A Glimpse into Ford's Future

Ford has unveiled the Atlas Concept, a vehicle it says is intended to showcase the 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.

The vehicle incorporates prominent wheel arches, a wide stance and a chiseled grille. Designers enhanced 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 functionality for a variety of jobs.

The interior is equipped with thin, lightweight leather seating with 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 stylish.

Leading fuel efficiency

The Atlas Concept includes a next-generation EcoBoost powertrain, which introduces truck-enhanced Auto Start-Stop engine shutoff technology. Auto Start-Stop shuts off the engine when stopped in traffic to save fuel, and suspends the feature when the truck is towing.

EcoBoost engines use gasoline direct injection and turbocharging to deliver fuel economy gains of up to 20% and a reduction of CO2 emissions of up to 15%, compared with larger-displacement engines.

Further fuel savings are achieved through the following combination of active aerodynamic elements that reduce wind resistance:

  • Active Grille Shutters: Automatic shutters behind the grille stay open when extra engine cooling is needed, such as during low-speed stop-and-go driving or while working in hot weather. The shutters automatically close to improve aerodynamics when cruising at steady highway speeds.
  • Active Wheel Shutters: Automatic shutters in the wheels are hidden to 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.
  • Drop-Down Front Air Dam: 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, which is helpful for off-roading.
  • Power Running Boards: Auto-deploying running boards help passengers enter the truck when it is at rest and tuck up against the truck when it is moving to improve aerodynamics and ground clearance.

These features save more than 2 mpg on the highway without diminishing towing or hauling capability.

Work and play smarter, not harder

The Atlas Concept showcases features designed to improve capability, durability and productivity to meet the diverse needs of pickup truck owners. Features include:

  • Dual-Purpose Tailgate Step and Cargo Cradle: The Tailgate Step now includes the ability to act as a cargo cradle — lifting and holding extra-long cargo items above the truck and freeing valuable bed space.
  • Trailer Backup Assist: This feature allows drivers to back a trailer with the twist of a knob.
  • Dynamic Hitch Assist: Dynamic Hitch Assist helps precisely line up the truck’s hitch with the trailer coupling, showing visual cues in the truck’s center display screen.
  • 360° Point-of-View Camera: The 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.
  • LED Headlamps and Taillamps: Advanced LED lighting offers better road illumination than conventional halogen or HID lights and lasts longer. LED lamps also offer near-instant response, giving extra warning time for following traffic.
  • LED Cargo Box and Side Mirror Lighting: Advanced LED lighting brightly lights the cargo box and jobsite 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. ET