Drive Away 2Day

Ford Airstream : Concept Cars

WHOA, This thing conjures up images of caffeine and nicotine fueled road trips, the KTel 8-track banging away with the requesite matchbook jammed in there to keep it operating smoothly. The nose says Econoline quite clearly, while the rest of Ford's latest CUV concept is inspired by both space capsules and Airstream trailers. While the styling of the exterior and interior may pay some homage to what has passed, the mechanized bits of the Airstream are definitely space-age and forward looking. Once you digest the styling and the high-tech underpinnings, the old camper and Hal 9000 influences converge neatly. We can definitely picture an A-Team edition with matte black paint, a wing on the back and a red stripe down the sides.

The exterior of the Airstream is resplendent in reflective paint, and there are 12 rivets adorning the structure and giving a nod to Airstream. The clamshell passenger door looks great, but it'd make tight parking lots quite the adventure. Come to think of it, that's perfectly in keeping with the theme of the Airstream - carry on. Loading in and out from that huge opening would be a cinch.

Once inside, there's acres of fabric, reminding us of a carpet-lined Dodge Tradesman a friend's mom took us roller skating in. There's a 360-degree screen in the back seat, it's that psychedelic thing in the pictures, occupying the perfect spot for a floor-mounted bong. The screen has built-in mood lighting modes like Lava Lamp and Virtual Fire. Like, wow man. Up front, there's touch sensitive controls and a centralized screen that's notable for its usefulness in posting mobile blogs, among other things. Okay, now they're just sucking up to us. The seats keep with the groovy theme, though we do wonder if they were OEM'd by Britax?

Providing motive force for the Airstream is the real news here. The concept is powered by a plug-in hydrogen hybrid fuel-cell. The major leap with this fuel cell is that it can function when temperatures drop below freezing. The fuel cell is provided by Ballard, and its sole purpose is to keep the lithium-ion batteries charged, not drive the vehicle as in previous fuel cell implementations. Removing motivation chores from the fuel cell allows a smaller, less costly fuel cell and should result in better durability, as the cell runs in a steady-state. The mind races with potential special editions of this van. Given the preponderance of special Mustangs, we don't think it's too much to ask for there to be a Mystery Machine and A-Team edition, should the Airstream ever hit showrooms. It's not like they'd appeal to the same demographic, anyway. We're on the edge of our seats to see the next Ford concept, the Airwolf.

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Sources : Ford Airstream Photo | Ford Airstream Article | Ford Airstream Interior Photo


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