Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Ford F350 Tonka concept from 2002, featured the HLA system

Not really being a full size truck fan, I didn't give the 2002 Ford F350 Tonka much of a look. I knew it would foreshadow styling to be seen in future Ford trucks, but other than that it didn't interest me. Much like this years Super Chief concept truck. The difference being that this year's V-10 Supercharged Hydrogen powertrain, and the fact tht I knew it was being tested in real life situations.
But somehow the Hydraulic Launch Assist system seen here and featured in the concept is also a viable technology. Click the link to PickupTruck.com in the title to learn more.

This system is not a direct take off of Vincent Carman's IST transmission system, but does use hydraulic pressure that is stored during braking to assist in the initial movement and extra boost of acceleration. Now that I've re-read all the articles linked here, I can see how rumors that this could see production in the near future could be true. But would it be on F150s or on the larger Super Duty trucks. This transmision pictured is built by Eaton, an OEM manufacturer of Diesel and Heavy Duty truck components as well as superchargers. Although the same technology could be harnessed for the F150.

This could give Ford a clear advantage in the full size truck market. The idea of a full size truck getting 40 mpg or better and still be able to haul those trailers. The technology would also be viable for Diesel or Gasoline powerplants. So maybe the Siera club will give Ford an award for building full size trucks and SUVs that can equal a Honda Civic Hybird's economy???

It strikes me funny, that for a person that does not normally find full size trucks interesting, I've posted on this 3 times today. Who knows, if I could get 40 mpg or getter from a full size Diesel pickup , I'd consider one. I wonder if the technology would benefit passenger cars?

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