Each year, the College for Creative Studies in Detroit holds a competition at the NAIAS in order to give students a chance to show off their design talents. This year, the project was sponsored by Ford, which asked the question, "What will the 2020 Ford F-150 look like?" Some of the answers the design students came up with were quite interesting, dealing with such issues as how engine compartments will change, what types of suspensions will be necessary, and how will the bed of a pickup be used.
Several of the senior projects were on display between the Ford and GM booths and offered some far-out thinking. Most looked a little too futuristic for us (remember that's likely to be only two model redesigns away), but the project and partnership does give Ford access to a much more youthful and creative vision than it would ever see otherwise.
We don't see full-size pickups changing too much in the next 10 or 20 years, but then again, who would have thought anything with 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque could get 16/22 (city/hwy) mpg fuel economy in a full-size pickup?