DETROIT –takes the wraps off its Atlas concept at the North American International Auto Show here, offering a preview of the next-generation F-150 fullsize pickup set to debut in 2014 as a ’15 model.
The concept truck boasts a number of fuel-saving technologies, including a new direct-injected turbocharged EcoBoost engine, active-grille shutters and auto stop/start engine shutoff that deactivates when the truck is towing.
does not disclose specifications for the new engine, but CEO Alan Mulally says it will be more fuel-efficient and capable than the 3.5L EcoBoost used in the current F-150.
Other fuel-saving technologies include active wheel shutters in the wheels that are hidden to enhance style at rest and low speeds, but automatically close at highway speeds to boost aerodynamics, and a drop-down front air dam that lowers at highway speeds to improve underbody airflow.
Inside, the concept features lightweight leather seating, “floating” instrument pods and glove-friendly buttons and controls.
Mulally says the production version of the truck will utilize lightweight materials, including confirming the use of aluminum, as reported by WardsAuto earlier this month.
“Fuel efficiency is the No.1 thing and weight reduction is top thing,” he says. “It will use all of the lightweight materials, so I would anticipate we will use more (aluminum) in this vehicle.”
The executive declines to reveal an official launch date for the truck, noting updates will be provided throughout the year. He does say the next-generation F-150 will feature many of the styling cues of the Atlas concept.
“Our concept vehicles have been not that far away from giving everybody an idea of where we’re going,” Mulally says. “What you see here has a lot of cues of what you’ll see in the next vehicle.”