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Its fuel-saving technologies will save over 2 MPG on the highway

Ford today announced the Atlas Concept, which features next-generation EcoBoost technology. The Atlas Concept has an EcoBoost powertrain that uses gasoline direct injection turbocharging. This allows for a 20 percent increase in fuel economy and a 15 percent drop in CO2 emissions. The powertrain also features Auto Start-Stop engine shutoff tech, which (as the name suggests), shuts off the engine when the vehicle is stopped in traffic.

The Atlas Concept also looks to save fuel in other ways, such as the Active Grille Shutters that stay open when cooling is needed; Active Wheel Shutters that close at highway speeds to improve aerodynamics but open at slow speeds; Drop-Down Front Air Dam that lowers at highway speeds for underbody airflow, and Power Running Boards that help passengers enter the truck at rest and move closer to the vehicle when it's traveling for improved aerodynamics.
 


Using all of these fuel-saving technologies saves roughly 2 MPG on the highway.

In addition to fuel-saving efforts, Ford showed off some other tech that the Atlas is sporting. Some include the 360-Degree Point-of-View Camera for fitting the vehicle in tight places, Dynamic Hitch Assist for an accurate fitting of a hitch using the Atlas' display screen, and LED headlamps and tail lamps for better illumination.

“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.”


Last year, it was reported that the F-150 would shed 700 lbs to meet the EPA's Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. These standards stipulate that auto manufacturers meet a fleetwide 54.5 mpg CAFE average by 2025.

The weight savings come from using the lightweight metal aluminum throughout the vehicle, such as the doors, cargo box, fenders, front suspension/steering components, and portions of the interior structure. 

Source: Ford



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Terrible name...
By maxxcool on 1/15/2013 3:58:08 PM , Rating: 2
Atlas is a terrible name... unless it is sporting 500hp and 1000lbs torque in some ridiculous diesel, Atlas is just misleading. The second thing that comes to mind when i hear atlas is how many ER-PPC's i can mount on it ...




RE: Terrible name...
By Flunk on 1/15/2013 4:06:12 PM , Rating: 4
I honestly though you were a real truck guy there for a second, until you mentioned the PPCs. I think it's a great name, appeals to the people who buy trucks. People who would never know about that kind of Atlas.


RE: Terrible name...
By Bad-Karma on 1/15/2013 4:10:56 PM , Rating: 2
You could put a couple of LRM20s in the bed and MPLs under the front bumper!


RE: Terrible name...
By JDHammer on 1/16/2013 1:01:03 PM , Rating: 2
Never knew fellow mechwarriors looked here... so yes I'd have expected a truck to have a skeleton like head on a f-150 body to complete the ensemble.

/end sarcasm

Besides not having any weapons mounted on this concept, It looks nice, but i'd imagine it'll be more expensive then what's on the road today.


RE: Terrible name...
By Alexvrb on 1/16/2013 11:47:44 PM , Rating: 2
I always preferred Streak missles myself. Go ahead. Fire up those jumpjets... the missles know how to find you.

Anyway, I see nothing (related to fuel consumption) that hasn't been done already except maybe the drop-down air dam. The biggest fuel saving measure is the weight reduction. Unfortunetely, that gets expensive. Full size trucks are already getting ridiculous, I can only shudder to think what a decked-out "F-150 EcoFeather" would cost. But then again it is a concept vehicle - final production vehicle will no doubt be constructed with some compromises.


RE: Terrible name...
By Spuke on 1/15/2013 4:57:12 PM , Rating: 2
God some of you people are retarded. This is CONCEPT truck with a CONCEPT name!


RE: Terrible name...
By retrospooty on 1/16/2013 6:53:15 AM , Rating: 2
LOL exactly. If it wasn't obvious, the released product will be called... Wait for it. The Ford F-150

Anyhow really nice looking truck. I hope it keeps most of the styling on production.


RE: Terrible name...
By maxxcool on 1/16/2013 2:57:21 PM , Rating: 2
If I were building a "Concept" truck, and named it "Atlas"... it would be able to pull Mt.rushmore behind it... not get all sparkly and drop a v6 in it.

(I'd also mount a AC20 in the bed.... sorry can't stop the BT/MW jokes now...)


RE: Terrible name...
By bobsmith1492 on 1/16/2013 7:05:40 AM , Rating: 2
I always found the Mauler a much better mech than the Atlas. Maybe Ford will release the Mauler next year. Somehow I doubt it though; that sounds a bit vicious for a truck. :-)


RE: Terrible name...
By JediJeb on 1/16/2013 6:03:23 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe the next concept to follow the Raptor line will be the Mauler. Man I haven't played MW in over 20 years :)


RE: Terrible name...
By Jeffk464 on 1/16/2013 12:43:18 PM , Rating: 4
It has a pretty cool looking front end but if you are going for fuel economy shouldn't you be going for something a little more streamlined?


RE: Terrible name...
By Apone on 1/16/2013 8:57:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Atlas is a terrible name... unless it is sporting 500hp and 1000lbs torque in some ridiculous diesel, Atlas is just misleading.


On the contrary, Atlas was the Titan Greek God who personified the quality of endurance. He was also tasked with bearing the world on his shoulders which makes sense to give the same name to the Ford F-150 truck as it has and continues to carry and represent Ford's quality to trucks.


Damn!
By Creig on 1/15/2013 3:16:35 PM , Rating: 3
That is one nice looking truck.

Though, I have wonder if the price of adding all those fuel saving gadgets will actually be recouped over the life of the truck by the 2 MPG highway they gain.




RE: Damn!
By jRaskell on 1/15/2013 4:16:33 PM , Rating: 2
Unlikely.


RE: Damn!
By MrBungle123 on 1/16/2013 1:28:40 AM , Rating: 2
That is the best looking concept truck ive seen in a long while! I'd consider one when it goes to market if I could get one in a stick.


RE: Damn!
By Erudite on 1/16/2013 12:24:11 PM , Rating: 2
Good luck with the stick option...

My dad just got a 2012 model with EcoBoost some nice bells and whistles. It has a six speed automatic transmission, but it has a manual mode and up/down arrows on the shift lever to force gear changes. I give it credit for being a lot better in manual mode than I thought it would, but it's a far cry from a stick. I don't think Ford even puts sticks in their SVT F-150 models.

On an unrelated note, that same truck will do more than 60 MPH in low range, which is nuts. I have yet to hear what it sounds like outside the cab, but I bet it's a bit scary. I never had my 2007 F-150 wound up in low range, but I know for sure it wouldn't go nearly that fast.

It would be really nice if they kept the look from the concept to the final version. That is one sweet looking truck.


RE: Damn!
By MrBungle123 on 1/16/2013 2:28:25 PM , Rating: 2
It sucks that its getting so hard to find a good old manual transmission these days... They are so much more fun to drive and are way better if you much traveling over mountain passes.


RE: Damn!
By mellomonk on 1/16/2013 4:03:47 PM , Rating: 2
I love a good old stick. I have a 6 speed manual in my small quick car, but I would never have one in a truck or SUV application again. Having driven Jeeps offroad with both types of trannys, the auto is clearly the way to go.

Sadly I think the manual transmission is doomed in the general market. There just isn't enough sold anymore. In many applications the auto gets equal if not better mileage. And even in sporting applications the new dual clutch auto designs shift faster and more efficiently then the majority of drivers.


RE: Damn!
By JediJeb on 1/16/2013 6:11:53 PM , Rating: 3
I much prefer the control I get with a manual in a truck.

Also I think one reason we don't see as many manual transmissions recently is simply because the car companies are not offering them. Of course more people will choose the automatic when the automatic is the only choice.


RE: Damn!
By MrBungle123 on 1/18/2013 10:55:24 AM , Rating: 2
Not having them as an option seems to be the way its going... My 2011 Tacoma has a 6 speed manual and I'm starting to wonder if I'll even be able to get a manual anymore when its time to replace it.


RE: Damn!
By JediJeb on 1/16/2013 6:16:16 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
On an unrelated note, that same truck will do more than 60 MPH in low range, which is nuts. I have yet to hear what it sounds like outside the cab, but I bet it's a bit scary. I never had my 2007 F-150 wound up in low range, but I know for sure it wouldn't go nearly that fast.


Low range on the transfer case or transmission?

If transfer case yea I can see that as amazing! If transmission that is still some high gearing. My 96 F150 is just the opposite, I can be in 5th gear by the time I hit 25-30mph and normally only need three gears when driving, I almost never use 2nd or 4th gear if not hauling a load. Which is another reason I like manuals better than autos simply because I can control exactly how it shifts.


RE: Damn!
By Erudite on 1/17/2013 10:10:44 AM , Rating: 2
Transfer Case. The owner's manual said the differential would stay locked (it's electronic locking) up to 60 MPH in low range. I'm not sure what it will top out at in low range, but when he tried it, he gave up at 65. There has to be some crazy transmission noise outside, I would think.

If I had a choice, I would almost always choose a manual over an automatic transmission. There are times when an automatic is nice, but I just like the control I get with a stick shift.


Fe -> Al -> C
By stephenbrooks on 1/15/2013 3:35:53 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting how steel is being replaced by aluminium in cars - and aluminium by carbon in the future. Also I wonder how much this truck's acceleration will be improved by that considerable weight reduction?




RE: Fe -> Al -> C
By Motoman on 1/15/13, Rating: 0
RE: Fe -> Al -> C
By SeeManRun on 1/15/2013 7:44:14 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Just remember that with each one of those steps, cost goes up...durability goes down...safety goes down.


I think safety going down is relative. You are just as safe if 2 of these vehicles hit each other as 2 current gen trucks hit each other. The only way it is less safe is if you hit something larger than you.

That being said, if you hit a brick wall, I would rather have a lighter truck with less mass around me than a huge behemoth with all that metal surrounding me.


RE: Fe -> Al -> C
By CZroe on 1/15/13, Rating: 0
RE: Fe -> Al -> C
By Motoman on 1/16/2013 11:25:37 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
That being said, if you hit a brick wall, I would rather have a lighter truck with less mass around me than a huge behemoth with all that metal surrounding me.


Holy crap...I think you might want to check that out with your high school physics teacher.

Or, just check out the crash tests done on cars, and see how the lighter-weight cars crumple and kill their occupants a lot more easily than bigger, heavier trucks.

You're wrong about this too:

quote:
You are just as safe if 2 of these vehicles hit each other as 2 current gen trucks hit each other.


The crumple/crush properties of, say, an aluminum/carbon fiber chassis and bodywork compared to a steel frame and bodywork means that you, the occupant, are going to have a lot more velocity left when you personally finally hit something. Aluminum and carbon aren't simply lighter versions of steel, otherwise having the same properties...neither one has the same characteristics of ductility and such that are key in a crash. Aluminum will just fold and crack, and carbon fiber's just going to shatter. You're imagining them as steel without the weight...and that's not how it works.


RE: Fe -> Al -> C
By mellomonk on 1/16/2013 3:19:51 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
The crumple/crush properties of, say, an aluminum/carbon fiber chassis and bodywork compared to a steel frame and bodywork means that you, the occupant, are going to have a lot more velocity left when you personally finally hit something. Aluminum and carbon aren't simply lighter versions of steel, otherwise having the same properties...neither one has the same characteristics of ductility and such that are key in a crash. Aluminum will just fold and crack, and carbon fiber's just going to shatter. You're imagining them as steel without the weight...and that's not how it works


Sorry, but you are not up to date on your knowledge of the crumple characteristics of Al structural members in auto applications. The alloys that are being have well understood properties and if properly applied can equal the strength and energy absorption of equivalent steel structure and weigh as much as 40% less. And newer Al designs are significantly better. I've seen hydroformed Al structures filled with unique 'foamed' Al that provided more then 4X the energy absorption capacity of the equivalent dimension of high strength steel. Carbon fiber's failure properties can also be used as an energy absorption method when properly engineered. Steel is not going away anytime soon. There are areas where there is not the room for a crumple zone such as doors where high strength steel is the best application. In more price sensitive applications it makes sense to use steel at current relative prices.
Balancing the weight and strength of these structures is a significant challenge. Remember not only are CAFE standards going up, but so are safety standards. Auto engineers cannot sacrifice one for other. Check out some of the available white papers from Audi on their decades development of Al auto structures. The amount of non-steel components is set to skyrocket in future vehicles. Have you ever seen a carbon fiber suspension spring? You will.


RE: Fe -> Al -> C
By JediJeb on 1/16/2013 6:08:20 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Carbon fiber's failure properties can also be used as an energy absorption method when properly engineered.


One of the reasons it is used in Indy Car/F1 racing cars, those are mostly carbon fiber now and are designed to help a driver survive when hitting a concrete wall at near 200mph.


RE: Fe -> Al -> C
By Jeffk464 on 1/16/2013 12:38:02 PM , Rating: 3
Aluminum aircraft have way more operation hours than any car or pickup. There is no reason aluminum should reduce the durability, infact with the right alloys you solve the corrosion problem have with steal used in cars.


RE: Fe -> Al -> C
By half_duplex on 1/20/2013 12:06:59 AM , Rating: 2
Aircraft aluminum is an alloy, a very expensive alloy. This is not feasible for vehicles, but I get your point.

Steel is used for a reason, and it isn't it's tensile strength.


Mileage
By x2c4me on 1/15/2013 5:39:35 PM , Rating: 2
Something doesn't add up...

The least fuel efficient 2013 gas powered F150 was the 6.2L V8. This model is rated at 18mpg highway. http://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/specifications/eng...

If the new EcoBoost powertrain employing direct injection turbocharging provides a 20% increase in fuel economy then the minimal gain should be 3.6 mpg highway (higher on V6 models).

The addition of other fuel saving features like closing shutters, lowering air dam and recessed running boards should only push this number even higher.




RE: Mileage
By SeeManRun on 1/15/2013 7:45:33 PM , Rating: 2
The 2 mpg gain was from the body changes (active shutter on tires etc.) and not from the enhancements to the engine.


RE: Mileage
By Manch on 1/16/2013 4:16:42 AM , Rating: 2
I don't get the active shutters on wheels. Does opening them at low speeds improve mileage? If not, then just make a wheel that is closed. If you want the see thru look then have plexi cover the gaps. I also have to wonder what the weight penalty on those rims is for the shutter mechanism.


RE: Mileage
By Leper84 on 1/16/2013 6:46:48 AM , Rating: 2
They open at low speed to cool the brakes. They close at high speed for aero of course, and you won't be using the brakes much at high speed on a truck like that.

I'm willing to bet there isn't a weight penalty at all. I can imagine a plastic center/hub cap over the entire wheel, or fitting over the openings of the wheel that have a spring loaded flapper in each opening. So you get up to speed and wind pushes them closed.


RE: Mileage
By Manch on 1/16/2013 9:28:46 AM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't brake ducts be simpler? If you're closing the gaps to reduce drag, then relying on drag to close a spring loaded flapper seems dubious.


nose ring
By daboom06 on 1/15/2013 4:26:21 PM , Rating: 3
looks like they're subliminally reminding us of cattle. or maybe they're recommending this truck for use in blending into the herd.




Real Fuel Savings for Trucks
By EricMartello on 1/22/2013 9:46:04 AM , Rating: 1
The recent trend in trucks has been more about reducing aerodynamic drag rather than weight reduction or mechanical tweaks which tend to have steep diminishing returns and only add to the price.

Many big trucks (18 wheelers) have started using "spoilers/air dams" under the trailer part which helps direct air around the vehicle rather than having it create a "wall" that needs to be dragged along. The spoilers cover the area between the rear wheels of the tractor to the front of the trailer's wheels.

For pickups you could improve their on-road fuel efficiency with modern suspension systems. One that allows the truck to be lowered to the point where it's only a few inches above the ground (like a car) when it is not towing or hauling.

You could also use the magneto-rheological shocks to maintain ride quality in the lowered position while also providing enough damping for the times when the truck is carrying a heavy payload.

These changes would boost highway MPG by a decent margin without requiring the vehicle to shed weight or compromise on the engine.




Terrible U.S. EPA energy and emissions policy
By Beenthere on 1/16/13, Rating: -1
RE: Terrible U.S. EPA energy and emissions policy
By mellomonk on 1/16/2013 3:54:39 PM , Rating: 5
So you would rather breath the air of say Bejing? Or watch sea level rise to the streets of lower Manhattan? Sorry, but I've been around long enough to remember the summer smog of the 70s, caused primarily by auto traffic. Now there is twice as many vehicles on the road and the air is significantly cleaner. That would not have happened without EPA regulation. Think of how much it would cost the average American to fuel their vehicles if the average mileage was still say 15 mpg? How much oil would we have to import then? Thanks to the EPA and NTSB we have increased our mileage significantly since the bygone days of the OPEC embargo. Balancing regulation and the free market isn't always easy, but if the goals are noble and good for all, then it is worth the effort.

There is no arguing that EVs are not as practical currently. But there are applications where they are clearly the way to go. A large portion of our populous want the cleaner, quieter, and simpler transportation that EVs can provide. The subsidies nurturing the fledgling technology so as to get the technology mature enough to fulfill it's promise. A more energy independent, cleaner, and more forward thinking US. That is a primary plank of the platform that the majority of Americans voted for in the last two elections. I would never suggest that the dinosaurs who would have us repeat the mistakes of the past be strung up by their thumbs, but I would say, lead, follow, or get out of the way. We are moving forward.


By JediJeb on 1/16/2013 9:37:49 PM , Rating: 2
I have no problems with some of the pollution measures that were enacted, and those were obvious and welcomed by most people. But the moving force behind quickly increasing fuel economy during the oil embargo era was financial. It was the perfect example of letting the market drive changes, once people wanted fuel efficient cars they were built.

As far as the recent election saying that a majority of people are for the subsidies for EVs and such, that is doubtful. Not everyone who voted for the current administration wants those things, and that majority was a very thin one overall. I would guess many people who voted for Obama don't have any interest at all in EVs or Ethanol fuel or even wind or solar. When you have between 8% and 10% of the US population unemployed, most are thinking about inexpensive efficient vehicles more than the expensive EV and Hybrid and other expensive types of fuel efficient vehicles. What is so wrong with the current way government is trying to move to fuel efficient vehicles makes no sense, subsidizing some of the most expensive technology instead of the least expensive ones. If 50% of people are listed in the lower income range, then that is where you should be focusing on selling efficient vehicles. Why should the poor be the ones forced to drive the less fuel efficient vehicles when they are the ones who can least likely afford the fuel? A $7500 tax credit applied to small fuel efficient vehicles in the $20k price range would do more to decrease the amount of fuel burned each year than the current subsidy placed on high end expensive EVs. If I could purchase something like a Nissan Versa or Ford Fiesta that would be near $10k to $15k after the tax credit I would certainly begin to think about getting a second more efficient vehicle to drive to work. It just shows that the current policy from the administration is more focused on promoting a fledgling immature technology than working to "save the planet" by taking the fastest way to reducing fuel consumption across the board.


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