A pick-up truck is just a pick-up truck, right? Not according to the Ford Atlas concept, which debuted this morning at the North American International Auto Show and introduces some intriguing ideas to this possible future F-150.
The Ford Atlas is a high-tech truck of the future with all kinds of gadgets and goodies integrated into a large pick-up body. One of its main focuses is on fuel efficiency, which at first sounds rather blasé considering we’re well into the age of the EcoBoost engine. In fact, the Ford Atlas uses all kinds of innovative techniques to squeeze extra miles out of the gas tank.
Active grille shutters behind the front grille can open and close to improve airflow as necessary – a standard feature on an increasing number of new cars these days, but the Atlas takes it a step further. Active shutters on the wheels are also there to improve efficiency, opening at low speeds for style, and closing at highway speed to improve aerodynamics. Now you can have the benefit of the wheels like those on the Honda Accord PHEV, without having to put up with their design. There is also a power drop-down front air dam that descends at highway speeds to improve underbody flow.
The other mainstay features of the Ford Atlas concept are connectability and utility. Multiple 110-volt electrical outlets are located within the cargo box to charge power tools, and a 360-degree bird’s-eye view camera provides an overhead look at the truck while parking in tight spaces.
It also features Dynamic Hitch Assist, which helps line up the truck hitch exactly with any trailer. LED lights cover the headlamps, taillights, cargo box and side mirror lighting – not to mention the interior, which basks in a blue glow that only Ford would attempt.
Perhaps some of these features will make it into the future 2015 Ford F-150, but while most of them won’t, you can expect to see something resembling the very aggressive front grille in a dealership near you very soon.
Stay tuned for much more coverage from the NAIAS in Detroit.