Ford Atlas Concept Debuts at NAIAS

By Staff Contributor.

Ford Atlas Concept is the future vision for pickup trucks debuted at the North American International Automobile Show showcased its design, capability, fuel efficiency and smart technologies that will define future pickup trucks.

“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.”

The Ford Atlas Concept is inspired by decades of listening to customers at the places they work and play. The result is a design with prominent wheel arches, a wide stance and chiseled grille – all to reinforce its functional Built Ford Tough® image.

“We wanted the concept to reflect how Ford trucks help customers in both their worlds – professionally and personally,” said J Mays, Ford group vice president and CEO. “Every surface and feature has been crafted for purpose and capability while retaining an unmistakable Built Ford Tough look.”

Ford Atlas Concept

Some of the design highlights for the Ford Atlas Concept are:

Thier innovative design integrates capability and smart technologies to transform customer expectations of what Built Ford Tough® will look like in the future.

Next-generation EcoBoost® coupled with advanced engineering and design innovations help to create leading fuel efficiency and increased capability.

Trailer towing and cargo hauling include innovative features designed specifically for truck owners to improve utility and confidence.

Designers enhanced the truck functionality, with multiple tie-down points that are integrated within the cargo box walls and load floor, along with 110-volt electrical outlets in the cargo box to charge power tools, a mans best friend new feature! 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 and lightweight seating in comfortable leather allows for extra legroom for rear passengers – along with integrated storage for smaller items. “Floating” instrument pods, buttons and controls keep the interior functional and ruggedly stylish.

It also features the next-generation EcoBoost® powertrain, which introduces the truck-enhanced Auto Start-Stop engine shutoff technology. The Auto Start-Stop shuts off the engine when stopped in traffic to save fuel plus it suspends the feature when the truck knows it is towing.

Active aerodynamic elements that reduce wind resistance help the Atlas go further to save fuel. The combination of these fuel-saving features saves more than 2 mpg on the highway without diminishing towing or hauling capability.

Active Grille Shutters are automatic shutters behind the grille stay open when extra engine cooling is needed, such as working in hot weather. The shutters close to improve aerodynamics when cruising on the highway at steady speeds.

Active Wheel Shutters are Automatic shutters in the wheels are hidden to improve style at rest and low speeds, but close at highway speeds to improve aerodynamics. Self-charging batteries use energy from the wheels’ motion to power the shutters.

Drop-Down Front Air Dam is a front wind spoiler that lowers at highway speeds to improve underbody airflow. To improve ground clearance, the air dam is raised at low speeds – helpful for off-roading.

Ford Atlas Concept

Power Running Boards that auto-deploy to help passengers enter the truck at rest and tuck up against the truck when it is moving to improve aerodynamics and ground clearance.

Ford Atlas Concept

Some of the features that improve capability, durability and productivity to help meet the diverse needs of pickup truck drivers include:

• Dual-Purpose Tailgate Step and Cargo Cradle: 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

• Dynamic Hitch Assist: Hitching a trailer can be time consuming and difficult. The Dynamic Hitch Assist helps precisely line up the truck’s hitch with the trailer coupling that shows visual cues in the truck’s center display screen

• 360-Degree Point-of-View Camera: A Ford truck first, this 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

• LED Headlamps and Tail lamps: Advanced LED lighting offers better road illumination than conventional halogen or HID lights and lasts longer. This LED lamps also offer near-instant response which gives valuable extra warning time for following traffic

• LED Cargo Box and Side Mirror Lighting: Their advanced 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 and durable loading ramps stowed below the cargo box can be quickly removed, and set up to assist while loading wheeled items into the bed – from landscaping equipment to dirt bikes

(Note: All vehicles provided by manufacturers for comparison test purposes. Photos provided by Ford.)