When GM unveiled the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra, Ford announced that at the 2013 NAIAS it will bring a concept version of the upcoming F-150 in order to make the buyers wait for its pickup. Well, looking at the Ford Atlas Concept we can say that FoMoCo made us think for the moment as the new concept that previews the next-generation F-150 is impressive.
According to the official press release, the Ford Atlas Concept showcases the design, capability, fuel efficiency and smart technology that will define its next pickup trucks. If the exterior design is impressive, the interior continues the same theme and comes with structural styling cues and features the latest thinking in comfort, utility and refinement.
The new Atlas Concept features a next-generation EcoBoost powertrain, which includes truck-enhanced Auto Start-Stop engine shutoff technology. This feature shuts off the engine when stopped in traffic but smartly suspends this feature when the truck knows it is towing.
In order to make it more fuel-efficient, the Atlas Concept comes with Active Grille shitters (keeps the grille opened when extra engine cooling is needed and closes it when aerodynamics need to be improved), Active Wheel Shutters (automatic shutters in the wheels are hidden to improve style at rest and low speeds, but close at highway to improve aerodynamics), Drop-Down Front Air Dam (a front wind spoiler lowers at highway speds in order to improve underbody airflow), Power Running Boards (these help passengers enter the truck at ret and tuck up when the vehicle is moving to improve aerodynamics).
The Ford Atlas Concept is fitted with various features that are able to enhance productivity, durability, and capability. With this, the Atlas Concept is able to meet the rather diverse demands of many pickup truck owners. The brand also put in a number of features that, when combined with the active aerodynamic elements, help lower wind resistance and help lower fuel costs. The first are the Active Grille Shutters which have automatic shutters positioned just behind the grille. In situations like running at low speed or even stop-and-go driving, the grille continues to be open allowing the engine to get that additional cooling air.
The same is true when driving in hot weather. When running at steady speeds on the highway, the shutters are able to close automatically and thus enhance aerodynamics. Another such feature is the Active Wheel Shutters. These shutters are automatic as well and placed on the wheels. However, they have been hidden so as to help enhance the vehicle’s style when on low speeds or at rest. Like the grille shutters, they close immediately upon reaching highway speeds and thus improve the Atlas Concept’s aerodynamics.
The shutters are powered with self-charging batteries and utilize energy using the motion of the wheels. Third feature is the Drop-Down Front Air Dam, a drop-down wind spoiler in the front which, when at highway speeds, lowers to help improve the airflow on the underbody. At lower speeds, the air dam goes up to enhance ground clearance, advantageous when going off-road.
Finally, there are the Power Running Boards. These running boards are able to deploy automatically allowing passengers to get inside when not moving. Once the truck does move, it folds against the vehicle and thus improves both ground clearance and aerodynamics. All of these features ensure that the Ford Atlas Concept is able to at least save 2 mpg highway and not at the expense of hauling or towing capability.