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2018 Ford EcoSport features cargo shelf inspired by bees

2018 Ford EcoSport features cargo shelf inspired by bees image

Eric Tipan / Ford | February 22, 2017 09:53

Lightweight yet super strong cargo shelf revealed in 2018 Ford EcoSport

The diminutive 2018 Ford EcoSport, with its fuel-efficient perfomance and tiny carbon footprint, takes things to the next level by taking after one of the smallest creatures on Earth, the busy bee.

In order to 'lighten' things up more and raise its level of environmental friendliness, Ford reimagines the cargo shelf on the 2018 EcoSport and patterns it after a bee's honeycombs that has the capacity to carry more than 100 times its weight in cargo.

“The hexagonal design of honeycomb is a testament to nature’s ingenuity. Not only is it strong, it’s superlight. Customers can slide the shelf into multiple different slots like an oven rack; even store it on the back of the seats. It helps make EcoSport super-flexible in everyday use,” says Mike Mazzella, Ford EcoSport assistant chief engineer.

2018 Ford EcoSport features cargo shelf inspired by bees

Material used by Ford may make it seem flimsy but nothing is farther from the truth. The adjustable floorboad is made up of a layer of hexagon-shaped cells made of 100-percent recycled paper and water-based glue sandwiched between two layers of composite material.

The resin-reinforced honeycomb has phenomenal strength-to-weight ratio. The shelf weighs a measly six pounds, yet it is rated to handle nearly 318 kg across a 38.5-inch by 25.25-inch surface.

The honeycomb structure of the new cargo shelf in the 2018 Ford EcoSport

It will debut on the all-new EcoSport early next year.