Ford Atlas Concept Interview with Marc Lapine

Something stole a bit of the thunder from the 2014 Corvette Stingray at the Detroit Auto Show, and that something was an 88 inch wide Ford truck descending from the ceiling.

The Ford Atlas Concept is just that, a concept, not meant for production.  But really it’s many concepts.  Ford asked consumers what they wanted in a truck for the modern age, and smashed it all in to this one gorgeous monster machine.  As we discussed in another article, it’s got power, MPGs, technology, and a whole lotta style.

Luckily, one of the top Ford truck experts anywhere works right here in Indianapolis in Gavin McNicholas from Hubler Ford in Shelbyville, Indiana.  This guy knows his stuff, and IndyAutoBlog was able to get him some face time with one of Ford’s top truck guys, Marc Lapine.  Marc worked his way up through the ranks (and fast!) at Ford, and is now Ford’s F-150 Consumer Marketing Manager.

We got these two together on a live broadcast Google Hangout to talk about the Ford Atlas Concept and how it might impact the F-Series line of pickups, and here are the results:

Here’s Gavin’s list of questions, most of which he got a chance to ask.

1) With the Atlas concept being viewed as a “learning lab”, how has Ford been able to advance its fuel efficiency knowledge?
2) To get an idea of the size, is the Atlas stance closer in width to the Raptor, or Super Duty platform that exists now?
3) The sculpting of the hood is unique.  How was the design concept arrived upon?
4) Are the Atlas’ side mirror spotlights controlled independently from within the cab, or do they work in unison? 
5) How does the control system work?
6) What was the goal of the longer tailgate step design?
7)The Cargo Ramp system is an interesting feature. How does the ramp work within the body of the truck?
8) Most of us are familiar with the Active grille shutters on the Focus SFE. Is the Atlas using a similar system?
9) How does the wheel shutter system work? 
10) What is the expected impact of the wheel shutters on fuel economy?
11) The lower air dam design seems to be in a position similar to the current skidplates.  Are the two integrated?
12) The Cargo Cradle isn’t discussed in much detail on most of the websites I’ve seen.  How does the setup work?
13) How is the trailer back up assist system operated?
14) Where are the lenses for the 360 camera located?

So, what do you think? Will we see these changes in production models? Will this be enough to keep the F-Series ahead of growing competition?

Posted in F-150, Ford, Future Vehicles, Industry, Video and tagged , , .

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