Ford Ranger owners and fans, salute your taikor! This is the Ford Atlas Concept that the Blue Oval wheeled out for the 2013 NAIAS in Detroit and it gives us a sneak peek at the future of the Ford F-150. The F-Series pick-up truck has been America’s best selling vehicle for the longest time, 30 years to be exact.
“The Ford Atlas Concept previews the innovations that will transform what people expect from their pickup,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “With 36 years as America’s best-selling pickup, we are absolutely committed to setting the agenda in the truck market.”
So what exactly does Atlas preview? On the work front, multiple tie-down points are integrated within the cargo box walls and load floor, along with 110-volt electrical outlets in the cargo box to charge power tools. An integrated roof carrying system and hidden extendable ramps give the truck added functionality.
Hitching a trailer can be time consuming and difficult, but Dynamic Hitch Assist helps precisely line up the truck’s hitch with the trailer coupling, eliminating maneuvering guesswork by showing visual cues in the truck’s center display screen. There’s also a 360-degree point-of-view camera, a Ford truck first.
Hidden cargo ramps stowed below the cargo box can be quickly removed and set up to assist with loading wheeled items into the bed – from landscaping equipment to dirt bikes.
The Ford Atlas Concept features a next-gen EcoBoost powertrain, which introduces truck-enhanced Auto Start-Stop tech, which suspends the feature when the truck is towing. No other details were released. Ford says that over 500,000 EcoBoost engines have been sold globally, including 250,000 in the Ford F-150.
FC is also improved via Focus-style Active Grille Shutters and Active Wheel Shutters. In the latter, automatic shutters in the wheels are hidden to improve style at rest/low speeds, but automatically close at highway speeds to improve aerodynamics. Self-charging batteries use energy from the wheels’ motion to power the shutters.
There’s also a Drop-Down Front Air Dam, which is a front wind spoiler that lowers at highway speeds to improve underbody airflow. The air dam is raised at low speeds to improve ground clearance. Auto-deploying running boards help passengers enter the truck at rest and tuck up against the truck when it is moving to improve aerodynamics and ground clearance.
The clever ideas are all good, but just look at it – macho to the max!