Ford Airstream Concept Preview – 2007 Detroit Auto Show: The Airstream concept is Ford’s look into one possible future of the crossover segment. Designed to emulate the famous Airstream trailers, rivets and all, the silver-bullet design concept is aimed at baby boomers reaching retirement age, targets for both Ford and Airstream. The polished steel pod also boasts a retro-futuristic interior that is truly otherworldly. The Airstream is powered by a futuristic plug-in hydrogen fuel cell design that operates under electric power at all times and is currently powering a prototype Edge vehicle undergoing testing.
The powertrain of the Airstream Concept is just as futuristic as its exterior design. Engineers fit the Airstream Concept with a plug-in HySeries hydrogen drive system that operates under electric power at all times and delivers the equivalent of 41 mpg from a fossil fuel vehicle. The sole function of the fuel cell is to recharge the lithium batteries, allowing it to work like a generator instead of an engine.
Asymmetric doors swing open for easy passenger access as does a passenger-side clamshell door that runs two-thirds of the length of the Airstream Concept. A three-door hatch allows access at the rear and the windows of the Airstream are trimmed in bold orange. Inside, pod-shaped swiveling captains chairs keep the front passengers comfortable while lounge-style seating cocoons the rear and encases a 360 degree digital lava lamp. Mood lighting abounds inside the Airstream Concept. It all has a retro-futuristic feel to it; we get the impression the designers watched a lot of 2001: A Space Odyssey before putting this one together.
While the idea of driving an Airstream trailer around is a little weird, we have to admit that this is an interesting concept. It’ll never see production, of course, but its powertrain might make it into a future vehicle – way, way in the future – and it shows that Ford is thinking forward. In a backwards sort of way.