Have you ever wondered why automakers seem to do so much testing with their prototypes? Obviously some on-road development is required, but sometimes we see photos of pre-production prototypes years ahead of when the actual car is set to make its debut, so what gives? Well, these photos of a Ford F-Series Superduty Prototype on fire should give you a pretty clear answer.
Two Ford engineers were out seeing how their Superduty prototype performed in the hot Death Valley sun when it began smoking before becoming completely engulfed in flames. Both occupants made it out of the car unscathed, but the prototype was reduced to a smoldering pile of metal and scrap in just 21 minutes. So if you’re still wondering, automakers test their cars extensively because if they didn’t, they might suddenly and inexplicably catch fire with their paying customers inside.
Autoblog says the fire started in the driver-side front wheel well and spread to the entire front end of the truck in 3 minutes. A cause of the fire is not known, but Ford said it was investigating the incident in an emailed statement. It makes us wonder if the spy-proof black cladding seen on the prototype contributed to the fire in any way, either by reducing engine cooling or becoming too hot and catching fire.
Check out the gallery of the Superduty flambe here.