Not long ago, Ford did a good job of dropping a huge surprise at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit with the Atlas concept pickup. Some super-cynical types went so far as to suggest the super-secretive concept was unveiled in Detroit to steal as much thunder as possible from the recently revealed all-new 2014 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra. Well, here we go again.
Just as GM released some fairly impressive pricing and fuel economy numbers for its new half-tons earlier this week, Ford is offering some background design information about the Atlas, a possible 2015 F-150 replacement. Well played sir.
What we can see from the photos and the infographic (to download the full pdf, click here) is that the Ford truck design team came at this new truck from several different directions. The goal? To give potential truck customers more of what they want and need. And if there's another company that's doing that better than Ford right now, we don't know who it is. As you can see, the designs range from the excessively aerodynamic to a blunt punch in the face.
The "Bullet Train" (designed by Ford's Tyler Blake) clearly reflects the current need to squeeze every fraction of fuel economy out of a pickup's shape by forcing each air molecule to gently slide over and around the hood and side panels. The "Locomotive" (designed by Brad Richards) is as simple and subtle as a well-balanced sledgehammer. What we eventually received with the Atlas was somewhere in the middle, with tons of clever storage and functional problem-solving accessories. We can only hope as much of this original design makes it to production.
THE BULLET TRAIN
GEN 1 FORD ATLAS