CLAREMONT, N.H. (01/22/2013)(readMedia)-- Ford changed the landscape of the pickup truck segment when it launched the powerful-yet-efficient 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine in its Ford F-150 in early 2011. Now, with the debut of its Atlas Concept truck at the Detroit Auto Show last week, the automaker has previewed an even more fuel-efficient future for America's best-selling vehicle.
The Ford Atlas Concept is designed to improve gas mileage by not only refining the automaker's EcoBoost technology, but also by focusing on efficiency outside of the engine bay. Though Ford didn't provide detailed specs, the pickup features a next-generation EcoBoost powerplant that incorporates truck-enhanced Auto Start-Stop technology for the first time. Elsewhere, the Atlas introduces fuel-saving aerodynamic features like active grille shutters, active wheel shutters, a drop-down front air dam and power running boards.
"Before the debut of the EcoBoost engine, truck buyers were extremely skeptical of anything smaller than a V8, but now they know they can count on Ford's V6 powerplants for fuel efficiency without sacrificing one bit of capability," said Jeff Klein, director of operations and marketing at Claremont Ford Lincoln, a New Hampshire Ford dealer. "The Atlas Concept hints at how Ford will improve upon that fuel-efficient EcoBoost formula, and those changes will be complemented by a new exterior that can better cheat the wind."
Beyond its mix of performance and efficiency, the Ford Atlas Concept showcases a number of new features that make work easier and play that much more enjoyable. Ford's Tailgate Step has been upgraded to serve double duty as a cargo cradle that can free up more space in the bed, while hidden cargo ramps can be quickly pulled out of the cargo box for simpler loading of wheeled equipment. Inside the cabin, a Dynamic Hitch Assist on the center display screen helps drivers align the truck's hitch with trailers, while a 360-degree point-of-view camera allows them to more easily navigate tight spaces.
Though it will likely be a year or two before the new technologies in the Atlas Concept make their way to market, the current Ford F-150 continues to gain momentum at dealerships. Sales of the F-Series increased by 10 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, with 645,316 units sold in the United States. The F-Series has now held its best-selling-vehicle title for 31 consecutive years.
"The bottom line is that truck buyers trust that the Ford F-150 will serve them for years and years, so while the technology changes, it is the truck's reliability that keeps it a perennial best seller," added Klein. "The current F-150 offers everything that today's buyers could need, but the Atlas Concept shows that Ford is committed to leading the pickup segment for years to come."
About Claremont Ford Lincoln:
Dedicated to meeting the diverse needs of Vermont and New Hampshire Ford and Lincoln drivers, Claremont Ford Lincoln strives to consistently create satisfying sales and service experiences. Whether its customers are looking for a fuel-efficient Ford Fusion, a rugged Ford F-150 or a luxurious Lincoln MKZ, Claremont Ford Lincoln's friendly, knowledgeable sales staff can find the right model at the right price. Call 603-543-1221 to schedule a test drive from their location at 366 Washington St. in Claremont, or browse their entire inventory online at www.claremontflm.com. The dealership can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ClaremontFordLincoln.