year.
And while mystery still surrounds that listing, Ford Australia's president and CEO, Kay Hart, says she's now looking at other "options" in the Ranger family that could see the Raptor footprint expanded to a more affordable option.
"Our interest is in giving customers what they’re looking for, and there is clearly a segment there and a market there for a true off-road and performance vehicle," she says.
"Does that bring options across the rest of the range? Yes it does. We continue to look at where the next segments are for us."
Ford has used the name FX4 before, most recently on a special-edition model released late last year to sit between the XLT and Wildtrack models.
That model scored mostly cosmetic upgrades, and under the bonnet was Ford's existing engine options - the 3.2-litre five-cylinder diesel, or the 2.0-litre diesel engine.
But while that car was designed to sit below the Wildtrack, it is expected the FX4 Max will sit above it, creating a new rung on the Ranger ladder, right below the Ranger Raptor.
For its part, Ford is keeping its cards close its chest, suggesting an FX-4 Max won't appear in the "short term".
"We trademark a number of names around the world, and it was definitely trademarked in Australia, but there’s nothing in the short term," Hart says.