Just ahead of January's Detroit Auto Show, surprising rumors pegged Ford as revealing some sort of F-150 concept, perhaps as a hurried effort to deflate some of the buzz building around General Motors' new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra twins, which were also making their auto show debut. Those rumblings turned out to be true, as Ford rolled into the Motor City with its Atlas concept (inset, right), touting the truck's bold styling as a precursor to the next-generation F-Series.
The show truck featured all kinds of clever details, including active wheel shutters and a front air dam that raised and lowered to improve aerodynamics while preserving off-road ability. It also had a genuinely snarly face. And it's that pugnacious snout that may well be on its way to production. The good folks at TopSpeed have worked up the plausible-looking artist's rendering above by cross-referencing the Atlas concept with what little has been revealed from recent spy shots. The look is toned-down pretty dramatically from the concept truck, but its Atlas roots are clear, with a massive three-bar grille and bracket-shaped headlamps hiding a next-generation EcoBoost engine. In the rendering, the show truck's deeply contoured hood and roofline have been ditched and larger, more traditional side mirrors have been fitted – all likely concessions in the move to production sheetmetal.
While Ford has yet to officially announce when it will unveil the 2015 F-150, all signs point to next year's Detroit Auto Show – one year after the Atlas shrugged off GM's new pickups.