Drive Type: Automatic
Model: Crown Victoria
Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
The Ford Atlas Concept was one of the quiet success stories of the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, and now Ford has given us a quick glimpse as to how that creation came to be. Designers actually combined two early sketches to build the Atlas. One, called the Bullet Train, is a futuristic, aerodynamic creation, while the other, aptly named the Locomotive, features the squared off proportions we're familiar with.
Once designers settled on the truck's proportions, they began nailing down exactly which attributes they wanted the final design to have. The Concept's notched windshield originated as a forked glass roof that seamlessly transitioned into the windscreen.
Likewise, designers wanted to fit the truck's tailgate with a storage compartment for tools and a first aid kit, but settled on the dual-purpose step/cargo cradle. Interestingly enough, the concept's active aero shutter wheels actually originated in some of the earliest sketches. Check out the photos and slides here for a closer look.
It's always amazing to see how different kinds of racecars are made. Formula One racers are often constructed in modern architectural marvels that hint at some of the cutting-edge technology going into the racing. Conversely, rallying is all about sliding around on a varied course as fast as possible, but it often leaves a vehicle caked in mud. So it makes some sense Olsbergs MSE, or simply (OMSE) rally car shop in Nynashamn, Sweden, shows technological sophistication in a more down-to-earth setting. It builds Ford Fiesta ST racers for Global Rallycross there, and this new video gives viewers a tour through the work.
Former rally driver Andreas Eriksson runs OMSE. These days instead of racing, he and the company's 46 employees are building Ford racers from scratch. A ton of work goes into constructing each one, and according to Eriksson, it takes 400 hours to complete each body. At times, things are so busy that some of the technicians live in the shop in apartments that are on premises. There's even a restaurant to keep them fed. Sadly the dyno room is empty during this visit, though.
By the time OMSE is done, a rallycross car might resemble a Fiesta ST on the outside, but as you see in the video, it's a completely different beast underneath. Check out the work it takes to build one of them, and scroll down to read more about it in the official release.
Ford's highly influential head of design, J Mays, has announced that he'll be retiring from his position after 33 years in the industry, 16 of which were at the Dearborn, MI-based company. Upon departure, he'll be succeeded as group vice president of design by Moray Callum. If that last name sounds familiar, yes, he's the brother of Jaguar's Ian Callum.
It's difficult to explain just how big of a role Mays had on not just Ford's design over the years, but on the entire industry. Before heading to Dearborn, Mays worked for Audi, BMW and then Volkswagen, where he was involved in concept cars that paved the way for design icons like the first-generation Audi TT and the Volkswagen New Beetle. As for his Ford resume, it's extensive.
Mays joined the company in 1997 as design director for Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Mazda, as well as the Premier Automotive Group (Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar and Aston Martin). He was heavily involved in the Ford Fusion, Focus, Fiesta, Taurus, F-150 and Mustang, while also contributing to concept cars like the Atlas, Evos, 427, Forty-Nine, Shelby GR-1, Lincoln MKZ and the MKC.