Ford Atlas Concept Previews More Efficient Next Generation F-150
January 15, 2013 2:13 PM
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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
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.
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Real Fuel Savings for Trucks
1/22/2013 9:46:04 AM
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.
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