The cabin
When I was in Detroit recently, my rental car was a current-generation Ford Fiesta. I gotta say, I was impressed. It was a hoot to drive but a little on the darty side. An unexpected dash of fun was the optional ambient interior lighting that engulfed the cabin, even if a little distracting until the hue-of-the-moment was selected (it had at least half-a-dozen colors to choose from). My point is that I’ve been noticing Ford is really playing up the interior lighting thing. I like it.

The Atlas concept is no exception. Take a look below.

2013 Ford Atlas concept interior

The Atlas is loaded down with electronic wizardry. Here’s a partial laundry list:

  • A 360-degree camera system that enables the driver to view the truck from a virtual birds-eye view
  • Dynamic Hitch Assist which helps the driver hitch a trailer without a spotter
  • Trailer Backup Assist helps with visual directions provided on the center display screen (shown below)
  • Forward collision warning with brake support
  • Blind Spot Information System
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane-Keeping System
  • Lane departure warning
  • Automatic high beams
  • Rain-sensing wipers

2013 Ford Atlas concept interior center stack closeup

Personal conclusion
The exterior style overall is a hit. The current generation just hasn’t done it for me in the looks department. I much preferred the less fidgety previous generation F-Series. If Ford’s designers can translate to production the Atlas’ shapes without disrupting the deliberate proportions, it will help to establish a new look without abandoning its recent heritage.

Also, even though the grille is probably my favorite on a Ford truck in the last five years, I still think it has an overkill of elements. It reminds me of the doodles I used to do on my folders in high school when I was bored. Embellishment after embellishment.

The interior is likely where the most significant changes will take place. While I expect lots of cool lighting, we can probably say goodbye to the “floating instrument pods,” a lot of the bright metalwork, super-thin seats, and washable fabrics.

Ford only provided one relatively decent shot of the instrument panel but from what is visible (in the gallery), it looks good. It has a modern-retro essence to it but stresses the modern.

Ford says, “research shows that backing a trailer is often the most intimidating task a truck customer can face” so the trailer assist feature would likely fill a need that I don’t think has been attempted yet.

Continue below to the photo gallery which includes a video.

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