Ford at Detroit auto show introduces pickup concept

Ford introduces Atlas, a pickup concept, on Jan. 15, 2013, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Carlos Osorio/AP

DETROIT Ford (F) is trying to keep its rivals at bay with a concept that hints at the look of the next F-Series pickup.

The Ford Atlas - unveiled Tuesday at the Detroit auto show - has a chiseled design and a bigger, more elaborate grille.

Ford is emphasizing fuel economy. The Atlas has shutters on the grille and wheels that close automatically, improving aerodynamics. The new truck will also weigh several hundred pounds less and have a more efficient engine.

Ford won't say when the new truck will go on sale, but it's likely to be a 2015 model.

But the company wants buyers to know what's coming as competition heats up in the pickup market. General Motors (GM) is bringing out new pickups this spring and the Ram is also newer.

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