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Tell us, what do you tow and haul? Work equipment, toys for weekend activities or something else? And if you could build the ultimate tow/haul truck, what kind of features would it have? Does fuel economy matter? How would you make towing a trailer easier?
While you’re thinking about those questions, allow us to introduce the Ford Atlas Concept, revealed on January 15, 2013, at the North American International Auto Show. The Blue Oval™ has built the Atlas Concept as a way to explore how to improve a truck’s towing and hauling characteristics, and it also offers a glimpse at where Ford trucks may be headed in the future.
Fuel efficiency and productivity are key for the Atlas Concept, which has some breakthrough capabilities. Take for example the Active Grille Shutters that automatically stay open when additional engine cooling is needed in low-speed or hot weather driving situations, then close for better aerodynamics when cruising at steady speeds. There are also Active Wheel Shutters, a Drop-Down Front Air Dam and Power Folding Running Boards. And there’s a next-generation EcoBoost® under its hood with Auto Start-Stop engine shutoff technology to save gas in stop-and-go driving, but this truck-enhanced version pauses the Auto Start-Stop when the truck is towing.
The prominent wheel arches, the wide stance and the chiseled grille – all the elements of this truck’s design are both tough-looking and functional, including the multiple integrated tie-down points and 110-volt electrical outlets in the cargo box as well as the Dual-Purpose Tailgate Step and Cargo Cradle. Ford improved its Tailgate Step, which makes getting in the back of the truck even easier now 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. There’s also Trailer Backup Assist, a segment-first innovation for backing a trailer with the twist of a knob while monitoring the maneuver using the large center stack-mounted screen, and Dynamic Hitch Assist helps precisely line up the truck’s hitch with the trailer coupling. Hidden Cargo Ramps are lightweight loading ramps that stow below the cargo box for items such as dirt bikes.
So, what do you think? Should Ford build this truck? And don’t forget to tell us what you tow and haul and what features make doing that easier!