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THE FUTURE OF PICKUPS

| 16/01/2013 | 0 Comments

Ford unveiled the Ford Atlas Concept to showcase the design, capability, fuel efficiency and smart technologies that will define future pickup trucks in Detroit.

Ford Atlas Concept at 2013 NAIAS“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.”

Ford Atlas ConceptInnovative design integrates capability and smart technologies to transform customer expectations – all to reinforce its functional Built Ford Tough image. Designers enhanced truck functionality, while creating new advanced features. For example, 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 unique functionality for a variety of jobs.

The interior is themed with structural styling cues and features the latest thinking in comfort, utility and refinement. Innovative, thin, lightweight seating in comfortable leather allows for extra legroom for rear passengers – along with integrated storage for smaller items. “Floating” instrument pods and glove-friendly buttons and controls keep the interior functional and ruggedly stylish.

The Ford Atlas Concept features a next-generation EcoBoost powertrain, which introduces truck-enhanced Auto Start-Stop engine shutoff technology. It shuts off the engine when stopped in traffic to save fuel – and smartly suspends the feature when the truck knows it is towing. EcoBoost engines use gasoline direct injection and turbocharging to deliver fuel-economy gains of up to 20 percent and reduction of CO2 emissions of up to 15 percent, compared with larger-displacement engines. More than 500,000 EcoBoost engines have been sold globally, including 250,000 in the Ford F-150.

The Ford Atlas Concept goes further to save fuel through a combination of active aerodynamic elements that reduce wind resistance. They include: Active Grille Shutters and Active Wheel Shutters, Drop-Down Front Air Dam and Power Running Boards.

Ford Atlas ConceptGrille shutters stay open when extra engine cooling is needed, such as during low-speed stop-and-go driving or while working in hot weather. Shutters hidden in the wheels improve style at rest and low speeds, but automatically close at highway speeds to improve aerodynamics. Self-charging batteries use energy from the wheels’ motion to power the shutters.

A drop-down front wind spoiler lowers at highway speeds to improve underbody airflow. The air dam is raised at low speeds to improve ground clearance for off-roading. Lastly, the 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.

Ford’s pickup concept is also a rolling showcase of features that improve capability and productivity, trailer towing and cargo hauling, to meet the diverse needs of pickup truck owners. The acclaimed Ford Tailgate Step goes a step further by adding the ability to also act as a cargo cradle – lifting and holding extra-long cargo items above the truck and freeing valuable bed space.

Trailer Backup Assist: This segment-first innovation allows drivers to back a trailer with the twist of a knob. Ford research shows that backing a trailer is often the most intimidating task a truck customer can face. Dynamic Hitch Assist: Hitching a trailer can be time consuming and difficult. 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.

A Ford truck first, the 360-Degree Point-of-View Camera system gives a bird’s-eye view of the truck to help position the vehicle in tight places or when there are obstacles near the truck – such as on a busy job site or grocery store parking lot.

Advanced LED lighting offers better road illumination than conventional halogen or HID lights and lasts longer. LED lamps also offer near-instant response, giving valuable extra warning time for following traffic. Also powerful yet efficient LED lighting brightly lights the cargo box and job site after the sun goes down with minimal battery drain compared to standard headlights or plug-in lights.

Hidden Cargo Ramps: Lightweight, durable loading 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.

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