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The mysterious world of automaker patents and trademarks is buzzing today with two letters and a number: RS and 200. We learned recently Ford has applied for the RS200 trademark in Europe, reigniting the flames of hope that a redux of the original rally-bred homologation special might soon reach production. Though we wouldn’t count on it. Here’s why.

Automakers frequently trademark all kinds of names, and oftentimes we never see anything come of it. Yes, a plethora of new names can preview a new model or trim level being considered. Reupping old names can suggest a revival is imminent, but old names also have brand equity. Depending on the name, it could be worth renewing a trademark simply to protect that equity. And it should be painfully obvious that RS200 has gobs of equity for Ford.

The original Ford RS200 was a product of Group B, an era in the mid-1980s when the World Rally Championship went crazy with hilariously overpowered race cars disguised as street-legal econoboxes. To partake in the insanity, automakers needed a certain number of actual street cars to meet homologation requirements for the series.

That’s how the Ford RS200 was born. It made 250 horsepower in road-going trim from a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. In race trim, the mill was boosted to around 450 hp. That doesn’t sound like much today, but don’t be fooled. The RS200 was a mid-engine, 2,600-pound race car with all-wheel drive. It was a rocket ship. So if you’re wondering why seeing an RS200 trademark from Ford sends our hearts all aflutter, that’s it.

At this time, there’s no indication of anything happening with Ford regarding an actual car, but we can dream. This is likely just a case of the automaker protecting the name, and rightfully so. The last thing the world needs is a five-seat electric crossover with RS200 badges on it.

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