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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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RE: Fe -> Al -> C
By mellomonk on 1/16/2013 3:19:51 PM , Rating: 4
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
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.

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