01-11-07: Every year automakers debut at least one “pie-in-the-sky” concept car that is meant to show how far out of the box they can think. In today’s enviro charged automotive climate, most car companies like to show how green they can be with concept vehicles that use little or no energy, don’t pollute, never crash and will likely never see the light of any showroom. It's a time honored tradition.
Last year, Ford showed the “Reflex” hybrid concept car that had an interior made of recycled Nike shoe linings or something silly like that. This year, it is the Airstream concept. Of course, a hybrid vehicle that uses hydrogen and electricity to motivate and charge itself when not plugged into the wall at night wasn’t enough on its own.
No, this concept was themed with the name and imagery of the great American travel trailer we all know as Airstream. To wit, this concept has an aluminum looking skin and what Ford calls “ceremonial rivets” to pay homage to its Airstream roots.
“For 75 years, Airstream has been an icon synonymous with the optimism, discovery and wanderlust that’s helped defined America,” said J Mays, group vice president – Design, and chief creative officer. “It seemed only fitting for us to come together through our shared passion for the open road and show a vision for the future of American transportation.”
The futuristic theme and modern form language of the exterior carries through to the concept’s interior.
“Through the materials, color palette and technology, the Ford Airstream Concept has distinct cues from the spacecraft and environments portrayed in 2001: A Space Odyssey,” says Thomas. “We’re able to maximize the spaciousness of the interior, creating a lounge atmosphere in contrasting colors of cosmic red and white that provides an inviting experience for the ultimate journey.”
The Ford Airstream Concept features a floating instrument panel with flush-mounted, touch-sensitive controls and a multi-function single gauge display provides the driver all primary information.
A Sharp® dual-view screen centrally mounted on the instrument panel provides a camera view and secondary driver-oriented information, while allowing the front-seat passenger to view DVDs and post mobile blogs. The driver and front-seat passenger will navigate in style in modern, pod-shaped swiveling captain’s chairs that also rotate so they can easily socialize.
In the rear, lounge-like seating is sculptural, creating a continuous cocoon-like environment wrapped in bold red B&B Italia fabric. The focal point of the rear seating area is a 360-degree screen for entertainment and games. The unique screen also creates ambient mood settings, including a modern lava lamp and virtual fire, as well as a live camera feed.
All we can say is that while it is very unlikely that this vehicle will show up at your Ford dealer anytime soon, we highly suggest that an “Airstream Edition” of a future Ford SUV, crossover, or truck will.