Because want to win in the growing crossover segment Ford has partnered with another iconic company to showcase how it could further expand its lineup of expressive crossovers.
The Ford Airstream Concept is powered by a plug-in hydrogen hybrid fuel cell drivetrain 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. That's a major step forward because today's fuel cells don't do well when the mercury dips below freezing.The concept is influenced by Airstream's iconic design and the optimism for the future that Stanley Kubrick captured in his 1960s cult film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Continuous CUV growth
Crossovers are at the intersection of trends in the economy and society and have been brewing for years.
The crossover segment is expected to hit 3 million units by the end of the decade, vying to be the largest U.S. vehicle segment. Bold designs will allow Ford to reach the customers in this segment that already includes Ford Freestyle, Ford Edge and, in time, the full-size crossover based on the Fairlane concept.
The Ford Airstream Concept captures the sense of adventure and optimism conveyed in American aircraft and spacecraft, right down to its organic, fuselage-inspired form language, the Ford-first 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 is a unique shape, orange-trimmed window graphics reflecting the purpose of the vehicle: looking out and remembering that the journey - not the destination - matters most. The Ford Airstream Concept's 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 Ford Airstream interior Concept has some special features like: a floating instrument panel with flush-mounted, touch-sensitive controls, a multi-function single gauge display which provides the driver all primary information, a Sharp¨ dual-view screen centrally mounted on the instrument panel which provides a camera view and secondary driver-oriented information, while allowing the front-seat passenger to view DVDs and post mobile blogs, modern, pod-shaped swiveling captain's chairs rotate so the driver and front-seat passenger can easily socialize,etc.
Capturing the sense of optimism and adventure conveyed in American aircraft and spacecraft Ford Airstream Concept is a futuristic crossover. 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. Including a modern lava lamp and virtual fire the unique screen not only creates ambient mood settings but it also is an entertainment source featuring games and a live camera feed.
The most important safety technology in vehicles remain the safety belts. And for this reason Ford is researching several new safety belt designs for the future, including four-point safety belts aiming to help further reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries. One of Ford's possible next-generation safety belts incorporates a four-point "belt and suspenders" design in lieu of the familiar three-point safety belt, which is featured on the Ford Airstream Concept.
The rubber meets the road
The Ford Airstream Concept has a new plug-in hydrogen fuel cell and is much more than a concept.
Created by scientists and engineers at Ford's Research & Innovation Center with partial funding from the United States Department of Energy. it's 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. The new fuel cell, supplied by Ford partner Ballard, operates in a steady state, allowing a significantly smaller, less expensive fuel cell and drastically improving the durability of the fuel cell. With this system, the fuel cell delivers the power needed to recharge the lithium-ion batteries, rather than to be the primary power source to drive the wheels, as in a typical fuel cell-powered vehicle.
Of Airstream's 75th birthday, Ford and Airstream have teamed up to deliver a futuristic crossover concept that could be used to navigate America's highways and byways.
Wally Byam, in 1931 began leveraging aircraft-construction methods to make trailers aimed at feeding Americans' surging desire to travel. Much like Ford, Airstream began because of one man's vision.
FORD AIRSTREAM CONCEPT
Because was inspired by American spacecraft, the Ford Airstream Concept features a unique 360-degree screen for entertainment and games.
Ford's new plug-in hydrogen hybrid fuel cell
Overall length .................... 185.0 in.
Wheelbase ....................125.9 in.
Overall width .................... 78.9 in.
Overall height at curb .................... 70.6 in.
Front .................... 67.6 in.
Rear .................... 69.2 in.
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