Ford is showcasing "the design, capability, fuel efficiency and smart technologies" that will define the future of its pickup trucks by presenting the Atlas Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.
According to the American carmaker, the Atlas Concept's design is inspired by decades of listening to customers who use their pickups either for work or recreation, or even both--the outcome of which is a purpose-driven design with prominent wheel arches, a wide stance and a chiseled grille.
"We wanted the concept to reflect how Ford trucks help customers in both their worlds--professionally and personally," said Ford group vice president and chief creative officer J Mays. "Every surface and feature in the vehicle has been crafted for purpose and capability while retaining an unmistakable Built Ford Tough look."
Some of the functional features of the Atlas Concept are a dual-purpose tailgate step that also acts as a cargo cradle, a 360-degree camera, multiple tie-down points integrated within the cargo box walls and load floor, 110V electrical outlets in the cargo box to charge power tools, and an integrated roof-carrying system and hidden extendable ramps.
Despite its utilitarian nature, the Atlas Concept is said to also be fuel-efficient. On top of its EcoBoost powertrain, it also makes use of a combination of active aerodynamic elements that reduce wind resistance: active grille shutters that stay open when extra engine cooling is needed, and automatically closes to improve aerodynamics when cruising at highway speeds; a drop-down front air dam that is lowered at highway speeds to improve underbody airflow and raised at low speeds to improve ground clearance; and power running boards that automatically 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.
"The Atlas Concept previews the innovations that will transform what people expect from their pickup," said Ford group vice president for global product development Raj Nair. "With 36 years as manufacturer of America's best-selling pickup, we are absolutely committed to setting the agenda in the truck market."