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Christopher Bruce2013-01-15 20:13:50

Ford's Big Reveal is the Atlas Concept - the Next Gen F-150

It wants to continue to be the top truck in the US

The Atlas is the concept for the next generation F150

FordFordFordUnited States of America, 1903 > present92 models
2552 photos
11 videos
made a big deal about its commercial vehicles this year for its North American International Auto Show press conference and showed the latest version of the Transit and Transit Connect. Its big reveal for the show was the concept for the next generation F150F-SeriesFord F-SeriesUnited States of America, 1948 > present13 series
126 versions
149 photos
that it calls the Atlas Concept. 

Next year will be a big year for pickup trucks in the US next year. Ram won the North American Truck/Utility of the Year award for its latest Ram 1500, and Chevrolet will have its latest Silverado on sale by the middle of the year. It Ford wants its F150 to remain a best seller, it has to keep up.

“The Ford Atlas Concept previews the innovations that will transform what people expect from their pickup. With 36 years as America’s best-selling pickup, we are absolutely committed to setting the agenda in the truck market," said Raj Nair, Ford's head of global product development.

When building a new pickup truck, the two most important elements are style and utility. The truck has to be capable but still look good. 

In terms of style, the Atlas Concept appears chiseled and angular with a futuristic front end. The new front end keeps a similar grill design as the current truck but now has six sides instead of the rectangle on the current version. The headlights are separated into two layers on the new concept. 

The concept is packed with technology as well. There is a 360° camera mounted on the roof that is meant to help while towing, LED lighting on the side mirrors and rear of the bed for illuminating work, a raising portion of the tailgate for steadying loads on the roof, a sensor near the rear hitch that tells the driver when to stop the truck while hitching loads and ramps hidden in the bed for easier loading.

Ford would not say exactly what engine powered the concept other than the it would be one of its EcoBoost turbocharged engines. This new version would include stop-start to improve fuel economy. To further improve fuel economy the concept has active grill shutters, a lowering front air dam and active wheel shutters. Ford says all of these innovations will improve fuel economy by 20%. That would mean fuel economy of roughly 19mpg city and 26mpg highway.

Ford is not saying when the next generation F150 will come to market, but given the stiff competition, late 2013 at the earliest seems possible or certainly in 2014. 

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