Ford Sport Trac Adrenalin

 

 

Status: Concept
Introduction: New York Auto Show 2005

Press

Ford jolts the performance world with a shot of Adrenalin – the Ford Sport Trac Adrenalin teaser is the world's first high-performance sport-utility truck (SUT).

Adrenalin showcases Ford's plans to produce in 2007 the first sport truck offering the combination of uncompromised utility, four-passenger capability and true performance. Along with the Ford Shelby Cobra GT500 – which will go on sale in 2006 – Adrenalin will continue SVT's product momentum that has been growing since the introduction of the acclaimed Ford GT super car in 2004.

"We're looking to take Ford performance to an entirely new market segment with the Sport Trac Adrenalin," says Steve Lyons, vice president, Ford Motor Company and president, Ford Division. "Adrenalin is designed to offer a unique combination of performance and functionality never before offered in the 'go-fast' market."

Adrenalin marries the best attributes of two breakthrough Ford vehicles – Ford SVT F-150 Lightning and Ford Explorer Sport Trac – to answer enthusiast demands for performance and multi-functional utility. In addition, it offers class-leading technologies, including all-wheel drive, a six-speed automatic transmission and Ford's industry-leading AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™.


Adrenalin boasts technologies not offered in other performance trucks, such as a 6-speed automatic, all-wheel drive, and AdvanceTrac™ with Roll Stability Control®.

 

"We have a very clear view of what we want to do to retain Ford's leadership in performance vehicles," says Phil Martens group vice president, Product Creation. "This includes looking beyond traditional SVT products for opportunities with unique performance attributes, such as all-wheel-drive."

With a supercharged, 390-horsepower V-8, the first six-speed automatic ever featured in an SVT vehicle and an SVT-tuned fully independent suspension, Adrenalin promises the acceleration, agility and utility that made the legendary Ford SVT F-150 Lightning the best-selling, longest-running performance truck ever.

Adrenalin also builds on the multi-functional personality of the original Explorer Sport Trac, which created the SUT market when it debuted in 2000. It offers four full-sized doors, four bolstered bucket seats, and a four-foot composite box with 30 percent more cargo capacity than the current Explorer Sport Trac.

"New SVT programs will draw heavily on our experiences developing the Ford GT, as well as from our racing experience," says Martens. "By bringing SVT into the mainstream of product development, SVT products like the Adrenalin will benefit from parallel development with the conventional model plan."

 

 

 

 

 

Design builds on the performance-focused Ford Explorer Sport Trac concept

The Sport Trac Adrenalin follows the Ford Explorer Sport Trac concept, which debuted at the 2005 North American International Auto Show. In fact, the Explorer Sport Trac concept's "slammed" appearance and large wheels and tires foreshadowed what SVT had in mind with the high-performance Adrenalin.

"We really wanted to draw attention to the increased power of the Explorer Sport Trac," says Chelsia Lau, Explorer Sport Trac chief designer. "The result is a truck that's bold, aggressive and speaks loudly."


Aggressive fascia with large black-chrome grills and blacked-out lighting surrounds leave little doubt of Adrenalin's high-performance intent.

 

Adrenalin exterior features bold red paint that instantly communicates its performance mission, while discreet SVT badging on the wheels and tailgate will catch the eye of discerning enthusiasts. Stylized front and rear fascias, an aggressive "black chrome" grille and grille surround with matching headlamp bezels and SVT signature fog lamps helped communicate the supercharged performance latent in the Adrenalin.

"Evolving the design into the Sport Trac Adrenalin was a natural progression," says Doug Gaffka, chief designer, Ford SVT. "Adrenalin further explores the high-performance possibilities of the Sport Trac concept, using the design vocabulary of SVT."

Inside, four comfortable bucket seats feature supportive thigh and chest bolstering. Unique red leather seat inserts match red leather interior door trim panels, adding to the Adrenalin's sporting flair. The instrument panel houses easy-to-read, white-faced instruments, an SVT design hallmark. A navigation system is also included, a first for an SVT-badged vehicle.


SVT's first four-door, four-passenger pickup, Adrenalin has four supportive bucket seats covered in black leather and red leather seat inserts.

 

 

Power for the track, power to tow

The Sport Trac Adrenalin delivers searing acceleration with its 4.6-liter, 32-valve DOHC V-8 powertrain. A Roots-type supercharger and water-to-air intercooler boost output to a whopping 390 horsepower and 390 foot-pounds of torque.

Making the most of the power is a six-speed automatic transmission - the first for any SVT vehicle. The six-speed automatic has proven capable of heavy-duty use, contributing to the projected 6000-pound towing capacity of the Sport Trac Adrenalin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adrenalin is hundreds of pounds lighter than other sport trucks built off full-size pickups. The resulting power-to-weight ratio ensures impressive acceleration under full throttle, and good fuel economy during more leisurely driving.

 

Monochromatic composite bed is 30-percent larger volume than current Explorer Sport Track;
new compartments offer secure storage.

 

Addressing owners' requests, the new sport utility truck expands the multi-purpose flexibility current Explorer Sport Trac owners appreciate. More interior room is provided by stretching the current Sport Trac exterior dimensions by nearly five inches in length and two inches in width. More cargo space – 30 percent more, in fact – is created by the wider bed and taller bed rails, and the addition of a pair of lockable compartments integrated into the bed.

SVT-tuned independent suspension offers balanced, agile dynamics

Sport Trac Adrenalin also features superior driving dynamics. With a 113-inch wheelbase, and track just over 60 inches, the Adrenalin offers a more compact footprint than competitors' sport trucks. Combined with a lighter curb weight, the Adrenalin promises to improve on the nimble, composed dynamics that made the SVT F-150 Lightning famous in enthusiast ranks.

"Ford SVT has long been renowned for its 'chassis wizards' who deliver balanced, agile handling, even in the full-size F-150 pickup," says Hau Thai-Tang, director, Advanced Product Creation and SVT. "Considering its smaller dimensions, lighter weight and fully-independent suspension, the Sport Trac Adrenalin will rival the handling of some performance cars."

Adrenalin features short- and long-arm front suspension, and a trailing-blade independent rear suspension (IRS). SVT-tuned shock and spring rates, as well as upgraded front and rear stabilizer bars, are designed to provide more sporting driving dynamics. The independent rear suspension is tuned for ultimate control and driver feedback.

Oversized brakes at all four corners help handle the added velocity made possible by 390 horsepower. Huge, split-five-spoke 21-inch wheels – wrapped in 295/45R21 tires – allow ample airflow to keep the big binders cool during rigorous use.


21-inch, split-five-spoke polished aluminum wheels allow ample air to cool the huge cross-drilled, ventilated-disc brakes.

 

Spacious seating for four, all-wheel drive and AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™

Sport Trac Adrenalin also addresses the requests of SVT Lightning enthusiasts for more seating and the option of all-wheel drive.

For the best handling and power-to-weight ratio, Lightning pickups have always been regular-cab, short-bed variants of the F-150, limiting comfortable seating capacity to two people – or three in a pinch. In addition, Lightnings have solely been equipped with rear-wheel drive, making maximum acceleration a balancing act between full throttle and excessive – if entertaining – wheelspin.

The Adrenalin evolves the fun-to-drive character of the Lightning, while addressing these requests. It features four full-sized doors, providing easy access to comfortable seating for four adults. The drivetrain is designed to accommodate rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive configurations – another first for an SVT-engineered vehicle.

 

 

 

 

"In addition to providing sure footing on slick surfaces, there's a performance advantage to all-wheel drive," says Jay O'Connell, SVT chief vehicle engineer. "A longstanding problem with performance trucks was their inability to 'hook up' from a standing start without excessive wheelspin. This AWD system puts power down through all four tires, helping Adrenalin launch with impressive authority."


SVT Adrenalin offers a mix of performance, capacity and safety unmatched by any vehicle on the market.

 

Driving enthusiasts weaned on rear-wheel drive performance vehicles need not fear that all the "fun" of rear drive has been dialed out. The Sport Trac Adrenalin AWD system exhibits a 60/40-torque split biased to the rear, so as weight is transferred to the back set of wheels during takeoff, engine torque is delivered right where it's needed.

In addition, the all-wheel-drive system is paired with Ford's industry-exclusive safety system, AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™. Combined, these systems provide an added measure of safety and control during slippery conditions or emergency maneuvers. As such, the Sport Trac Adrenalin offers safety and protection to match its impressive performance.

 

 

Specifications

   BODY
Construction Steel body on fully boxed frame
   ENGINE
Type V-8
Manufacturing Location Romeo, Michigan
Configuration Cast-iron block and aluminum heads
Intake Manifold Cast-aluminum with Roots-type supercharger and air-to-water intercooler
Exhaust Manifold Cast iron
Crankshaft Forged Steel
Throttle body Dual 55-mm, electronic
Valvetrain DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Pistons Hypereutectic aluminum
Connecting Rods Forged H-beam steel
Bore x stroke 3.55 x 3.54 in (90.2 X 90.0 mm.)
Displacement 281 cu. in. / 4,606 cc
Compression ratio 9.85:1
Horsepower 390
Torque 390 lb-ft.
Fuel capacity 22.5 Gallons
   DRIVETRAIN
Layout All-wheel drive
Transmission 6-speed automatic overdrive
   SUSPENSION
Front Independent short- and long-arms (SLA) architecture with coil-over shocks, 32-mm stabilizer bar
Rear Independent Trailing Blade short- and long-arm (SLA) architecture with coil-over shocks, 25-mm stabilizer bar
   STEERING
Type Low-friction rack and pinion with power assist
Steering column Tilt
Ratio 18.9:1
   TIRES AND WHEELS (TYPE, SIZE)
Standard 295/45R21 custom Goodyear tires and 21 - x 9-in machined aluminum wheels
   EXTERIOR
Wheelbase 113.7 in.
Overall length 193.5 in.
Overall width 73.5 in.
Overall height 72.8 in.
Track width, front/rear 60.9/62.0 in.
   INTERIOR
Seating capacity 4 passenger
Headroom  
  Front row 39.8
  Second row 38.7
Legroom  
  Front row 42.4
  Second row 36.9
Shoulder room  
  Front row 59.0
  Second row 59.0
Hip room  
  Front row 55.4
  Second row 55.5
Estimated towing capacity 6,000 lbs. (estimated)

Ever since the introduction of the Ford SVT F-150 Lightning performance truck in 1993, great-handling trucks have been an SVT specialty.

"Ford SVT has long been renowned for its 'chassis wizards' who deliver balanced, agile handling, even in the full-size F-150 pickup," says Hau Thai-Tang, director, Advanced Product Creation and Special Vehicle Team. "Considering its smaller dimensions, lighter weight and fully-independent suspension, the Sport Trac Adrenalin just might rival the handling of some performance cars."

While other sport trucks sacrifice handling for brute force, the Adrenalin builds on 12 years of SVT experience making the Lighting just as competent on the road course as on the drag strip.

"The overall expected performance of the Sport Trac Adrenalin is very exciting," says Jay O'Connell, SVT chief vehicle engineer. "Smaller than a full-size pickup, with better weight distribution and the advantage of full-time all-wheel drive, Adrenalin is designed to deliver world-class driving dynamics."

Right-sized footprint for nimble, balanced chassis

Compared to the last-generation Lightning, Adrenalin is only two inches longer, but features a 10-inch longer wheelbase. Pushing the wheels further out not only creates more passenger room, but also improves on the inherent balance of the chassis. Yet, the Adrenalin is six inches narrower overall, preserving the aggressive stance while reducing overall weight.


Adrenalin's wheelbase is 10 inches longer than SVT F-150 Lightning, for better inherent chassis balance.

 

The difference is even more noticeable when you compare exterior dimensions and curb weights with other larger and heavier full-size trucks. The comparison leaves little doubt that the Adrenalin promises agility and nimble responses unrivaled by any current sport truck.

SVT-tuned fully independent suspension designed for nimble handling and smooth reactions

The Sport Trac Adrenalin features a sophisticated fully independent suspension with short- and long-arm front suspensions and a trailing-blade independent rear suspension (IRS). SVT-tuned spring rates and shocks are designed to deliver a firm, smooth sense of control while retaining SVT's nimble handling traits. The addition of beefy front and rear stabilizer bars also improves the handling equation, making the best use of available grip and traction.

Ford has established a market leadership position with the use of an IRS in a wide range of production sport-utility vehicles. Adrenalin incorporates the ride and handling benefits of this design, specially tuned by SVT engineers to provide an added measure of road-hugging control. De-coupling the suspension to allow each rear wheel to operate independently brings significant advantages to ride and handling, as well as traction and control when the vehicle is driven at the limits.

Adrenalin's suspension geometry is designed to emphasize more precise steering and handling with more dynamic toe control. A longitudinal trailing arm is the dominant feature, allowing high levels of ride comfort while freeing the lateral links to define toe and camber forces under traction and cornering loads. The agile suspension reduces un-sprung weight and gives superior packaging of underbody components. Anti-dive aspects of the suspension also keep the Sport Trac Adrenalin level during hard braking.

 


All-new frame boasts 63-percent increase in torsional rigidity, enabling engineers to deliver firm, agile handling and compliant ride.

 

Handling precision increased by rigid frame, variable-boost steering

Adrenalin's driving dynamics are further refined by an all-new frame developed for Ford Motor Company's new mid-size SUVs that's exceptionally rigid. Compared to its predecessor, this frame features increased thickness and section height, resulting in a 63 percent increase in bending rigidity and a 55 percent increase in torsional rigidity. This has a number of benefits, including increased crashworthiness, towing and payload capacity, and reducing squeaks and rattles in the cabin. More important to driving enthusiasts, it enables engineers to deliver a smoother ride with better road feel, crisper handling and quicker steering response.

Steering is also improved by the new variable-flow steering system, designed to provide a firm, responsive feel enthusiasts demand while still offering low steering efforts at slow speeds.

21-inch aluminum wheels and tires, and large, cross-drilled Brembo brakes for confident stopping

No performance vehicle would be complete without a set of serious tires and brakes. The Sport Trac Adrenalin does not disappoint, wearing massive 21-inch, polished aluminum wheels. These are wrapped in hand-cut, 295/45R21 Goodyear tires. The split five-spoke wheels offer an excellent view of the platter-sized, cross-drilled Brembo disc brakes, pinched by red-painted, monoblock calipers. The wheels also afford ample airflow to cool the brakes during more spirited driving.

As a result, the Sport Trac Adrenalin promises balanced, all-around driving dynamics worthy of SVT's "chassis wizards."

While the production Ford Sport Trac Adrenalin is a teaser of the version set for production in 2007, it showcases advanced safety technologies that are available today. Cutting-edge advancements in adaptive restraint technology and active safety systems such as AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™ represent safety benchmarks for the industry.

"There are more and more trucks and sport utilities entering the market these days waving the performance flag," says Tom Jones, SVT chief program engineer. "But you haven't seen one featuring safety technology as impressive as its performance hardware - until now. The Sport Trac Adrenalin backs up its fun-to-drive mechanicals with a comprehensive safety package."

All of the safety features showcased on Adrenalin will be in production in several 2006 Ford Motor Company SUVs – such as the 2006 Mercury Mountaineer – offering buyers a leading, comprehensive safety package.

The first SVT-engineered all-wheel-drive system helps enhance traction and security

Adrenalin features the first all-wheel-drive (AWD) system in an SVT-engineered vehicle. In addition to performance benefits, this system provides additional traction and grip in all weather conditions or when the vehicle is not in contact with a smooth road surface. On paved roads during normal driving, the electronic AWD system constantly monitors all four wheels. If and when any of the four wheels lose grip, the system instantly and seamlessly reacts to reduce torque bias to the wheels that are slipping and increase it to those with grip.

Another SVT first – AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™

Ford's world-class AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™ has been enhanced to go far beyond typical electronically assisted traction systems. AdvanceTrac® helps drivers avoid skidding and fishtailing by selectively applying braking to the appropriate wheels and almost immediately modifying engine power to help maintain control. In addition to yaw stability control (otherwise known as electronic stability control or ESC), AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™ – exclusive to Ford Motor Company products – features an additional software module and roll-rate sensor that builds upon traditional anti-lock brakes, traction control and yaw stability control systems.


Adrenalin's cutting-edge safety features include AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™ and adaptive safety technologies that offer tailored protection in frontal impacts.

 

This system is more advanced than other stability systems, which do not include a separate roll-rate sensor. Roll Stability Control™ communicates with the embedded roll-rate sensor for feedback on a variety of vehicle dynamics measurements. During an accident-avoidance maneuver (such as an abrupt lane change), Roll Stability Control™ coordinates the actions of all of these components to help further enhance vehicle stability while preserving maneuverability. If the system detects that the vehicle is near a roll condition, it automatically applies countermeasures that reduce engine power and/or apply brakes to one or more wheels.

Ford has 80 patents or patents pending on the AdvanceTrac® system with Roll Stability Control™, which will be offered on more than 500,000 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sport-utility vehicles for 2005.

Cutting-edge adaptive safety system features tailored protection in frontal impacts

The Sport Trac Adrenalin also showcases a variety of adaptive safety features that help tailor protection to the circumstances of a frontal impact.

These features are coordinated by an advanced crash-sensing computer. In the milliseconds after the initial front impact, the crash-sensing computer is interpreting data from a multitude of sensing devices that predict crash severity and occupant conditions.

The system processes information about the occupant's seat position or weight, and whether the person is buckled up, to adjust air-bag deployment and other adaptive features accordingly. Similarly, the crash computer uses the same information to activate safety belt pretensioners, which tighten the front safety belts, and helps to adjust the amount of safety-belt restraint best suited for the conditions. Crash sensors provide critical information that helps the crash computer predict the type and severity of a crash and which restraint system or combination of systems should be deployed to help enhance protection for the specific occupants.

This system also coordinates new adaptive driver and passenger dual-stage front air bags with "can venting," which allows the air bags to deploy to varying levels based on the occupant's size and relative position to the air bags during a collision. During some instances, a tether restrains the passenger air bag deployment to help further protect occupants seated in close proximity to the air bag.

Creating a powerful engine means designing it to be as efficient as possible, making the most of the fuel and air that makes it run. The benefits are not only seen in overall power, but in reduced emissions and improved fuel economy as well.

"Typical hot-rodding techniques involve improving an engine's efficiency to extract more power from every ounce of fuel that is burned," notes Tom Jones, SVT chief program engineer. "It's an unexpected benefit automakers get from racing – the tricks to winning on the racetrack can help make cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles for the street."

For example, the Sport Trac Adrenalin's 4.6-liter V-8 uses Ford's proven four-valve, double-overhead-cam cylinder heads for optimum engine "breathing." Using multiple valves per cylinder provides the engine with a more efficient airflow, generating higher peak horsepower. As an additional benefit, multi-valve engines better utilize the air-and-fuel mixture in the cylinders with less waste and unburned fuel vapor. Also, multi-valve engines are better suited to help scavenge exhaust gases out of the cylinder after combustion is complete for more power with cleaner tailpipe emissions.

In addition, supercharging the 4.6-liter V-8 produces the peak horsepower of a much larger-displacement, naturally aspirated engine. Yet, at lower throttle applications, the smaller displacement engine consumes less fuel, resulting in increased fuel economy and lower emissions.

The Sport Trac Adrenalin teaser delivers searing acceleration with its supercharged V-8 and six-speed automatic transmission. But, unlike one-sided, performance-only trucks, Adrenalin builds on the legacy of the SVT F-150 Lightning, delivering acceleration and genuine capability.

"The key to the Lightning's longevity was its powertrain," says George Ayres, SVT sales and marketing manager. "What other vehicle can tow 5000 pounds, crack the 1/4-mile in 13 seconds, and approach nearly 150 mph on a track? We think that same mix of ultimate performance with genuine utility makes the Adrenalin a perfect sequel to the Lightning."

Adrenalin follows in the Lightning's footsteps with a supercharged, intercooled V-8. The Adrenalin's 4.6-liter, 32-valve V-8 churns out an impressive 390 horsepower and matching 390 foot-pounds of torque. Power is delivered to the wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission – the first in an SVT product. This heavy-duty transmission, first used in Ford's full-size SUVs, is a key contributor to the Adrenalin's projected 6000-pound towing capacity. Another first for SVT engineering is all-wheel drive, for improved acceleration and traction.

Combined, Adrenalin's drivetrain is unmatched in the performance-truck market.

Supercharged, 390-horsepower V-8 further hones SVT's supercharging expertise

Ford SVT first introduced supercharged engines in its 1999 F-150 Lightning pickup. SVT continued to advance powerful, robust supercharged powertrains, leading to the development of forced-induction engines in other SVT-developed vehicles like the Ford GT supercar and 2004 SVT Mustang Cobra. Due to the proven performance and capability of forced induction, engineers decided to fit Adrenalin with a 4.6-liter, supercharged modular V-8 derived from the 2004 SVT Mustang Cobra.

Adrenalin does offer less displacement than the Lightning's 5.4-liter V-8. However, where the Lightning features two valves per cylinder, Adrenalin boasts high-flow, four-valve heads. It's fed by a Roots-type supercharger, with a water-to-air intercooler to increase the supercharger's effectiveness. This potent power combination develops 390 horsepower and 390 foot-pounds of torque.

This engine is renowned for its strength, and fitted with reinforcements such as a forged-steel crankshaft, forged pistons and forged "H-beam" connecting rods. As a result, not only is the 4.6-liter V-8 able to withstand the demands of such high output, but the engine is also well suited to the rigors of towing and hauling cargo.


Supercharged 4.6-liter V-8 and six-speed automatic designed for powerful performance and genuine towing and payload capacity.

 

SVT's first six-speed automatic transmission

Also contributing to Adrenalin's utility is the first six-speed automatic transmission in an SVT-engineered vehicle. This transmission was first introduced in the Lincoln Navigator, and is a key contributor to the Navigator's impressive towing abilities. Similarly, the heavy-duty, six-speed automatic is a key enabler of Adrenalin's projected 6000-pound tow rating.

Importantly, this transmission is not just a workhorse. The electronically controlled transmission is known for its smooth, precise shifts. In addition, the wide ratio span enables the engine to work more efficiently, improving both acceleration and fuel economy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Performance-tuned all-wheel drive enhances acceleration, all-season practicality

The Sport Trac Adrenalin also features the first all-wheel-drive (AWD) system in an SVT-engineered vehicle. The system addresses one of the key requests of Lightning owners – additional traction during launch.


All-wheel-drive helps launch Adrenalin at full throttle; combined with AdvanceTrac® and Roll Stability Control™ for added security in all seasons.

 

"In addition to providing sure footing on slick surfaces, there's a real performance advantage to all-wheel drive," says Jay O'Connell, SVT chief vehicle engineer. "A longstanding problem with performance trucks was their inability to 'hook up' from a standing start without excessive wheelspin. This AWD system puts power down through all four tires, helping Adrenalin launch with impressive authority."

Driving enthusiasts weaned on rear-wheel-drive performance vehicles need not fear that all the "fun" of rear drive has been dialed out. The Adrenalin's AWD system exhibits a 60/40-torque split biased to the rear so, as weight is transferred to the back set of wheels during takeoff, the engine delivers some extra power right where it's needed.

In addition, this system provides added security and control for all-season practicality.

The Sport Trac Adrenalin clearly illustrates the Ford Special Vehicle Team's evolving design philosophy, renowned for clean lines and powerful profiles.

"The idea was to give the Adrenalin an aggressive street-truck appearance, yet still maintain a clean, simple design theme," explains Doug Gaffka, chief designer, SVT. "We wanted something menacing and bold, but not cartoonish and cluttered with over-the-top features that distract the eye. The 2003 SVT Mustang Cobra is a perfect example: It's a blatantly aggressive design, but still clean and purposeful without any unnecessary detailing.

"Adrenalin incorporates signature SVT cues, like round foglamps in the lower fascia, five-spoke wheels and dominant, dual exhaust pipes. Yet these details are modified and updated on the Adrenalin – such as the split-five-spoke wheels – exploring the future evolution of SVT design."

Adrenalin boost advances recent Ford performance concepts

These updated, modernized SVT design cues were first introduced on the SVT F-150 Lightning concept, which debuted at the 2003 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). These details were further modified for the Explorer Sport Trac concept, introduced at the 2005 NAIAS.

To complement the increased performance of the next-generation Explorer Sport Trac – and to provide a visual hint of the SVT version to follow – designers incorporated some traditional SVT design cues like a lowered stance and larger wheels and tires into the Explorer Sport Trac concept.

"We really wanted to draw attention to the performance potential of the Explorer Sport Trac," says Chelsia Lau, Explorer Sport Trac chief designer. "So, we turned to SVT for performance-inspired design cues. The result is a truck that's bold, aggressive and speaks loudly."

The next logical step was to create a full-blown SVT version.

"Evolving the design into the Sport Trac Adrenalin was a natural progression," says Gaffka. "Adrenalin further explores the high-performance possibilities of the Explorer Sport Trac concept, and the design vocabulary of the SVT brand."

Black chrome grilles and functional air extractors establish the new face of SVT

The Sport Trac Adrenalin's bold, aggressive attitude is immediately established by the large upper and lower fascia openings, filled with diamond-mesh grilles finished in black chrome. For visual continuity, the front bumper section bisecting the grilles is also finished in black chrome. The blacked-out fascia details provide a striking contrast with the "SVT Red" paint.

The large fascia openings also serve a functional role, providing ample airflow to the supercharged V-8 and water-to-air intercooler lurking behind the fascia. Similarly, functional air extractors integrated into the leading edge of the powerdome hood serve dual purposes: Functionally, they provide additional airflow for improved temperature management; visually, they provide a cue of the impressive horsepower under the Adrenalin's hood.

The lower fascia features SVT's hallmark round foglights modified into a pair of twin, projector-beam elements. Both the foglight and headlight surrounds are blacked out, complementing the black-chrome trim.

Profile defined by bold wheel arches, 21-inch wheels and tires

According to Gaffka, the profile of the Sport Trac Adrenalin embodies the bold, clean design mission of Ford SVT: "The profile of the Adrenalin instantly communicates performance, without any silly, tacky graphics or huge wings. It sits low, with an aggressive stance and muscular wheel arches anchored by 21-inch wheels."

The Sport Trac Adrenalin is nearly five inches longer, two inches wider and sits two inches lower than today's Explorer Sport Trac model, giving it an aggressive stance and a more purposeful look. The smooth, taut body panels are accented by pronounced blisters over the wheel arches, and functional side air extractors located just in front of the A-pillars.

The 21-inch, polished-aluminum wheels with SVT center caps showcase the red-painted monoblock brake calipers and cross-drilled discs. The wheels are visually connected by the integrated, body-colored rocker panels. In a nod to hot-rod street trucks, designers shaved the door handles to further emphasize the clean, uncluttered design.

Monochromatic, composite bed with lockable storage trunks for added utility

Meanwhile, the monochromatic cargo bed is neatly integrated into the body. The bed rails are raised compared to that of the current Explorer Sport Trac, contributing to the 30-percent increase in cargo room. The taller bed also provides visual weight, balancing that of the front end.

The monochromatic composite bed, an Explorer Sport Trac exclusive, also features lockable storage trunks between the cab and wheel wells. These compartments offer supplemental secure storage for valuables that won't fit in the cabin, such as tool bags or a racing suit needed for track days. For trips to the hardware store, the box features crafted-in sockets that allow the user to drop in 2-by-4 boards to make an elevated cargo surface capable of carrying 4-by-8-foot sheets of plywood. Finally, a tubular bed extender flips out, creating a secure, six-foot-long cargo area.

Dual exhausts punctuate Sport Trac Adrenalin's rear view

The Adrenalin forgoes the Lightning's side exhaust pipes for the rear-exiting twin exhausts. The large, rectangular pipes punctuate the monochromatic flush-fit roll pan, bracketing the license-plate frame. Similarly, the modern, dramatic taillamps frame the tailgate, which features a discreet spoiler integrated on the uppermost edge.

The Sport Trac Adrenalin features an interior carefully designed to satisfy the needs of driving enthusiasts. There are no frivolous niceties or adornments – only purposeful, substantive improvements that enhance the driving experience.

"SVT caters to a group of enthusiasts who strongly believe woodgrain trim has no place in a performance car," says Doug Gaffka, Chief Designer, SVT. "They want an attractive, comfortable interior that adds to – rather than detracts from – their time behind the wheel."

As such, Adrenalin features SVT's trademark easy-to read, white-faced gauges. Redundant climate and audio controls on the steering wheel and a console-mounted shifter place key driver controls within easy reach. The four bolstered captain's chairs are designed to hold the driver and passengers in place during enthusiastic cornering, and are comfortable during long hauls. Red-on-black leather seats add visual interest to the interior, while the first navigation system in an SVT-engineered vehicle helps drivers seek out the long way home.

Four full-size doors allow easy access to four, bolstered bucket seats

The Sport Trac Adrenalin is a four-door, four-passenger performance truck. For the best power-to-weight ratio, the SVT F-150 Lightning pickup has always been a two-door, regular cab F-150 variant. The standard split-bench seat only comfortably sat two people, prompting a common request from Lightning owners for additional seating capacity, but only if it didn't affect performance or handling.

The Adrenalin offers just such a solution. Four full-size doors open wide for easy access to a matching set of four captain's chairs. Both front and rear seats offer ample legroom (42 inches in front, 36 inches for rear) and comfortable hip room (55 inches front and back).


Adrenalin is a four-passenger performance truck, with two rows of buckets designed for support and comfort.

 

Anyone who has ridden shotgun during a track-day outing knows how essential supportive seats are, especially for passengers. All four of the Sport Trac Adrenalin seats are designed with that in mind, with thigh and side bolsters to help keep the occupant's body planted during hard cornering. Yet, the seats also are designed to be supportive and comfortable, resulting in less driver and passenger fatigue during longer stints on the road.

Drivers in control with easy-to-read gauges and controls

The interior of the Sport Trac Adrenalin holds true to Ford SVT's purposeful, driver-oriented focus.

For example, the primary gauges feature easy-to-read white faces, an SVT trademark. The speedometer is prominently displayed next to the tachometer, providing vital information to the driver. Redundant audio and climate controls on the steering wheel help keep the driver's hands on the wheel. The six-speed automatic transmission is controlled by a short, leather-wrapped shifter mounted on the center console.

 

 

 


SVT's signature, easy-to-read white-faced gauges, and controls on steering wheel help establish the driver-oriented interior.

 

"The driving environment is a critical part of the design function for any vehicle," says Gaffka. "Adrenalin's interior offers special touches that are designed to be pleasing both to the eye and the touch."

Tasteful touches include black and red leather trim and navigation system

The Sport Trac Adrenalin also benefits from upscale details.

Like the 2003 10th Anniversary SVT Mustang Cobra, Adrenalin features black leather seating surfaces with contrasting red leather seat inserts and interior door trim panels. Aluminum-finished trim on the air registers, instrument panels and shifter also contribute to the upscale atmosphere.

Finally, the strong center stack features a navigation system – the first in an SVT-engineered vehicle - to help chart the path back from adventures down twisting back roads.

Adrenalin's interior isn't all refinement: There's just enough insulation to block out unwanted road noise while still allowing the bark of the exhaust and whine of the supercharged V-8 to tantalize enthusiasts' ears. The result is an interior that enhances the driving experience, reduces driver and passenger fatigue, and encourages the driver to find any excuse to go for another drive.

Images

Ford Motor Company Group Vice President of Design and Chief Creative Officer J Mays introduces the Ford Sport Trac Adrenalin at the New York International Auto Show in New York March 23, 2005
The Ford Sport Trac Adrenalin sits on display after it's introduction at the New York International Auto Show in New York March 23, 2005.
Tom Jones, SVT Chief Program Engineer, Ford Motor Company.
Jay O'Connell, SVT Chief Vehicle Engineer, Ford Motor Company.
Doug Gaffka, Chief Designer, Ford SVT, Ford Motor Company.
George Ayres, SVT Sales and Marketing Manager, Ford Motor Company.
Cobra engine adapted to the Sport Trac Adrenalin