Ford has revealed that honeybees are the inspiration behind the design of the cargo shelf of the new Ford EcoSport.
The eco-friendly cargo floorboard consists of 100 per cent recycled paper honeycombs reinforced with resin, which makes it strong enough to bear heavy loads despite being lightweight. The honeycomb structure is sandwiched between two layers of composite material.
The adjustable shelf measuring 38.5-inch by 25.25-inch with a weight of just six pounds can support more than 100 times its own weight.
The honeycomb has been used in furniture and automotive design, packaging and manufacture of sporting equipment like skis.
“The hexagonal design of honeycomb is a testament to nature’s ingenuity,” says Mike Mazzella, assistant chief engineer of the EcoSport.
“Not only is it strong, it’s superlight. Customers can slide the shelf into multiple different slots like an oven rack. It helps make EcoSport super-flexible in everyday use.”
This floorboard can be adjusted to three different configurations to suit the storage needs of the customer and can handle nearly 700 pounds. It functions as a load floor in the lowest position, while allowing a secure storage space in the middle position, or a cargo floor that lines up with the second row seats. It can also be removed to be stored vertically against the back of the rear seats, or it can be taken out entirely.
The new feature is expected to make its entry with the launch of Ford EcoSport early in 2018.