08 January 2007

Detroit show: Ford Airstream Concept

Futuristic hybrid crossover takes its inspiration from iconic trailer

Ford Airstream concept

You're probably aware of our feelings towards caravans. If not, suffice to say that it's a bit of a love-hate relationship. Without the love. With a dose of pyromania thrown in.

So any concept that takes inspiration from a caravan is likely to end up in our bad books. But we're finding it difficult to hate Ford's Airstream Concept.

Named after, and developed in conjunction with, Airstream caravans - those curiously iconic silver sausage-shaped trailers - the Airstream is a hybrid crossover apparently inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey.

While the reflective silver paint and 12 'ceremonial rivets' (don't ask us...) pay homage to the Airstreams of the 50s and 60s, the underpinnings and interior of the concept are defiantly futuristic.

Powered by a plug-in hydrogen hybrid fuel cell, the Airstream is accessed through that power clamshell door that runs two-thirds the length of the vehicle.

And that bin-like cylinder in the rear passenger area is, apparently, a '360-degree screen' that creates 'ambient mood settings'. Better known to dossy students worldwide as 'a lava lamp', then.

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