Ford’s new 2015 F-150 concept has been turning a lot of heads lately. It made a surprise visit to the Cars and Coffee meetup in Irvine, CA right after showing at the Edmonton Auto Show. And according to Ford’s communications manager – the new Ford 2015 Atlas will go on a nationwide tour this year.
Many of the talking heads expect the Atlas to become the new 2015 F-150, but what name will it carry? Personally I like the new name, but regardless Ford’s timing is impeccable – with 2014 model updates from Chevy, Dodge, and Toyota the Atlas concept will keep Ford in the running, but will steal the limelight when its released. By the time the Atlas is released Ford’s competitors will have expended their time and energy competing against each other, leaving the Atlas all the room it needs to blowthe lid off the full size truck market. Or so we hope.
Ford has confidentially proclaimed that the Atlas is “the future vision for pickup trucks”, and it’s easy to see why. This new F-150 concept comes with a barrage of features that will are sure to impact the market in a big way. Just look at how the V6 EcoBoost dominated the market when it was first released – the second generation is sure to do the same.
Ford also has some MPG tricks up its sleeve with the new F-150. Besides the robust and efficient EcoBoost engine, Ford has cut the Atlas’ curb weight by 700lbs with using aluminum in the front end and cab. Not only that, Ford is putting a major focus on reducing aerodynamic drag, the most notable being the Atlas’ active wheel shutters. The shutters rest behind the wheel spokes when the vehicle is stationary or at a moderate road speed. As the vehicle increases its speed above 60 mph the wheel-shutters deploy closing off the openings between the wheel spokes and thus enabling smooth airflow across the wheels. According to Ford, its early testing has indicated that the aero package on the Atlas is able to provide a gain of more than 2 mpg at highway speeds without diminishing hauling capability.
Beyond aerodynamics, here is the breakdown of features for the Ford Atlas concept:
- Next-Generation EcoBoost® Powertrain
- The Ford Atlas Concept goes further with truck-enhanced Auto Start-Stop engine shutoff technology, shutting off the engine when stopped in traffic to save fuel – suspending the feature when the truck knows it is towing.
- Active Grille Shutters
- Automatic shutters behind the grille stay open when extra engine cooling is needed, such as during lowspeed stop-and-go driving or while working in hot weather, and automatically close to improve aerodynamics at cruising speeds
- LED Headlamps and Taillamps
- Advanced LED lighting offers better road lighting than conventional halogen or HID lights, lasts longer, and illuminates more swiftly
- Drop-Down Front Air Dam
- A drop-down front wind spoiler lowers at highway speeds to improve underbody airflow. The air dam raises at low speeds, adding ground clearance
- 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 help improve aerodynamics. Self-charging batteries from wheel motion provide shutter power
- Power Running Boards
- Auto-deploying running boards help passengers enter the truck at rest and tuck up against the truck when it is moving to improve aerodynamics
- 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
- Trailer Backup Assist
- This segment-first innovation allows drivers to back a trailer with the twist of a knob. Ford research shows that backing a trailer is often the most intimidating task a truck customer can face
- Dynamic Hitch Assist
- Hitching a trailer can be time consuming and difficult. Dynamic Hitch Assist helps precisely line up the truck’s hitch with the trailer coupling, eliminating maneuvering guesswork by showing visual cues in the truck’s center display screen
- 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
- LED Cargo Box and Side Mirror Lighting
- Advanced, powerful yet efficient LED lighting brightly illuminates the cargo box and job site after sundown with minimal battery drain
- 360-Degree Point-of-View Camera
- A Ford truck first, the system gives a bird’s-eye view of the truck to help position the vehicle in tight places or when obstacles are nearby