DETROIT, Mich. , Jan. 7, 2007 – Playing to win in the growing crossover segment, Ford has joined with another iconic company to showcase how it could further expand its lineup of expressive crossovers with the Ford Airstream Concept.
The concept is powered by a plug-in hydrogen hybrid fuel cell drivetrain – called HySeries Drive that operates under electric power at all times. This advanced fuel cell system is half the weight and cost of today’s fuel cells and can operate in the dead of winter.
The new HySeries Drive plug-in hydrogen fuel cell featured in the Ford Airstream Concept is more than a concept. This powertrain is already on the road and driving in a Ford Edge prototype. In this application, the fuel cell’s sole function is to recharge the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery pack as needed. This allows it to work like a portable generator, instead of an engine, as had been the case in previous Ford fuel cell vehicles.
In pure electric mode, the Ford Airstream Concept can travel 25 miles before the fuel cell begins operating to recharge the vehicle’s 336-volt lithium-ion battery pack. With the hydrogen-powered fuel cell, the range increases another 280 miles for a total of 305 miles.
Airstream captures the sense of optimism and adventure conveyed in American aircraft, spacecraft and the streamlined shape of Airstream trailers. It’s reflected in the crossover concept’s organic, fuselage-inspired form language, unique reflective paint and 12 ceremonial rivets, which pay homage to Airstream’s iconic construction.
The concept’s bold, futuristic front-end explores a new look for Ford, encapsulating the single-surface grille and headlamps into the same graphic. Each of the concept’s bold orange-trimmed window graphics is a unique shape.
Its doors are asymmetric as well, allowing for easy loading of passengers and cargo. In addition to the driver’s side hatch, the passenger side features a power clamshell door that runs two-thirds the length of the vehicle. A three-door hatch finishes the rear of the crossover.
The futuristic theme and modern form language of the exterior carries through to the concept’s interior.
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 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.