FORD SUPERCHIEF

FORD SUPERCHIEF


Despite drawing design inspiration from the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway's Super Chief locomotive, the F-250 concept is more comfortable on the road than the rails. And Super Chief is the first vehicle with Tri-Flex fueling, enabling the supercharged V10 to run on hydrogen, E85 ethanol, or gasoline.

The concept truck features an interior paneled in American walnut, brushed aluminum, and brown leather. Convenience features include LED headlamps, a full glass roof, and automated ottomans.

Running on hydrogen, the supercharged V10 engine provides up to a 12% fuel savings versus a nonsupercharged gasoline V10. In addition, when operating on hydrogen, the Tri-Flex V10 generates 99% less CO2 than running on gasoline.

The transition from hydrogen fuel power to either E85 or gasoline is handled seamlessly through a dashboard-mounted switch and can take place while the vehicle is in operation. Transition from either E85 or gasoline to hydrogen requires that the vehicle be idling to allow for proper engagement of the supercharger, which only operates when the vehicle is powered by hydrogen.

The F-250 Super Chief also toutes innovations in safety technology. A feature called BlockerBeam provides enhanced frontal-crash compatibility (an oxymoron?) with cars on the road. BeltMinder, another feature, alerts the driver when occupants are not buckled up.

During frontal collision with a car, the BlockerBeam makes contact with the frame rails of a car in an effort to prevent the car from sliding beneath the higher-riding vehicle. Upon impact, the L-shaped brackets bend, helping to disperse crash energy. This reduces the amount of intrusion into the passenger compartment of the car and further reduces the risk of serious injury to the car's occupants.

Based on the F-250 Super Duty's 8-ft-long bed, designers reallocated 2 ft of bed space for the passenger compartment, which is accessible through center-opening doors. In the rear, the tailgate hinges on both sides for greater utility.

The entire roof of the F-250 Super Chief is glass, bisected by a leather-wrapped grid of American walnut. The walnut, outlined in aluminum, lines the truck's floor as well. And if rear-seat passengers tire of the amenities, they can always deploy the automatic ottomans. "Pass the poupon, please."