By on January 15, 2013

If there is one “winner” at NAIAS this year, it’s Ford. This should have been GM’s show, with the Corvette (its halo model) and their new full-size truck (their bread and butter) both being shown to the public for the first time. Instead, Ford debuted the Atlas concept, a thinly disguised 2015 F-150.

The big story with the Atlas is the active aerodynamic features; power running boards, a drop-down air dam, active grille shutters and even active wheel shutters(!) are present on the concept truck. Who knows whether these will make it to the production truck, but it’s not out of the question. Thanks to CAFE, rising gas prices and a relentless advertising war, pickup trucks are under the gun for fuel economy improvements. Short of prohibitively expensive aluminum components (that would end the era of affordable trucks for Americans), these incremental improvements, along with downsized powertrains, will be the preferred path to reduced fuel consumption.

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138 Comments on “NAIAS 2013: Ford Atlas Ruins GM’s World...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Look at this Ford Hilux! Hah. I really like the squared off low roof though, and the cuts in the rear door glass. Active wheel shutters sounds like a joke to me, considering how dirty wheels get and the hazards they go through.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      It is an interesting design. It seems like the proportions reflect more passenger space relative to the amount of real estate dedicated to the engine compartment. Could it reflect a move to all V6 drivetrains next time around?

  • avatar
    99_XC600

    Yes, when Ford lowered it from the ceiling they essentially dragged their ballsack across Chevy and Dodge’s face.

    Good Job Ford…LOL

  • avatar
    philadlj

    The Ford Atlas may overshadow the comparatively timid new full-size trucks, but there’s no way in hell it overshadows the C7 Corvette Stingray. Figuratively, that is. Physically, put the two side by side, the Atlas will indeed cast a shadow over the C7, if the lighting’s right. I think we know where this is headed: when that 2015 F-150 is unveiled, GM will counter it with a flashier concept of their own.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      If the C7 is really awesome, GM can hope to sell 3K/month with negligible impact on the bottome line.

      If the next F-150 is really awesome, GM can kiss its truck profits good-bye.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        The current F-150 is better than the current Silverado/Sierra with Ford pushing ahead with more fuel efficient powertrains etc. However the GM twins still sell large numbers (575K ve 645K for Ford). I suspect GM will continue to sell large numbers of trucks. Toyota failed to break through with their Tundra and the expectation was they would do well since they have with passenger cars.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        Oh, I’m sure GM will continue to sell lots of trucks but a measurably better F-150 puts downward price pressure on GM and Chrysler.

        Now, we don’t know if it’s all that great but the list of features does stimulate the imagination.

        The active aerodynamics is a very interesting feature. GM put it on the market first by offering it on the Cruze Eco (it was one of the early Volt ideas but didn’t make the cut) but, as far as I can recall, GM hasn’t offered it on anything else. If Ford brings practical active aerodynamics to an arena where the fuel savings could really, really matter, then that’s a pretty big deal.

        And the C7 looks nice but can GM run even a single company plane on the profits it generates?

        I wonder if Ford is doing anything with VCM, yet? EcoBoost plus VCM plus active aerodynamics plus a strict diet featuring aluminum could make for a measurably better truck.

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      Ford must be feeling the heat from the new RAM, if they chose to reveal a 2015 concept in January 2013!

      That gives both Chevy and Dodge almost 2 years of notification on what to do stylistically to counter it.

      But my questions still are:
      1) Will it beat Ram’s 25 mpg (1500 gas version)?
      2) Will it offer a 6-speed manual transmission, like the Ram 3500 Diesel?

      No sticky, no getty…

      ————

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        Huh? This is exactly when you’d expect to see a concept for MY2015. A 2015 truck will be in dealerships in less than 18 months. The production version will be at next year’s show, making a concept kind of out of place.

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        A 2015 vehicle can be sold as early as January 1, 2014. Less than a year from now…

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        IIRC, Ford released the new generation 1997 Ford F-150 in January 1996. They were still selling the previous generation 1996 alongside for a little while.

      • 0 avatar
        chicagoland

        Umm, 2015’s can be legally be sold in one year. And MY ’15 is 18 months away.

        GM and Fiat can’t just “whip up” new styling. Whatever they have for 2 years out is locked in place.

        Chevy trucks still look 20 years old, for the ‘classic rock’ types who hate anything that “looks new”. But this generation is getting older and older, GM has to stop catering to outdated tastes.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Ford didn’t have any big name production ready vehicles to debut at NAIAS, while GM was launching two of their biggest – the new trucks and the Corvette.

      Ford shouldn’t have even really been in the conversation for NAIAS publicity, but managed to grab more truck headlines with a truck concept that won’t see a production vehicle for at least another year and a half vs GM’s new trucks hitting the ground in a few months.

      Being able to change the conversation and direct focus without having a product about to ship is a victory in itself.

      Ford has been doing a consistently better job than GM when it comes to marketing, especially in new media. Next year at NAIAS Ford will have the next-gen Mustang ready for display – do you think any of the upper level execs will be giving contradictory quotes on where it will be available for sale or swearing at reporters about not caring what they do or don’t write about the gaffe?

  • avatar
    200k-min

    Anti-GM bias calls in 3….2….

    Seriously, it looks cool, and I’m no truck fan.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Looks like a good truck, but as others have said hardly over shadowing the Corvette. Also wasn`t the Silverado and Sierra revealed last month- so already old news!
      This does telegraph to GM what Ford intends in 2 years time, nearly as bad as with the NSX showing stuff years ahead of potential introduction. I am sure they will have something to counter by then.

  • avatar
    carguy

    I don’t think that Ford has anything to overshadow the C7 Corvette with (they would need a new Mustang to do that) but they certainly have taken advantage of GMs underwhelming next gen truck launch to remind buyers which company is leading in truck R&D.

  • avatar
    fvfvsix

    Honestly, I can see one of these eventually replacing our X3. That’s how good this truck looks.

  • avatar
    mvlbr

    Ford FTW!!!

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    …thinly disguised?

    “power running boards, a drop-down air dam, active grille shutters and even active wheel shutters”

    Why the hell would I want any of that crap on my truck? Would they work if caked in red Georgia clay? Is Ford assuming pickup buyers don’t go off road anymore?

    Not a huge fan of the effeminate styling either. Maybe if Ford makes a matching purse I might get one for the wife.

    • 0 avatar

      How is THAT effeminate styling? Its basically just a big block with some headlights.

      Also, as with the current models…if you don’t want the high-end tech, just don’t buy the high-end models.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      @ FJ60LandCruiser

      Honky.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      @FJ60:

      You have to keep in mind that this is TTAC, where even concept Ford products (and rather tame/undewhelming by the typical standards of what a concept vehicle is supposed to achieve) are received with automatic, orgasmic, knee-jerk reactions, regardless as to the merits (or demerits) of said products.

      Think of the “game changer” 2013 Fusion announced here on TTAC, which with time and further details, has gotten a whole lot more ordinary, and possibly outshadowed by several new competitors (Accord, Mazda 6, etc.).

      And, as to this CONCEPT Atlas p/u truck, right you are; there’s nothing that dramatic about it. But even the features that it boasts it will have (which may or may not have significant benefit) underneath the LED lighting of the NAIAS, and that may or may not even come to fruition– on a concept vehicle nonetheless– are literally praised with the gushing language of pure fanboism.

      • 0 avatar
        Silvy_nonsense

        @DeadWeight,

        It’s not about TTAC. Ford’s stunt worked because GM’s new trucks are so underwhelming. GM brought a knife to a gun fight and there’s no one to blame for that except GM itself.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        @DW:
        I’ve also seen you misconstrue my comments to reinforce your bias. Note: I didn’t call it bias until you misquoted me on purpose. Your rants used to carry note-worthy weight.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        tres: I never have personally attacked you (nor any other TTAC member or writer), nor have I ever intentionally misquoted you.

        It’s my understanding that you’re referring to the 1.6 liter ecoboost motor in the Escape and Fusion, and my reference to your claim (that I do not doubt) that it’s being phased out after a mere year or so, in another thread.

        When you made that claim, you stated you weren’t at liberty to specify the exact reasons it was being phased out, even given the context of ongoing reliability problems it has suffered (I believe two, and possibly three, recalls as of now).

        Silvy, I agree that GM’s new pickups are underwhelming. They don’t appear appreciably different cosmetically, nor is the interior up to par, IMO.

        However, this article by Derek is another example of the prevailing & quite strong pro-Ford bias (i.e. Ford can nearly do no wrong; whatever Ford does is somehow magical or “game changing”). Consider that the article posts a single photo of the exterior of the ‘Atlas’ concept vehicle, from some distance (and one angle), and repeats some Ford marketing material about particular features that it may contain, and that Derek uses this to claim that Ford has stolen the thunder at the NAIAS.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      What percentage of pickup trucks go off-road? 10%? 5%? And even then, how many of them were bought NEW by the off-roader. Not counting actual work trucks of course, which will have NONE of the fancy features.

      The overwhelming majority of them are exceedingly inefficient commuting vehicles that occasionally get something tossed in the bed at Home Depot. A few work for a living.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        What percentage of Porsches travel at 100+ mph on the highway? What percentage of BMW 5-Series models or Mercedes E-Classes do that on a regular basis?

        A Honda Accord or Civic is a more efficient commuting vehicle than any of those cars, as well. Plus, they break less often while costing less to purchase.

        For that matter, the same could be said about the plenty of F-150s compared to a BMW or a Mercedes-Benz.

        It isn’t just purchasers of full-size pickups who buy vehicles that don’t necessarily make “sense.”

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        Porsches don’t take up 1&1/3 parking spaces and their bumpers meet my bumpers and I can see over their hoods when they pull up next to me at a traffic light.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        “Porsches don’t take up 1&1/3 parking spaces”

        No, their owners typically occupy a full two :-)

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        KixStart: Porsches don’t take up 1&1/3 parking spaces and their bumpers meet my bumpers and I can see over their hoods when they pull up next to me at a traffic light.

        Yawn….

      • 0 avatar
        chicagoland

        Today’s typical truck owner washes it once a week, and complains if it’s “dusty”.

        Hard core truckers get 10+ year old beaters.

    • 0 avatar
      otaku

      @ FJ60LandCruiser
      “…caked in red Georgia clay…”

      Perhaps Ford is expecting that customers will like their new trucks so much that they might go to all the trouble of actually washing them once in a while.

      • 0 avatar
        fincar1

        “red Georgia clay”

        We visited Georgia a few years ago, and at the time the Georgia license plates had a peach graphic, and an orange line about an inch high along the bottom. After seeing quite a few houses with a similar orange line along the bottom from red clay rain splash, I thought the plates seemed to fit right in.

    • 0 avatar
      01 ZX3

      Power running boards have been used by Ford for a while now on the Navigator.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Power running boards have been on the F-150 Platinum for a few years as well. Active grill shutters have been on certain trims of the Focus since the ’12 redesign, are on the C-Max, and on certain packages of the new Fusion as well.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Looks very Ramish to me. Ripping off the big-rig grille theme IMO.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    GM just unveil your current 1/2 ton PU at the 2015 show with an Isuzu I4 turbo diesel nestled under the hood and trust me no one will care about the new F150 or any other 1/2 ton PU for that matter. It’s that simple.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      That’s a great idea! Have you sent your resume to GM’s Product Planning group? I totally don’t work for Ford or Ram and I’m totally not trying to drag down GM by directing certain candidates toward GM, I swear! You should definitely apply! Good luck, bro!

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        Hey that’s OK I just got a job. That’s how I was able to sell the F150 I was driving and buy a real truck!

        See I can come on the internet and act like a simpleton too!………LOL

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      So in order to eek out little incremental improvements in highway mpg Ford and GM are adding shutters and retractable bits here and using more expensive materials to lighten their trucks (for how much extra cost?). In one fell swoop and for < $1k either of the big 3 truck makers can make a 30% mpg on average across the board city / highway. Most importantly if the truck is used to tow or haul heavy loads owners will see a 40-50% improvement as diesels make their maximum power at much lower RPM. Whoever brings the first light duty diesel pickup option that costs less than $30k new will make a killing as business owners who need their pickups for actual work and need to save money over the long term.

  • avatar

    That’s two keyboards… brilliant comment 99_XC600!

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    Ford had to put this out there to give their fans hope for catching up with the new GM Trucks in a couple years!

    • 0 avatar
      LBJs Love Child

      Well, no one can accuse you of not having a sense of humor. No sense of irony, but not humor.

      • 0 avatar
        Silvy_nonsense

        @LBJ’s Love Child,

        I don’t think you understand. The GMC version has real aluminum center console trim and red ambient lighting. Red, for crying out loud! There is no way Ford will be able to develop that kind of cutting edge technology in a couple of years.

  • avatar
    Mullholland

    Ooooh! A concept pick-up truck! Looks like 1958 to me. No real news here. Oh, they dropped it from the ceiling? Does that mean it can FLY?
    Seems like TTAC becomes a tool for FoMoCo, just like every other media outlet. A real news story would have had some news in it, like the launch of a newly redesigned Ranger.
    This is simply the latest chapter in the decades-long pissing match between GM and Ford…while the Germans, then the Japanese and now the Koreans kick both of their asses.

    • 0 avatar
      FJ60LandCruiser

      …because American roads are just teeming with German and Korean 1/2 ton pickups.

      …and the Tundra has been such a sweeping success, as has the Titan.

      And Honda’s Ridgeline revolutionalized the pickup market so much it inspired dozens of imitations.

      Last time I checked, these things pay the bills for FoMoCo, GM, and Marchionne’s Ponzi scheme and really are a bigger deal than just about anything else at this car show.

      That is until 90% of Americans realize that they aren’t cowboys, builders, or farmers and can haul kids and groceries in smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      chicagoland

      Koreans? PFFFT! Has any Korean car ever got top quality ratings? Also, where are the 200K mile Hyundais?

  • avatar
    Mykl

    Looks good.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    …”…If there is one “winner” at NAIAS this year, it’s Ford…”…

    why write that? serioulsy, why? Its just a bald faced lie. I didnt know TTAC was into this type of sensationalism…

    Ford has a winner on their hands with the Escape based Lincoln crossover. That much is very clear. They need to build that thing asap. It will sell… other than that, Ford has shown nothing of relevance this year.

    The ATLAS looks awsome. Probably 90% of the production truck. But to compare one manufactueres concept truck to another makers’ production truck is stupid. Its also stupid to invent a headline that has no basis in reality.

    If this was the production reveal with production features, then yes, they would have upstaged GM on their big week… but as it is, Ford just showed us a cool preview of the F150. Nice move. Good move. Smart… they didnt ruin GM’s world with this…

    Now,
    on the other hand, the RIGHT HAND DRIVE CORVETTE argument between Akerson and his operations leads is definitely something the General is inflicting on themselves… I think Akerson needs to go…. I personally believe it is his fault that the Malibu lauch was screwed…. In reading between the lines, he has not made much of an impression on the men and women that keep GM alive….

    • 0 avatar
      dan1malk

      They do it for the clicks these days. It got you to click, and got me to click too.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      No kidding…I can see the year ahead for TTAC and the Corvette…with headlines of DOOM!!!!

      Bertel will write stories about how the 2014 Corvette is getting killed in China by Audi.

      Derek will have gloom and doom articles about 2013 Corvette inventory levels.

      Sajeev will scour the car looking for a component that, when photographed in terrible lighting by an amateur with a smart phone, makes it maybe look cheap.

      Lotta clicks…lotta $$. Gotta pay the bills.

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      “Ford has a winner on their hands with the Escape based Lincoln crossover.”

      It’s hard to take the rest of your comment seriously after a statement like that.

      “…but as it is, Ford just showed us a cool preview of the F150. Nice move. Good move. Smart… they didnt ruin GM’s world with this…”

      If a significant percentage of truck buyers don’t bite at GM’s latest offerings because they know that something better (stylistically, fuel efficiency, etc.) is coming out next year, then Ford most certainly did evacuate their bladder into the General’s cereal bowl.

      • 0 avatar
        86SN2001

        “It’s hard to take the rest of your comment seriously after a statement like that.”

        What is the MKC or whatever random letter Lincoln choose based on? The Ford Escape. It’s a poor rebadged of a poor vehicle. The truth Hertz.

        Ford showing a poorly done concept with some fancy running boards and some neat lights is not a game changer. Ford doesn’t know how to do a game changer, even in fantasy “concept land”. In fact, “previews” like this further make Ford irrelevant. They just don’t get it.

      • 0 avatar
        cdakost

        The Ford Escape is not a poor vehicle. It has been routinely ranked as one of the best small SUVs on the market and also is one of the best selling SUVs on the market.

        Have you ever been in a Ford Escape? I have and they’re actually quite nice.

      • 0 avatar
        86SN2001

        Yes, I have been in one, and it’s mediocre at best. And the new one is worse than the last one. Problematic engines, recalls all over the place, terrible interior layout, interior materials that are mediocre at best, etc.

        It’s a half assed vehicle. Ford botched it big time.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I was just hoping someone would debut a real, basic pickup truck that – you know – LOOKS like a PICKUP TRUCK. Just keep it simple…but nooooo…they don’t listen to me!

    Oh well, what do I care? I’m not buying one, anyway.

    It is kinda cool, though ;}

  • avatar
    gslippy

    In the photo, I see a truck from 50 feet away. It’s indistinguishable from any other Ford truck. I see no interior, no specs, and no price.

    I’m very skeptical of moveable air management parts, especially on a truck. As FJ60LandCruiser said, let’s see them work when dirty. Not only that, but what might such equipment yield in MPG gains – maybe 0.5 mpg on a truck on the highway? And how do you know they’re working?

    • 0 avatar
      Brian P

      As we’ve seen from the press on the Ford Fusion hybrid and C-Max hybrid (and various other Fords …)

      It doesn’t have to work in the real world. It only has to work in the EPA’s test lab!

      Unless there’s a serious weight or frontal area reduction or a diesel engine, there will be no huge further improvement in real-world truck fuel consumption figures. They’re too heavy and they push too much air. I see the slanted windscreen on this concept and therefore grant that they’ve put some effort into improving aerodynamics, even if all the movable gizmos and gadgets stop working.

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      They dont have to work once its delivered to the customer. All that has to happen is for them to work during EPA tests for CAFE. In spite of the tricky formulas that give a bit of a pass to large vehicles, CAFE is still a real threat to the Big Three’s cash cows. I would like a small diesel as much as the next guy, but all this active aero stuff still costs a lot less to make than a turbodiesel that will meet EPA/CARB regs.

  • avatar
    Waterview

    + Infinity to 99_XC600

    I second the nomination for “Best Comment Ever” . . . . .

  • avatar
    greaseyknight

    Looks like a mash up of the new Fusion and the Superduty.

    The C7 may be cooler, but in the real world a boatload of F-150’s will be sold and Ford will be laughing all the way to the bank.

  • avatar
    Buzz Killington

    Call me when one of them sticks a diesel into a half-ton pickup. That’s when you’ll know that someone is serious about fuel mileage in a truck.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Wow, nice truck. I can haz wheel shutterz too? I haven’t driven a truck in 15 years and recently borrowed my nephew’s 2011 Ram. Amazing how far they’ve come. But, no matter how useful a truck would be for me, I just can’t accept how gargantuan they’ve become. How the heck did my dad get by with a 67 Econoline? Not only that, but around here you typically see a huge ton-and-half 4X4 pulling a tool trailer. Is that because the box is only 5.5 ft? New trucks are pretty fantastic, but how much bigger canthey get?

    • 0 avatar
      Wabbit3

      Being square in the middle of pickup country (well, new pickup country, not actual used-in-the-dirt muddy 4×4 country) you don’t even see new “Regular” cabs for sale anymore and you regularly find $60k houses with $60k four-door lifted manhood-extenders out front that are too big for the carport.

      Personally, I loved my 1998 F150. It was supposed to be the direction of future trucks – but gas stayed cheap, and the F150 needed to be more massive and “manly” to appeal to this market.

      What I’m not seeing yet is mention of all the Aluminium that was rumored to be bringing the weight down, which I guess is the only alternative after shrinking the size was ruled out and silly hail-Mary’s like automated air dams and wheel covers prove to be as reliable as late 60’s vacuum headlight covers.

    • 0 avatar
      cargogh

      I parked an old ’90 Toyota p’up next to a brand new F250 at Kroger the other day. The 20-something driver was just waiting in it, weigh, er way up there. It was amazingly tall and big. The colossal grill is shaped like the new Silverado center stack. It really seemed like a caricature of a pickup. The chrome and paint colors could have come from an ’89 Continental Cartier Edition. I guess they will grown until one of the three make a significant size reduction, and the other two follows.

  • avatar

    It seems like a bit of an oxymoron in and of itself, but this concept looks dated to me…

    • 0 avatar
      Wabbit3

      It does, but then I think it has just a bit of Dodge Deora to it in there somewhere.

      I was wondering when cabs would migrate more and more forward, and the Chevy Colorado replacement went first, and now this.

  • avatar
    Toad

    If Ford builds this truck it may get me back into a pickup. Didn’t think that I’d be tempted, but this might do it.

    We’ll know a lot more in 18 months.

  • avatar
    Banger

    “these incremental improvements, along with downsized powertrains, will be the preferred path to reduced fuel consumption.”

    Or, you know, they could just introduce the diesel-powered T6 Ranger in North America that’s already on sale in the rest of the world and getting better fuel mileage than the F-150. Whatever.

    Also, the T6 gets a manual transmission, the way God intended in pickup trucks. I just can’t go for a slushbox in my vehicles, especially a pickup truck I’m going to use for hauling heavy loads now and then. Three pedals or no sale.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      I’m sure that demand for a diesel-powered T6 Ranger with a manual transmission will be just as strong as the demand for diesel-powered station wagons with manual transmissions that posters on this site clamor for regularly.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      If we could get a diesel Ranger Crew Cab I’d buy it tomorrow. However for slippery boat ramps I’d take the auto with paddle shifters. The F-150 is too big and appears (by these pictures) to just be getting BIGGER. No thanks! You hear me Ford? I want a F-75 or F-100 sized truck.

  • avatar
    86SN2001

    So, Ford introduces a ugly, POS rebadge Escape and a abortion of a truck filled with useless gimmicks and they win NAIAS?

    HAHAHAHA, when will the undeserved Ford love end? That is a nutty statement.

    Jeep with the Cherokee (the tiny 3.0 gets better mileage than the “eco” boost Explorer and can actually tow something…so much for “eco” boost lol) and GM with the REAL Corvette and REAL pickups won the show. Not these pipe dream, ugly, POS Fords. If anything this truck shows how out of touch Ford really is.

    • 0 avatar
      cdakost

      You really need to get out of your blind hate for Ford and learn to check facts.

      First of all, there isn’t a 3.0 in the Grand Cherokee, but there is a 3.6.

      Secondly, the EPA numbers for the Ford Explorer 4-cylinder EcoBoost is 20/28 city/hwy for 23 combined mpg. The 3.6 V6 in the Grand Cherokee, is 17/23 city/hwy for 19 combined mpg. The Ford is higher. But you probably don’t trust the EPA numbers.

      Which is why I looked up real world mpg on Fuelly. The average for the EcoBoost Explorer is 21 mpg, while the average for the 3.6 Grand Cherokee is 18.9 mpg. Again the Explorer is higher.

      Now I understand your concerns about towing with the 4-cylinder EcoBoost. But that’s not what that engine is for. The 4-cylinder is there for people that are using their Explorer as a family hauler. If you want to tow something get the 3.5 V6. Granted this engine only gets 16/22 city/hwy in EPA tests for 18 mpg combined. I will say that that is 1 mpg less than the 3.6 Grand Cherokee. However, people on Fuelly have been averaging 19.4 mpg, which is actually higher than the Jeep.

      Finally, I can say that I own a 3.5 Explorer and I average about 19 mpg but I also have a fairly heavy right foot. As to your concerns about towing, I towed a loaded 6X12 foot enclosed U-Haul from Minnesota and Connecticut and the Explorer handled it just fine doing 65 mph.

      • 0 avatar
        86SN2001

        Jeep just released a 3.0 diesel in the Grand Cherokee. Why don’t you check YOUR “facts”. 3.0 diesel with 420 pound feet of torque and 30 mpg.

        You Ford slappies need to understand that real facts does NOT equal blind hate for Ford.

        The explorer is mediocre at best, and I sure hope Ford has figured out the complete loss of steering issue with the explorer.

        Pretty sad that a Jeep with 420 pound feet of torque gets better fuel economy than a dog slow explorer with the so called “Eco” boost explorer. So much for being Eco.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        cdakost — no need to feed the trolls/fanboi. It was pretty clear to me that Silvy was comparing the 3.0 diesel in the GC to a gas engine, which is silly, but then again, it’s troll-fanboi stuff as it was below, often with little basis in fact.

  • avatar
    jco

    not to add another 17″ radial to the infinitely burning tire fire that is GM vs TTAC , but what *IS* Chevy/GM doing about this truck thing? they have nothing to compete with the EcoBoost truck lineup. The 2014 Silverado looks new, but how much of it is as advanced/new as the Ford?

    I stole this from Jalopnik’s post about the Atlas:
    “There’s a number of other interesting features designed based on the kinds of work these trucks tend to do. There’s a very nice little inverted-U-shaped hydraulic frame that raises out of the tailgate to assist in managing long cargo. If you’ve ever tried to haul a dozen 12′ 2x4s you can imagine how handy something like this could be. Though they didn’t mention it, with this thing extended and the tailgate down, you could drag an idiot/friend on roller skates for an excitingly pants-soiling asphalt-skiing session.

    Most tantalizing and least explained was a trailer backup assist system. As someone who’s blocked traffic horribly backing up trailers, this is very exciting.”

    any more info on this stuff?

    I’m also pretty sure I read that Ford was already planning to incorporate large amounts of Aluminum into the body of the 2014/2015 F-150 anyways.

    GM may be showing off the Corvette, but the trucks pay the bills for these guys.

    • 0 avatar
      86SN2001

      GM doesn’t need crappy gimmicks to sell trucks nor do they need gas guzzling, high strung V6 engines that are about as impressive as cold oatmeal.

      GM will continue to do what they do best. Refinement, reliability, and durability while not being arrogant and garish

  • avatar
    jimboy

    Doesn’t the Ram 1500 already have most of this stuff? Ford’s playing catch up, and GM ain’t even in the game.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    With each generation of pick-ups getting bigger and bigger, pretty soon you’ll have to have a tractor-trailer license to drive one.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Tthe anti-GM from this place is out of control. You just lost a reader, and I’m not even a GM fan. You guys are trying too hard to be subversive and “honest”.

    • 0 avatar
      86SN2001

      Yeah, but if you ask them about their clear GM bias, they’ll look at like you like you’re crazy. Maybe they believe the earth is flat too.

      Ford gets a free pass around here. Never mind the completely botched introductions of the mediocre escape and bland fusion. Never mind the continual products that burst into flames. Never mind the numerous recalls on the 1.6 “eco” boost, never mind the fact that ecoboost is nothing more than a trouble prone line of engines that guzzle gas. Never mind that the new, mediocre explorer loses all steering ability at high speed (Ford, in typical fashion, is ignoring that one), never mind the complete pile of garbage My Ford Touch/sync is. Never mind that Ford lied about the fuel economy of their two mediocre hybrid appliances (cmax/fusion). Never mind all the issues with the manual in the Mustang, never mind that the comical gt500 gets its ass handed to it by the considerably less powerful and far cheaper ZL1. Never mind the floppy and weak frames under the red neck special (raptor). Never mind the unimpressive boss and it’s amazingly stupid “track key”. Never mind any of that.

      But God forbid if you have a gauge cluster that doesn’t look perfect under less than ideal lighting conditions (and use a junk camera to take a bad picture as proof).

      If those issues above were on GM vehicles, there would have been MULTIPLE articles on this site a out them.

      • 0 avatar
        cdakost

        The Escape and Fusion are better than mediocre. The Fusion is probably one of the most exciting mid-sized family sedans on the market today. Have you even driven them?

        GM’s had more products catching on fire than Ford. Trail Blazer (well-named eh?) and Express anyone?

        The EcoBoost line is not a trouble prone engine line. The only problem has been the fires in the 1.6 which have been dealt with quite quickly . The have been proven in the real world to get better mileage than their naturally aspirated counterparts. You’re just jealous that GM didn’t come up with them.

        I own a new Explorer and routinely drive through the hills of the Mississippi River valley in southeastern Minnesota. I can assure you that I’ve had no issues with steering because if I did I would have hit a tree and killed myself by now. I think that problem is more due to people not knowing how to drive properly than anything else.

        Yes, MyFordTouch has had some issues. It’s a bit slow and does crash ever know and then but they keep working on it and it keeps getting better. Sync itself (which is an entirely different thing) is a really great system. Other publications agree with that.

        It’s hard to judge the C-Max and Fusion Hybrids right now because Ford hasn’t actually been proven to have cheated. I heard it said that the EPA tests don’t work well with hybrids. Gas mileage ultimately comes down to have you drive more than anything.

        I can’t comment on the manual transmissions in the Mustang because I’ve never heard of that problem before. All I can say is that I have a friend with a manual Mustang and he hasn’t had any problems.

        The GT500 is not comical, it is a speed freak. The ZL1 is slightly better through a corner but can’t get near the GT500 on the straights. The ZL1 isn’t “far cheaper” than the GT500. Base price on the GT500 is actually $2k LESS than the base price of the ZL1.

        Again I’ve never heard of any problems with the frames on the SVT Raptor. I have a friend with one (I promise not all my friends drive Fords, just some) and he hasn’t had any issues with it. Besides, find me another truck that can compete in the Baja 1000 stock.

        The Boss 302 is actually really impressive for what you get for your money. It’s a bit like the BRZ/FR-S/GT86. It’s not the quickest car out there, just the quickest in its price bracket. Oh, and Track Key is really cool. Have you ever used Track Key?

        You’re right though, if these problems existed there would have been MULTIPLE articles on this site and others.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        Really, do you have the word “mediocre” on keyboard speed dial or something? You seem to use it a lot.

        This may help:
        http://www.thesaurus.com

      • 0 avatar
        86SN2001

        Cdakost you are such a fan boy. You can bury our head in the sand all oh want, but the problems are still there. You really need to jump off he Ford forums and find reality. The new Fords are garbage and the fact that you wasted perfectly good money on a new, limp wrested Taurus wagon, I mean Explorer really shows how out of touch you are. Let us know when you get a real vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        The ecoboost 1.6 liter is not a trouble prone engine?

        Really?

        It’s been the subject of 3 major recalls in the last year or so and is anything other than an objective failure by modern reliability standards?…and even Ford related sources claim it’s being phased out after 2013 (admittedly for some claims of “for other than reliability” reasons…take that for what you will.).

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        DW, you’ve said that the 1.6L Ecoboost will be phased out several times, but what’s your source? I’m pretty sure the NA 1.6L will be phased out with the 1.0 Ecoboost, and I believe Ford’s 1.6L diesel will be phased out, but I haven’t heard this regarding the 1.6L Ecoboost.

        Last I checked, Ford showed the 2014 Ford Fiesta ST to have a 197 hp version of the 1.6L Ecoboost:

        http://www.autoblog.com/2012/11/28/2014-ford-fiesta-st-la-2012/

      • 0 avatar
        cdakost

        @86, I don’t belong to any Ford forums or forums related to any other manufacturer. Why don’t you get off the GM forums every once in a while. I only ever find see you leaving negative comments on Ford related articles.

        @DW, read what I said again. I agree that 1.6 has had issues. However, the EcoBoost lineup as a whole hasn’t had any problems. Just the 1.6.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        corntrollio, my 1st notice that the 1.6 ecoboost would be phased out after model year 2013 was tresmonos, but he made mention of this on the semi-QT as he couldn’t reveal too much for work related issues.

        In trying to be accurate and not misquote him, I believe he stated they were being phased out with respect to the Escape & Fusion, and that it was for reasons not related to reliability issues.

        cda, I understand that and was only referencing the ecoboost 1.6 in my prior comments.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        @DW:
        Fusion only. Taxes being the reason. I believe I said this before but I can see how it was misconstrued. What else would Bridgend be left to do? :)

        Things may have changed since I was plugged into that program. I would also bet on product mix/capacity being a secondary factor.

        I ripped you above as you used it to push your viewpoint as ‘evidence’ in another post. Please accept my apologies.

        I would defend it’s economical nature, but why feed the trolls?

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        tres, I don’t accept your apology only because I don’t expect an apology, as you’ve nothing to apologize for.

        I did misquote you in that other thread, but it was unintentional. Even so, it is I who owe you the apology because I wasn’t careful enough in reading what you had stated before I proceeded to incorrectly state information to someone else, and I attributed that incorrect information to you as a source.

        So, please accept my apology.

      • 0 avatar
        cdakost

        DW, I owe you an apology for not reading your response to me carefully enough.

        Ultimately, at the end of the day, despite what company we may be more loyal to, I hope that we can all come together as people who just love cars and driving.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        @DW. Accepted – no worries. I’ll try to continue to share useless automotive info when I can to keep the conversation interesting.

        FWIW, the 2.0L Valencia engine seems to be a shining star compared to the 1.6L from what I’ve seen. Makes one wonder if it’s plant related. I’m not plugged into powertrain enough to make an intelligent analysis.

      • 0 avatar
        bizzarodave

        @Tresmonos

        I have the EB 2.0l in my new Focus. It’s a hell of an engine, though I haven’t been able to have much fun with it yet in the weather. Not sure why the Bridgend built 1.6l and the Valencia 2.0l are so different, but they seem to be.

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      Is it possible, just the tiny bit possible, that GM deserves some of the criticism that TTAC directs their way? Then again, there was that whole GM Death Watch thing and we all saw how that turned out. Oh wait …

      • 0 avatar
        86SN2001

        Yes, absolutely.

        However the constant, orgasmic praise for Ford and their lackluster appliances is not only undeserved, but also dishonest.

        Seriously, TTAC writes an article slamming GM (and then reposts another one) because Ford shows two mediocre concepts, one of which is a rebadge of a very trouble prone SUV and the other is a pipe dream truck full of useless gimmicks.

        It’s pathetic.

      • 0 avatar
        ABankThatMakesCars

        touche’

      • 0 avatar
        dodobreeder

        Yes, it is more than possible that GM deserves some of the criticism because GM is a failed company, long dead if not for the unwilling taxpayers.

        But I do not believe that TTAC is guilty of being anti-GM. I was a GM guy myself for many decades, as was my dad, but once better came on the market, that’s the way I went. My last truck was an F150. My current truck is a Tundra 5.7L.

        All the people who unceasingly praise GM had great ownership experiences. Good for them! Lots of loyalty there.

        All the people that criticize Ford, GM and Chrysler had bad experiences with them. All the haters who rag on Japan, Inc. are just envious of Japan’s better vehicles.

        Need I remind anyone that Toyota is once again the biggest car maker on the planet? Why? Because they make better sh!t and that’s what people choose to buy.

        And the F150 is still the best selling truck on the planet. Why? Because it is a darn good truck for the money and what most people who want to buy a truck aspire to, unless they can afford a Tundra 5.7L.

        The 2014 GM trucks are great for what they are, but GM is just playing catch-up with Ford and RAM. But the Ford concept Atlas, if it comes out as a 2015, will continue as the best selling truck, especially if it has a lightweight, all-aluminum, 32-valve, DOHC, 5.7-liter V8 (or larger) in it.

        GM cannot compete with the Ford Ecoboost and no one has an engine as good as the Tundra 5.7. A RAM with a Pentastar doesn’t even come close to an Ecoboost. GM still has nothing, except the loyalty from their fans.

        I’d like to see the Atlas come to market. I would look at it the next time I trade my truck. I bet the Atlas will have more takers than the 2014 GM trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @dodobreeder- Backmarker Tundra along with Nissan’s Titan combined can’t even match GMC Sierra sales in its last year for the model! That is indicative of market failure, not success, as is Toyotas decision to re-purpose the huge plant they originally planned to build Tundra before the market told them they were failures.

      • 0 avatar
        Bill Steege

        doctor olds, that’s not what Uncle Dodo said. It wasn’t about sales numbers. It was about choice, and what appeals to each individual buyer.

        Just because McDonald’s sells the most hamburgers doesn’t mean they’re the best. My choice for best would be Whataburger. You don’t know what you’re missing until you’ve eaten one.

        Just because GM sells a lot of trucks, doesn’t mean they’re the best. Ditto with Ford. True, Ford is the best seller, but there always will be some people who choose a Titan or a Tundra, while the fans of RAM and GM buy their own brand. Every sale to a RAM, Titan or Tundra is one less for the domestic brands, Ford and GM.

        For the discerning truck buyer, choice is of the utmost importance. Whether a person chooses to buy a Ford, GM, RAM, Titan or Tundra truck is a personal matter. Looking for certain aspects in a truck like that Tundra 5.7 engine or an Ecoboost, or whatever, is usually what drives the sale.

        The new Atlas, if it comes to market as a 2015 F150, could very well eat into future sales of ALL the truck makers, including GM, Tundra, Titan and RAM. I’d like to look at it too, but I’d like a modern, up-to-date, lighter, all-aluminum V8 under the hood as well.

        I have owned F150 before, and they’re not the best handling trucks because of all that dead weight over the front axle. Then again, I live in Texas, where F150 is king, and as long as it can barrel down straight road, who cares about handling, right?

  • avatar
    Acd

    Maybe if GM hadn’t just pulled the truck version of the ’12 Civic with their totally new redesigned trucks (that look like their current trucks) the Ford wouldn’t be so impressive.

    Or maybe knowing that GM would be showing the new version of the greatest threat to the product that generates the most revenue of any Ford, they wanted to make some headlies of their own.

    Or maybe a combination of both.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Quote: GM cannot compete with the Ford Ecoboost and no one has an engine as good as the Tundra 5.7.

      You mean no one has an engine as good on sucking gas like the Tundra 5.7 13/17 MPG wonder. The F-150/Silverado continually slaughter the outdated Toyota turd because they are superior trucks!

  • avatar

    Ford was able to steal GM’s thunder in the pickup truck world because from what I could tell GM did almost nothing to promote the new Silverado/Sierra to the assembled throng of media at the NAIAS. The new trucks had already had their own press introduction a month ago and I guess GM thought that was sufficient, so they basically just put the new trucks out on the show floor. The big GM press conferences were about the new Corvette and the Cadillac ELR which are niche vehicles, albeit high profile niche vehicles. Ford exploited an unforced error.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      So you agree with Derek’s implicit (I’d argue express) point that Ford showing a “concept” (that looks remarkably conventional by concept vehicle standards) of a 2015 truck that may be the F-150, and may or may not have some arguably trivial options available, with no information or photos of the interior or detailed specifications, stole GM’s thunder at the NAIAS (that hasn’t even concluded yet)?

      If so, maybe since Chrysler’s RAM won Truck of the year, and is an actual production vehicle, with a real interior, and real and detailed specs, nearly universally praised by anyone who has seen it or driven it, has stolen whatever thunder Ford & Lincoln had hoped to create at the NAIAS.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        It’s a concept, albeit one likely close to the production version than many concepts are, but a concept nonetheless. Concept vehicles generally don’t come with detailed technical specs. There are more photos available (including interior shots) over at AutoBlog.

        The Truck of the Year award usually goes to whichever of Ford, GM or Dodge has the most recently and thoroughly updated truck. Dodge won this year, GM will win next year with the ’14 Silverado/Sierra, and Ford will win in ’15 with the next-gen F-150.

        GM had a chance to grab a ton of headlines if they’d have announced official power or fuel economy numbers for the new pickup engines, but they chose not to. Instead, they focused on the ELR and the new ‘Vette, which is understandable, but for whatever reason there doesn’t seem to be nearly as much buzz about the new ‘Vette as there was about the C6 when it debuted. Also, in face-palmingly typical GM fashion the powers-that-be managed to make the biggest GM related story out of NAIAS be about whether a niche vehicle would be coming to certain niche markets in RHD, complete with a quote from GM’s vice president of global manufacturing of “I really don’t give a [expletive deleted]“.

      • 0 avatar
        86SN2001

        “So you agree with Derek’s implicit (I’d argue express) point that Ford showing a “concept” (that looks remarkably conventional by concept vehicle standards) of a 2015 truck that may be the F-150, and may or may not have some arguably trivial options available, with no information or photos of the interior or detailed specifications, stole GM’s thunder at the NAIAS (that hasn’t even concluded yet)?”

        Don’t forget the (fire) Escape rebadge they showed too! That’s what did it. Two vehicles that are FAKE, stole the thunder from REAL vehicles.

        Pathetic.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      ‘GM did almost nothing to promote the new Silverado/Sierra to the assembled throng of media’

      Good lord Ronnie…if they had tried to ‘re-reveal’ the vehicle, you all would have made fun of them and said they already did that.

      Derek’s headline was for clicks….its okay…but you don’t have to defend it.

      Are you saying that you needed GM PR reps to remind you to write about the trucks?

      Or is this part of the butt-hurt from some Junior High slight that happened in the past?

      • 0 avatar

        “Good lord Ronnie…if they had tried to ‘re-reveal’ the vehicle, you all would have made fun of them and said they already did that.”

        Not at all. There are so many more journalists at the NAIAS than there were at the December launch of the Silverado and Sierra that I expected them to at least mention them. There was no GMC press conference, and that might have been an opportunity to talk about the new pickups.

        “Derek’s headline was for clicks….its okay…but you don’t have to defend it.”

        In fact I’ve seen comments about Ford stealing the spotlight from GM vis a vis pickups even on non-automotive sites. I’m not defending Derek, I’m just making the same observation that he and a number of other people, automotive and otherwise, have said.

        “Are you saying that you needed GM PR reps to remind you to write about the trucks?”

        Considering that I went out of my way to photograph the new GM pickups and also asked for Chevy and Sierra press kit thumb drives, I’d say the answer to that question is an unqualified no.

        “Or is this part of the butt-hurt from some Junior High slight that happened in the past?”

        I’ll leave it to the best and the brightest to determine who is acting like an immature adolescent in this case.

        If you could show me in any of my writing where I’ve been unfair to General Motors, I would appreciate it. Though the editors may have had different experiences, my personal interactions with GM personnel have been mutually respectful and they’ve given me access. You may recall that I was able to build a LS9 engine out at GM’s Performance Build Center. What feedback I’ve gotten from GM on my writing has been positive.

        I live in the Detroit area. If anything, I tend to defend the domestic automakers. That’s one reason why Robert Farago asked me to contribute to TTAC.

        It’s really not that unusual for a car company to not do publicity at major shows for previously revealed products. Because of auto show logistics and scheduling, a high profile reveal at the Detroit show may not even be at Chicago, for example. Actually, since Chicago is usually more of a “truck” show, I expect GM to make a big deal about the pickups then. In this case, though, I think that there was a perfect storm that ended up benefiting Ford.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        You shoot pretty straight for the most part. I said ‘you all’ instead of ‘you’ on purpose.

        I imagine no Chevy/GMC press conferences because there’s nothing new to talk about since mid December.

        EPA and final certified specifications are probably not ready so the press conference would have been a lot of ‘stay tuned’ answers.

        After a press conference with ‘no new info,’ some critics would have been howling that it was a waste of time and nothing new was learned.

        It would be interesting to know if you could describe the ‘freeze’ or ‘cold war’ effect that Bertel mentioned yesterday when he wrote that it is GM that is biased against TTAC.

        Did you feel that when you did your piece on the Wixom plant.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Ronnie – “In fact I’ve seen comments about Ford stealing the spotlight from GM vis a vis pickups even on non-automotive sites.” I don`t doubt that but I have seen anything about the Atlas prominently except for on TTAC. When I go on Edmunds and the “Whats hot” section I get at least 5 articles about the Corvette and zero about any Ford launch. Edmunds is well read and balanced. So from that perspective it certainly doesn`t seem to be the case that the Corvette (and Chevy by extension) were losers.

        You said it yourself that Chicago is more of a truck show and I expect at that show GM will release pricing, engine and fuel economy figures. If there was nothing to report here then why have a press conference. I agree Ford did well showing what looks like a standard F-150 with some minor tweaks visible. Makes up for having nothing else in the Ford line-up to launch. GM at least had two high price, but lowish volume (although higher than the NSX and RLX will be) launches.

      • 0 avatar
        cargogh

        Google “ford atlas concept steals show”

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        cargogh – good idea and I did. I saw three hits – LA Times, USA Today and Yahoo. Fair enough some outlets did say this. So some people would agree with Derek’s assessment and those who don`t read those publications would have a different view.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    I feel like the mistake GM made here was not giving more information on the forthcoming powertrains. I believe at this point all we know is the displacements of the new engines, and that they will be based on/share tech with the GenV LT1. A bit of info here would have been beneficial.

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    All the newer pick-up trucks kind of look like the Michelin Man, stuck on an air compressor too long. Its funny to think looking at these new trucks – that the ladder frame is about the same, the bed holds about the same, as a full-size did twenty years ago. Yet with all that puffy sheetmetal a new one seems to occupy twice the volume. Mine-bigger-than-yours run amuck, into some kind of Viagra-on-wheels shtick are modern trucks.

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    “On rare occasions, at least one car premieres at an auto show that absorbs all the light and air in the building, that takes our breath away, and takes every one of our editors’ votes without debate,” said Editor Wes Raynal. “The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is that car.”

    Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130116/detroit/130119879#ixzz2IEsL43CC

    So much for Ford stealing GM’s thunder!


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