Ford Atlas Concept Front Quarter

Wondering how the 2015 Ford F-150 will be different from the current-generation truck? Look to its rear doors.

Speaking in front of a small audience of industry analysts and journalists this week, Ford trucks marketing manager Doug Scott revealed a few hints of what to expect on the next-generation Ford F-150 full-size pickup. He said Ford looked at how customers used their SuperCab trucks–trucks with small, rear-hinged doors on the extended cabs. Most use it for additional storage instead of passenger-hauling.

1999 Ford F 150 Supercab Lariat 300x187 imageWhen loading in objects, he said Ford F-150 customers prefer rear-hinged doors, but he’d like to see a few changes to them, namely the angle at which the doors swing open. In current SuperCab models, the rear-hinged doors open up at 90 degrees; Scott said he’d like to see them open at a full 180 degrees. The current setup can make it difficult for passengers to get out with both doors on the side open in a tight parking lot, sometimes trapping them; we even pointed this out in our own Ford F-150 review. The 180-degree setup would allow an easier exit.

Trucks from Chrysler’s Ram division offer front-hinged doors on their full-size trucks with extended cabs, and General Motors is switching from rear-hinged to front-hinged small doors on extended cab models for 2014. This allows them to put a pillar in the middle, helping with structural bracing in crash testing. Scott admits that helps, but he didn’t go so far as to say it’s necessary to pass federal crash safety standards.

Ford Atlas Concept Rear Lift 300x187 imageThe marketing manager said some ideas from the Ford Atlas pickup, reviewed at the 2013 North American International Auto Show, would make their way to both the 2015 Ford F-150 and the Super Duty models, going into detail about its tailgate-mounted lift for carrying longer objects on its roof rack. But, sadly, the Atlas was just the stuff of concepts, a signal for Ford’s future pickup truck direction but not, as Ford spokespeople also said, a clear look at the next-generation full-size truck.

Still, it’s anticipated that the next F-150 will herald other innovations like an aluminum-intensive weight-savings plan and perhaps even in-bed storage along the lines of the RamBox. We’ll know soon enough, as the 2015 Ford F-Series nears its introduction, anticipated to be next January’s Detroit Auto Show.

Ford, Miscellaneous, News, Truck

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