Ford’s recently unveiled Atlas, the auto giant’s re-imagining of its classic F-150 pickup, is getting a lot of attention these days. Eco-conscious consumers as well as the F-150’s traditional market have been at attention since Ford surprised attendees at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show with a prototype that promised exciting new things to come for the company’s mainstay work vehicle. If first looks are anything to go by, the 2015 F-150 will not be a disappointment. A host of new technologies, features and design tweaks blend the new with the best of the old to create a truck that is as familiar as an old pair of jeans, but without the malfunctioning zipper and the bind at the crotch.
The Atlas boasts a smaller engine, but Ford’s engineers are confident the 2.7-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V-6 under the hood of the Atlas is more than enough to power the slimmed-down truck without reducing towing ability. If you were expecting to go with the 3.7-liter engine for your next truck purchase, Ford is offering a 3.5-liter non-turbo V-6 in its place. You can still opt for the 5.0-liter V-8. When the truck isn’t in four-wheel drive or in towing mode, it employs auto stop-start technology to save fuel and reduce emissions. Ford’s proprietary Active Grille Shutters can increase the vehicle’s aerodynamic performance by blocking air flow through the engine bay as needed.
A New Take on an Old Standard
The 2015 Ford F-150 is still recognizable as a F-150, but it features some up-to-date styling, including a larger grille with chunkier bars and an extra-large blue Ford emblem. Wrap-around headlights with cutouts on the inside edge add to the updated look. Inside, Ford sticks with its tried-and-true work-truck design, including controls that don’t require you to take your gloves off in order to use them. Slightly redesigned air vents and an infotainment system with a touchscreen remind you that this isn’t quite your granddad’s truck, and such high-tech features as Sync and the new MyFord Touch prove that it isn’t your dad’s either.
Next-Generation Safety Technology
Like other 2015 Ford offerings, Atlas has inflatable seatbelts for backseat passengers and a system to automatically brake as necessary if you take a turn too sharply. Other safety features include technology to prevent accidental lane departure and overcome blind spots as well as an adaptive cruise control system.
All the Bells and High-Efficiency Whistles
The Atlas features plenty of cool toys, including a key fob-operated tailgate, a disappearing tailgate step, loading ramps, two power outlets in the bed and a camera system that provides a 360 degree view and backup coverage that offers hitching assistance.
Lots of Choices
You can expect all the choices and packages Ford has offered in the past, such as the F-150’s various trim packages, off-road packages, cab types and so on. The F-Series has ruled the road for nearly 4 decades, outselling its competitors year after year. Judging by what Ford has revealed of the Atlas so far, that record will continue to stand.