Where Would We Be Without the 1996 Ford Adrenalin Concept?

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Photo courtesy of Ford Images

Today, most people take for granted the significant changes to cab design that the Ford Adrenalin concept truck provided when it was first introduced in 1996. Whereas pickup trucks of all sizes and styles were previously designed with the primary goal of transporting goods and cargo in the rear bed of the vehicle, the Adrenalin concept truck shifted the focus toward the interior of the vehicle, providing more room in the cabin for passengers. Read on for a brief overview of the Ford Adrenalin concept vehicle and the changes that it made to the truck industry as a whole.

Crew Cab Trucks Before the Adrenalin

Before the Adrenalin model was created, crew cab pickup trucks were generally only available as extra large heavy duty trucks. These were bulky, weighty and usually not geared towards normal driving for most individuals, and definitely not those with families, as they were massively fuel inefficient and difficult to maneuver. While these vehicles were excellent for hauling goods, they were not the best choice for those looking to haul people in a comfortable fashion. There were, however, smaller scale crew cab trucks in overseas markets where the demand for large vehicles is generally smaller.

Adrenalin Overview

The Adrenalin was modeled as an off-road sports utility vehicle that also doubled as a truck with a bed for hauling miscellaneous cargo. The vehicle was more aerodynamic in appearance than the F-150 of the same year, and more sizable than the Ford Ranger that was available at the time. One way that this truck was made more durable than these others was through the use of over-sized, 32 inch tires that were designed specifically for off-road use. These tires more closely resembled those used for SUVs at the time. Other off-road additions included a winch on the front and back of the truck and custom nickel plating to help protect the sides of the vehicle from nicks and scrapes.

Interior Design

The interior of the Adrenalin was one of the most unique and influential parts of the vehicle. Featuring a rear window that folded down and seats that were much more maneuverable than standard cabin seats, there were many different configurations inside the cabin to allow for maximum storage space. These configurations also allowed for more people to sit in the truck at any one time than was possible for any other pickup truck on the market at the time.


The Adrenalin was picked up in 2000 as the Sport Trac model of the Ford Explorer. This was then changed to the name Adrenalin for the 2003 model. For the next 7 years, the truck continued in production, having influenced the design of other crew cab vehicles by all of the major manufacturers. However, Ford discontinued production on this vehicle in the 2010 model year, but only after the Adrenalin helped to reshape the very lay of the pickup truck land.

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