Goats enjoy rich metaphorical lives. In English, for instance, one can eat like a goat, get beat like a goat, have their goat gotten, get sucked into a goat rodeo, own a Pontiac GTO, and climb like a goat — and those are merely some of the safe-for-work idioms. When the caprine metaphor turns into an acronym, with periods between the letters, then we’re talking about the Greatest Of All Time. Ford could intend to combine the climbing metaphor with the acronym, based on the automaker’s request filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to secure the term “G.O.A.T. Modes.” As discovered by Ford Authority and filed on March 25 this year, the term’s usage would cover “Drive systems comprised of automatic controls for vehicle chassis and powertrain controllers, integrated as an integral part of a passenger vehicle.”
Since anything can be the goat in its field, the broadness of the term leaves us clueless about its specific use. Also, because the request specifies “modes,” plural, Ford could have vastly different vehicle applications in mind or several G.O.A.T. modes in a single vehicle. As others have noted, a G.O.A.T. driving mode could easily serve one of Ford’s current or coming off-roaders as a one-click setup enabling the best climbing or trail dexterity. Like, why wouldn’t the coming Raptor or new Bronco have a G.O.A.T. mode? Likewise, the term could just as well serve an increasingly adjustable sport car like the new Mustang Shelby GT500 for Ford GT, sharpening either car’s reflexes for the uncountable stoplight and street challenges they surely face. All we know for sure at this point — or think we know — is that we wouldn’t expect to see a G.O.A.T. Mode in an EcoSport or Escape. That could encourage the 1972 Miami Dolphins and the ghost of Babe Ruth to ally with actual goats in protest.
We’re looking forward to seeing the term no matter where it pops up, though. And if Ford becomes the first automaker to unhook driving mode names from their literal terrain names, we’re also hopeful of the new, much more exciting world this could create when flipping the Terrain Mode switch. Who could keep their hands off that dial if their console were labeled with modes like “Can of Whoopass,” “Mammal,” “Men in Black,” “GTA Side Mission 7,” “What’s Up With This Weather?,” “Gurka,” and “The Creek Done Rose!”