1. Autos
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Meet the Ford Atlas Concept Truck

Which of the Atlas Truck's Features Will be Used in Ford's F-Series?


Ford Atlas Concept Truck

Ford Atlas Concept Truck Introduction

© Ford Motor Co.
Ford introduced its Atlas concept truck at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, lowering the pickup from the ceiling amid flying sparks and men posed on 'steel' girders.

Atlas celebrates the Ford F-Series -- now 65 years old, and offers a preview of what we might see in the next generation. Atlas is a concept truck, so it's a given that we won't find all of its features in a production truck, but we can expect to see two important themes incorporated into 2014 model year pickups: better fuel economy and improved functionality.

New Generation EcoBoost Engine

The Ford Atlas concept truck is powered by a new generation EcoBoost engine. The twin-turbocharged, direct injection engine boosts fuel economy and includes updated features, including auto start-stop engine shutoff in heavy traffic and stop-and-go conditions.

Atlas's Aerodynamic Enhancements

Active Grille Shutters... Automatic shutters, located behind the grille, stay open when the engine needs extra cooling -- in stop-and-go traffic or hot weather. Shutters close automatically to help improve aerodynamics when cruising.

Active Wheel Shutters... Automatic wheel shutters aren't visible when the truck is parked, or is running at low speeds, but they close when the truck is on the road, improving aerodynamics. The shutters are powered by batteries that self-charge by using energy from the motion of wheels.

Drop-Down Front Air Dam... Atlas's front spoiler drops down at highway speeds to improve underbody airflow; the spoiler is in a raised position at low speeds to improve ground clearance.

Power Running Boards... Running boards auto-deploy to help passengers get into and out of the truck, but the boards tuck up against Atlas when it is moving.

Hear what Gordon Platto, Atlas's chief designer, has to say about some of the truck's fuel enhancing qualities... Platto's statement during introduction.

Driving the Atlas Truck

Dual-Purpose Tailgate Step and Cargo Cradle... Ford's Tailgate Step has been around for several years, but the design used on the Atlas truck is new. The step does more than get us into the bed -- it can also act as a cargo cradle, lifting and holding long cargo above the truck in order to free-up bed space.

Trailer Backup Assist... We should hear more about how the backup assistant actually works later, but Ford says it "allows drivers to back a trailer with the twist of a knob."

This component helps line up the truck's hitch with the trailer coupling, taking away the typical guesswork when maneuvering for that task.

360-Degree Point-of-View Camera... Offers a bird's eye view of the truck to help a driver navigate safely into a tight space.

LED Headlamps and Taillamps... LED lights are brighter and longer-lasting than conventional halogen or HID lights.

LED Cargo Box and Side Mirror Lighting... Extra lighting with less battery drain than standard headlights or plug-ins.

Hidden Cargo Ramps... These lightweight loading ramps are stowed below the cargo box, and can be removed quickly to load wheeled items in the truck's bed.

Atlas Truck's Safety Systems

  • Adaptive cruise control senses how close you are to the vehicle ahead and adjusts your speed if necessary.
  • A blind spot information system (BLIS for short) triggers a warning when something enters that area.
  • Another warning alerts you when you try to change lanes without signaling.
  • Forward collision warning can apply the truck's brakes if a collision is imminent

Atlas Info and Entertainment Features

Atlas is outfitted with plenty of tech toys, including:

  • Ford's SYNC system
  • USB ports
  • Text to voice capability
  • WiFi Hotspot
  • 110 volt power points
  • a rear view back-up camera, and more

Download Ford's PDF file, 65 Cool Things About the Atlas Concept for more information about the truck.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.