The Ford Atlas Concept pickup truck of the future is making just its third public appearance now at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo that opened Feb. 25 at Reliant Center in Houston, Texas.
Ford unveiled the future of Ford pickup trucks, the Atlas Concept, in January at the Detroit Auto Show and immediately caught the attention of the pickup truck world with their innovative rendition of what the Ford F-150 may look like in 2015.
With only the one truck to show, the Atlas Concept has only been seen one other time and that was at the Chicago Auto Show which has just finished its run.
Fully one-in-five pickup trucks sold in the U.S. are sold in Texas and Ford, by far, is the leading brand with their versatile line of F-150 pickup trucks that meet the needs of families, small business, farmers, ranchers and industry in Texas.
In recognition of the importance of Texas, Ford has brought their Atlas Concept to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo so that Texans can see what the Atlas Concept buzz is all about .
“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.”
Ford executives said the Ford Atlas Concept is inspired by decades of listening to customers at the places they work and play. The result is a purpose-driven design with prominent wheel arches over 22-inch wheels and tires, a wide stance and chiseled grille – all to reinforce its functional Built Ford Tough® image.
“We wanted the 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.”
The Atlas truck shown on display at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has multiple tie-down points that are integrated within the cargo box walls and load floor, along with 110-volt electrical outlets in the cargo box to charge power tools.
An integrated roof carrying system and hidden extendable ramps (integrated as part of the tail gate step system) give the truck unique functionality for a variety of jobs.
Inside, Ford shows structural styling cues that feature some of their latest thinking in comfort, utility and refinement.
The use of innovative, thin, lightweight seating in comfortable leather allows for extra legroom for rear passengers – along with integrated storage for smaller items that included “Floating” instrument pods and glove-friendly buttons and controls to keep the interior functional and ruggedly stylish.
Ford says the Ford Atlas Concept will feature a next-generation EcoBoost® turbocharged power plant which already, in its current generation, powers over 250,000 F-150 pickup trucks around the world.
That next generation EcoBoost turbocharged engine will introduce a truck-enhanced Auto Start-Stop engine shutoff technology to shut off the engine when stopped in traffic to save fuel while smartly suspending the feature when the truck knows it is towing.
A six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission will be mated to the next generation EcoBoost turbocharged engine to complete the power train.
The Ford Atlas Concept will go further to save fuel through a combination of active aerodynamic elements that reduce wind resistance and are estimated to add more than 2 mpg to fuel efficiency on the highway without diminishing tow or haul capacity.
Those features include:
Active Grille Shutters: Automatic shutters behind the grille stay open when extra engine cooling is needed, such as during low-speed stop-and-go driving or while working in hot weather. The shutters automatically close to improve aerodynamics when cruising on the highway at steady speeds.
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 improve aerodynamics. Self-charging batteries use energy from the wheels’ motion to power the shutters.
Drop-Down Front Air Dam: A drop-down front wind spoiler lowers at highway speeds to improve underbody airflow.
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 and ground clearance.
Additional concept features on the Atlas include:
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.
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 – from landscaping equipment to dirt bikes.
Trailer Backup Assist: This segment-first innovation allows drivers to back a trailer with the twist of a knob.
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.
Total 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 there are obstacles near the truck – such as on a busy job site or grocery store parking lot.
LED Headlamps and Taillamps: Advanced LED lighting offers better road illumination than conventional halogen or HID lights and lasts longer.
LED Cargo Box and Side Mirror Lighting: Advanced, powerful yet efficient LED lighting brightly lights the cargo box and job site after the sun goes down with minimal battery drain compared to standard headlights or plug-in lights.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a terrific family event with exciting things to see and do for all Texas families.
With pickup trucks being so important to Texans for work, family, ranch and farm use, the Ford exhibit featuring the Atlas Concept truck should be on everyone's must see list.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo runs until March 17, 2013.
For more information on attending the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, go to their website at www.rodeohouston.com.