The ‘CDN F150′ in front of Ford World HQ, Dearborn after a 2000 miles and 4 days trip from Las Vegas
For those of you that have been paying close attention to our twitter feeds over the past few days (@JoeSimspon and @OwenReady if you want to follow the ramblings of a pair of car designers turned critics), you’ll know we drove from CES in Vegas to the auto show here in Detroit in a Ford F150 pick-up truck. As Europeans we now understand why most of middle America drives pick-ups and no longer believe a truck to be quite the unsophisticated thing the average European believes it to be.
The Ford Atlas concept shown at NAIAS today, previewing the next gen F150
So given our 2000 miles exposure to truck culture, it was interesting to see Ford unveil the Atlas (a next-gen concept for the F150) and to see GM’s Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pick-ups here in Detroit.
The new Chevrolet Silverado truck
And while we’ll no doubt be accused of bias, it’s the Ford that really struck a chord – taking all the good stuff of the current F150 and moving it on by a convincing and appealing step, 85 percent of what you see here is production ready, including (we’re told) the snorting snout and double-stack headlamps.
Ford Atlas concept features much more sculpted nose, with large ‘snorting nostrils’ intake
It might seem unfair to compare a concept vehicle to a production one, but even compared to our current generation F150 test car, sorry pick-up, the new GM pick-ups seem a little underwhelming. Boxy, agricultural and lacking in any real flair or true character, they’re more representative of the idiom the average European thinks of when they think ‘pick-up’. That is to say, unsophisticated.
The Chevrolet Silverado interior
The Ford concept, by comparison, is representative of how Ford and its team of designers absolutely ‘get’ what a pick-up should be and gives a few easy clues as to why the F150 continues to be the best selling vehicle in North America. Based on this evidence, that looks set to continue for a long, long time.
Above and below – Ford Atlas exterior and interior
by Joe Simpson