MIGHTY F-350 TONKA CONCEPT LEADS FORD TRUCKS INTO FUTUREIt's big. It's bold. It showcases an advanced new powertrain. DETROIT, Jan. 6, 2002 – It's bold. It's strong. It's a hint of what's to come for the next generation Ford F-Series pickup – America's best-selling vehicle for 20 years running and best-selling truck for the past 25 years.
It's the Ford Mighty F-350 TONKA, a vibrant yellow and chrome concept pickup showcasing an advanced new powertrain and a fresh design approach from the world's truck authority. It's the Ford Mighty F-350 Tonka concept, a vibrant yellow truck that pairs a distinctive design wîth innovative technologies worthy of the Built Ford Tough badge.
'Ford has long been and will continue to be the leading truck brand – not just in sales figures, but in ingenious ideas, bold design and customer satisfaction,' says James Padilla, group vice president, Ford North America, who helped pull the wraps off the new concept at the 2002 North American International Auto Show. 'With the Mighty F-350 TONKA, we've created a truck that's worthy of the ‘Built Ford Tough' badge. It's as spirited as it is rugged, a blend you're likely to see on Ford trucks down the road.'
FÚN YOÚ NEVER OÚTGROW The Mighty F-350 TONKA concept celebrates the spirit of the trucks that, for many, first sparked an appreciation for ruggedness and resilience in a vehicle.
For more than 50 years, TONKA® – which means 'great' in Sioux – has been synonymous wîth durability and lasting play value for children around the world. Now, the Mighty F-350 TONKA concept brings together the playfulness of the legendaryis child's toy – wîth the strength, reliability and value key to the Ford truck tradition of leadership.
'We've had fun bringing to life a full-size pickup that reminds kids of all ages of the trucks they used to loved to punish in their sandboxes,' says J Mays, vice president, Design, Ford Motor Companypany vice president, Design.
'This truck is unmistakably a Ford and signals the direction we will take Tough Truck design in the future,' he says.
RÚGGED AND CLEAN
The Mighty F-350 TONKA concept draws strength from its Ford Tough Truck lineage, accentuating instantly recognizable F-Series hallmarks. Its confidentconfident stance, drop-down beltline, round wheel openings and oversize grille wîth side nostrils complement the personality of the Ford F-350 Super Duty pickup. Clean, sheer surfaces wîth distinctive geometric forms and strong lines introduce a modernized, highly structured look, emphasizing the an overall sense of power.
An open, B-pillarless design wîth rear-hinged rear doors extends an uninhibited welcome into the Mighty F-350's extended cabin. Dual rear wheels wîth 22-inch rims and custom Goodyear tires and a shortened, six-foot open bed give the Mighty F-350 a refined ruggedness designed wîth the truck enthusiast in mind. Chrome is featured generously, creating a striking profile on this concept derived from the popular F-350 Super Duty Crew Cab.
Like a high-quality tool, the Mighty F-350 TONKA concept truck's interior is designed to be functional and sophisticated – to , placeing the driver in full command. Modular, customizable snap-on gauges and oversize, aircraft-inspired toggle switches deliver versatility and durability. A manual Torquemaster controller allows the driver to shift torque left or right, front or back.
The Commander's Seat, built on a full-floating suspension, is inspired by the seats used in heavy-duty, long-distance Class 8 rigs. It is completely adjustable and introduces a new level of total comfort for pickup trucks.
A combined storage system and 'smart box jump seat' positioned between the center stack console and the front passenger seat allow ample room for a sixth passenger. Folding rear seats maximize usable space in the cabin and house removable 'tool box' luggage. Rear head restraints fold up into the ceiling, allowing a clear view of the road.
CLEANER, MORE EFFICIENT POWER
The Mighty F-350 TONKA introduces a unique combination of technologies that deliver a cleaner, more efficient ride. The vehicle's Power Stroke® Diesel Super-600 cConcept diesel V-8 engine is teamed wîth the five-speed PowerTorq™ transmission, marking in Ford's first application of a five-speed automatic wîth a diesel engine. The 6.0-liter, 32-valve, turbocharged V-8 concept engine concept is rated at 350 horsepower and delivers up to 600 foot-pounds of torque when teamed wîth the PowerTorq automatic.
With lower emissions and better fuel economy than any V-8 diesel truck engine on the road today, this concept powertrain also features Hydraulic Launch Assist (HLA).
The HLA system, currently under research, is designed to improve fuel economy in large trucks by an estimated 25 to 35 percent in city driving. It A reversible pump/motor attached to the driveshaft through a clutch system and an energy storage module work in tandem wîth the traditional powertrain. The HLA system recovers energy normally lost during vehicle deceleration, stores it in the form of hydraulic pressure and then reuses it during acceleration.
'We're committed to pushing the envelope and exploring ways to provide our customers wîth leading-edge powertrain technologies that are fully capable and socially responsible,' says Richard Parry-Jones, Ford Motor Company group vice president, Global Product Development, and Chief Technical Officer, Ford Motor Companyand Chief Technical Officer. 'Our commitment to innovation doesn't end wîth the gearbox or the powertrainengine.'
The Mighty F-350 TONKA concept truck features several technologies designed to deliver value and convenience.
The truck's vehicle's air suspension – wîth sophisticated air springs replacing the conventional rear leaf and front coil springs – enables a 'kneeling' function to ease entry and exit and assists in loading the truck bed. As the doors are opened, the Mighty F-350 lowers five inches and the running boards deploy. The truck reverts to its raised position once the doors are closed.
A camera-operated lane departure warning system helps keep the driver alert by emitting a soft audible sound signal if the vehicle unintentionally drifts outside of the lane. Additional cameras mounted within the bed help the driver monitor truck-to-trailer coupling, as well as reversing.
The Mighty F-350 TONKA concept also marks the debut of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) in headlamp application, introducing new opportunities for advanced lighting technology. High intensity LED lights are featured prominently throughout the vehicle's interior and exterior: in low beam and fog lamps and in all of the signal lights, including rear combination lamps, the center high-mounted stop light, front turn signals, and marker lights.
This advanced lighting technology can deliver better distributedbetter-distributed illumination on the road than conventional halogen lights, as well as providing a means to reduce electrical power and emissions. While halogen bulbs take a fraction of a second to respond to an electrical input, LEDs respond instantly, giving valuable extra warning time for following traffic.
LEDs also are very efficient, using up to 50 percent less electricity than halogen lights. With thinner packaging than conventional lights, LEDs offer weight savings, create new possibilities for signature lighting, and allow for more flexibility in design.