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2007 NAIAS :: Detroit Auto Show :: Reviews + Interviews

Ford unveils the Airstream concept vehicle

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com

A look at the Ford Airstream concept vehicle. It runs entirely on hydrogen with a fuel cell battery that can be plugged in to an electrical outlet.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 


DETROIT -- The Ford Airstream concept offers a view of the direction that Ford is heading with respect to future crossover vehicles. It was unveiled LIVE at the 2007 North American International Auto Show. Larry, a representative for Ford gave me all the details on this idea for the future.

The Airstream runs on electric power only. There is no gasoline in it. It features a fuel cell battery that can offer about 41 mpg. To recharge the battery, all you have to do is plug it into a standard electrical outlet.

"The Ford Airstream concept is a futuristic look at crossovers," said Peter Horbury, Executive Director of Design for Ford in The Americas. "It's the ultimate modern touring vehicle that delivers flexibility and capability with dynamic design that evokes the spirit of the journey."

The vehicle was designed to resemble aircrafts, spacecrafts and Airstream trailers. The design originated in 1931 when Wally Byam developed trailers for Americans who loved to travel. This led to the popularity of recreational vehicles (RVs). The RV industry collected record profits in 2005 and the beginning of 2006.

The Airstream was designed to target baby boomers that are about to go into retirement. Each day, 11,000 people in the U.S. become older than 50. They are looking for more fuel-efficient automobiles. As their kids move out, it provides more time for older parents to travel.

The front-end grille and headlights are located together. The windows feature orange trims on the outside. In the back seat, there is a 360 degree TV screen. In the driver and passenger seats, there are four-point seat belts. They resemble what a race car driver might wear. The rear seat belts feature three-point safety belts that are popular today.

The Airstream runs entirely on electric power. The hydrogen fuel cell is used to recharge the battery. It is not used to power the vehicle. The platform that is used on this vehicle is called "HySeries" drive. It will be tested on the Ford Edge crossover vehicle.

When the battery's charge falls below 40%, the hydrogen fuel cell begins to recharge. The storage tank has a capacity of 4 1/2 kilograms of Hydrogen. The battery pack is made of lithium-ion, which is very light. The Airstream can run for 305 miles with a full tank of hydrogen.

The overall length of the Ford Airstream is 185 inches. From wheel to wheel, it measures 125.9 inches. The overall width of the vehicle is 78.9 inches. The maximum speed of this automobile is 85 mph.

On the front instrument panel, there is a screen for passengers to update their web blogs. Blogging allows people to share their real-life experiences with the online world. You can do just that on the all-new Ford Airstream concept.

The Airstream is a really cool crossover. It looks very modern; a definite change of direction for Ford. The sad part, it may never be put into production. It's simply an idea for the future.

Don't Forget, AmericaJR.com is the ONLY web site in the World with FREE Tickets to the 2007 Detroit Auto Show. Please register now to win! Another exclusive from AmericaJR.com, Detroit's #1 Website.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com

A front view of the all-new Ford Airstream at the 2007 NAIAS.

 

This page was last updated on Mon, January 8, 2007 9:31 PM

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