Ford's 2018 EcoSport SUV subcompact crossover will offer a thin, lightweight cargo shelf made of high-strength recycled paper honeycomb that can support up to 700 pounds, the automaker has announced.
Honeybees inspired the shelf, which uses technology first introduced in household door manufacturing 50 years ago. The six-pound honeycomb floorboard is constructed from all-natural paper and water-based glue, according to Ford.
“The hexagonal design of honeycomb is a testament to nature’s ingenuity,” said Mike Mazzella, the vehicle's assistant chief engineer. “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.”
The EcoSport will arrive in early 2018 just below Ford's Escape in its SUV lineup as one of four new SUVs that will also include the Ford Bronco. View a video about the shelf here.