The latest incarnations of Ford’s F-Series pickups haven’t been around that long—the new F-150 dropped in 2009, the current Super Duty in 2011—but the pickup truck game is always moving in this country, and a car maker can’t afford to stand still. So with GM’s reveal of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra still tight in the rearview, Ford is bringing a look at the future of the F-150—and they’re giving it a name that implies its world-shaking potential.
The Ford Atlas Concept, then, gives us a concept car-style look at what we can expect visually from the next F-150: blockier, stronger looks set to make people stop and stare. The Atlas is a truck we’d absolutely rock, and we know a few other folks who would, too. We hope they don’t change the looks much for production.
Ford also didn’t hold back when it came to installing handy features they figured truck owners would appreciate. The Atlas Concept has hidden extendable ramps under the cargo bed, cargo tie-down points and power outlets in the bed, and an integrated roof carrying system, along with a 360-degree birds-eye camera on the roof to help with parking, and an improved tailgate step that also holds cargo in place.
Inside, the Ford Atlas Concept is designed to be roomy for passengers in front and in back, while still functional and utilitarial—it’s outfitted with controls that should be easy to use while wearing gloves. Ford says the Atlas Concept is powered by an unspecified EcoBoost engine; they do mention the Atlas’s fuel-saving tech bits, like active grille and wheel shutters, a retractible front air dam and power running boards.
We expect to see the Atlas-inspired next-generation F-150 in 2014 or 2015, with most of the style and most of the features of the Atlas. No word yet on the biggest change rumored fro the F-150—a switch from a steel chassis to an aluminum one that could save up to 700 pounds. We’ll just have to wait and see. Luckily, we can ogle the Atlas in the meantime.
[Shout-out to Ford!]