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Redesigned 2015 Ford F-150 Previewed by Ford Atlas Concept

1/17/2013
Ford calls the Atlas Concept "the future vision for pickup trucks," and industry observers widely believe it is a preview of what the redesigned 2015 Ford F-150 will offer in the middle of this decade. The automaker introduced the Ford Atlas Concept truck at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

"We wanted the Atlas Concept to reflect how Ford trucks help customers in both their worlds--professionally and personally," said J Mays, Ford Group Vice President and Chief Creative Officer. "Every surface and feature in the vehicle has been crafted for purpose and capability while retaining an unmistakable Built Ford Tough look."

Ford points to the Atlas Concept's "prominent wheel arches, wide stance and chiseled grille" as examples of the truck's "purpose-driven design." The Atlas Concept also features LED lighting for the headlights, taillights, side mirrors, and cargo box. Inside, the Ford Atlas Concept exhibits "structural styling cues" and features floating instrumentation, control knobs and buttons that are easy to operate while wearing gloves, and integrated in-cabin storage solutions.

Ford offered few details about its next-generation, direct-injected, turbocharged EcoBoost engine lineup in Detroit, except to claim they will provide "leading fuel efficiency and increased capability."

To improve fuel economy, the Atlas Concept's EcoBoost engine is equipped with "truck-enhanced" automatic stop/start technology that shuts off the engine while idling in traffic or at an intersection. This feature, according to Ford, is automatically deactivated when a trailer is hitched to the Atlas Concept. Additional fuel-saving measures include active grille shutters, active wheel shutters, a power drop-down front air dam that retracts at low speeds for a better off-road approach angle, and power-deploying running boards. Together, these features improve fuel economy by a claimed 2 mpg with no impact on towing or hauling capability.

The Ford Atlas Concept also offers new features that make it easier to tow and haul payload. The cargo box's walls and floor supply multiple cargo tie-down points, and the truck features a roof-mounted cargo carrying system. Hidden cargo ramps are stowed beneath the cargo box and can be removed to quickly load wheeled items, such as motorcycles or landscaping equipment. A Dual-Purpose Tailgate Step and Cargo Cradle now lifts to hold longer items above the cargo bed, which is equipped with 110-volt power outlets that can be used to charge power tools on the job site.

Maneuverability is improved due to three new technologies. First, a 360-degree Point of View camera system shows a top-down view of the Atlas Concept and its surroundings, making it easier to move the truck in tight quarters. Second, Trailer Backup Assist is also available in the Atlas Concept, a "segment-first innovation," the automaker claims, designed to assist with what Ford says "is often the most intimidating task a truck owner can face." Last, Dynamic Hitch Assist works like a reversing camera to help line a truck up with a trailer receiver on the first try.

"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."

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