Ford Airstream Concept Car
In yet another crazy concept car, today I want to introduce the Ford Airstream concept car. Due to the minivan and SUV craze over the last couple of decades, Ford wanted to do something extreme. I would say they succeeded with a vengeance.
The Ford Airstream concept car was built by Ford and debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2007. This vehicle was meant to be a retro styled, futuristic, crossover SUV that was inspired by the RV and travel trailer known as the Airstream. Ford partnered with Airstream for this exclusive vehicle. The vehicle had classic styling, yet was totally modern.
Technology That Was Not Retro
The Airstream was a plug in electric and hydrogen fuel cell hybrid. This is similar to the Toyota FCV Plus hydrogen concept car I profiled recently. The difference with this vehicle is that it used a system called HySeries Drive. The power comes from a rechargeable plug-in power system, similar to modern electric vehicles, but also could use hydrogen fuel cells to generate power if needed. This gave the owner the best of both worlds, and gave the vehicle a more realistic range. This also allowed more flexibility in driving. The power system was developed in conjunction with the US Department of Energy. The same system is now being used on prototype versions of the Ford Edge.
Check out this book from Amazon on concept cars of the future!
The wheels are turned via electric motors, which are powered by a lithium ion battery pack or the fuel cell. The fuel cell can be used as a portable generator if needed, which requires no gasoline to generate power. This was perfect for a camper or someone that lives in a lifestyle of being on the road a lot! The fuel economy was also very good, at 41 mpg in hybrid mode. In pure battery mode, it can go about 25 miles before the hydrogen cell kicks in and starts recharging the battery pack. This gives the vehicle an additional 280 miles of range, for a combined total of about 305 miles. The only emission from this vehicle is water vapor, so it is very clean.
The Ford Airstream had these really cool doors, which included a passenger side power clamshell style door that runs 2/3 the length of the vehicle. This was for loading passengers and gear for those that like to take to the road. The rear door was a hatch, which also allowed easy access.
The interior was inspired by the space industry, and was described by Ford as a “lounge atmosphere”. The instrument panel featured flush mounted touch sensitive controls, and a single multi-gauge display. The center featured a dual view screen with camera view and secondary information for the driver. This also could be tilted to allow the front seat passenger to view DVD movies or surf the internet.
The front chairs are swiveling and rotating captain’s chairs, which allowed the person in the front to rotate around and play games or talk to those in the back. The rear seats are more like a couch, and featured a screen for games, internet access, and a live camera feed from the vehicles cameras.
Comment below and let me know what you think of this wacky, wild concept car. It seems to me that this car would probably have sold to a lot of people!