A fresh report out of Australia says Ford has filed a global trademark application for the “Puma” nameplate, leading to speculation the badge will be revived for the upcoming "baby Bronco".

According to GoAuto, the Blue Oval brand lodged the application – which makes specific reference to “four-wheel-drive vehicles and sports utility vehicles” – towards the end of October 2018.

Ford once used the Puma badge on a German-built, front-wheel-drive compact coupé produced between 1997 and 2002 and offered exclusively in Europe.

The “baby Bronco” (which will slot in below the new Bronco that will be build alongside the US-spec Ranger in North America) is expected to debut in 2019, complete with off-road-inspired styling that tips its hat in the direction of the original Bronco that debuted in the mid-1960s.

In August 2018, a high-ranking Ford executive confirmed the small SUV would ride on a version of the new modular platform underpinning the latest Focus.

According to Reuters, Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s executive vice president of product development and purchasing, made the announcement at an investor conference in the United States.

The new model, the report added, would share parts with both the fourth-generation Focus and the upcoming next-generation Kuga (or Escape, as it’s known in some parts of the world).

Interestingly, earlier reports suggested the new small SUV would be called the “Maverick”. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to find out exactly what Ford will christen its “baby Bronco”...