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Old 01-07-2007, 08:00   #1 (permalink)
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US:Ford Airstream concept

Two American icons deliver the crossover model of the future with the Ford Airstream concept

Global Auto Index

Ford has issued the following press release:













Crossover growth is exploding : Ford Airstream Concept speaks to the future of crossovers as the market segment is projected to top 3 million units annually by the end of the decade.

Green Journey : Ford Airstream Concept is powered by a new plug-in hydrogen hybrid fuel cell – called HySeries Drive – that operates under electric power at all times and delivers the combined city/highway equivalent fuel economy of 41 miles per gallon.

Two icons of American transportation: Ford and Airstream have teamed up to deliver a futuristic crossover concept, showing what tomorrow’s road trip vehicles could look like.

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. That’s a major step forward because today’s fuel cells don’t do well when the mercury dips below freezing.

Natural Intersection
The Ford Airstream Concept 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.

Much like Ford, Airstream began with one man’s dream. In 1931, Wally Byam began leveraging aircraft-construction methods to make trailers aimed at feeding Americans’ surging desire to travel.

“Silver bullets” have been shooting up and down highways ever since, leading a Recreational Vehicle industry that’s realized record profits and revenues in 2005 and the first half of 2006.

“Business for Airstream and the RV industry has been strong, but we want to continue finding options for tomorrow’s road trips. Our success in recent years has come from challenging the conventional thinking about what an Airstream is. The Ford Airstream Concept is a stunning example of just that,” says Bob Wheeler, president and chief executive officer of Airstream.

Common Ground

Both companies are influenced by economic and demographic trends – chiefly baby boomers approaching retirement age.

In the U.S., 11,000 people turn age 50 every day. These consumers are starting to downsize their lives and their vehicles, opting for more nimble and fuel-efficient models. With their children leaving home and some retiring, they also have more time for travel.

For Ford, that trend – plus younger couples starting families later – is fueling a shift to crossover vehicles.

The crossover segment is expected to hit 3 million units by the end of the decade, making it potentially the largest U.S. vehicle segment.

For Airstream, these demographic changes are meaningful as well. RV ownership is highest among retirement-age consumers, and by the end of the decade, 50- to 64-year-old consumers will tally 57 million – a 38 percent increase versus 2000, according to University of Michigan studies.

Seeing the Future Today
Growing Ford’s crossover share means breaking through the competitive and fragmenting segment, and the company is leveraging bold designs to win customers.

Ford’s crossover lineup already features the functional Freestyle, newly launched agile and modern Edge and, in time, will include a more refined full-size crossover based on the Fairlane concept.

Ford designers wanted to push further into the future and tapped inspirations including Airstream’s iconic designs and the optimistic future Stanley Kubrick created and captured in his 1960s cult film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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.

Futuristic Interior
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 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.

How the Rubber Meets the Road

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. Ford scientists and engineers created this vehicle with partial funding from the United States Department of Energy. The HySeries Drive delivers the combined city/highway equivalent fuel economy of 41 miles per gallon.

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.

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.

Safe Journeys

Safety belts remain the most important safety technology in vehicles. Ford is researching several new safety belt designs, including four-point safety belts found in the front seats of the Ford Airstream Concept.

Ford Airstream Concept Specifications
Powertrain

Ford’s HySeries Drive plug-in hydrogen hybrid fuel cell

Chassis lengths
Overall length: .......................185.0 in.
Wheelbase: .............................125.9 in.
Overall width: ..........................78.9 in.
Overall height at curb: ..............70.6 in.

Track width
Front: .......................................67.6 in.
Rear: ........................................69.2 in.

Suspension
Front: ................. Double wishbone-independent suspension
Rear: ..................Multi-link independent

Headroom
Front: .......................................37.5 in.
Second Row: ............................36.2 in.

Legroom
Front: .......................................39.6 in.
Second Row: ............................33.1 in.
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My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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Old 01-07-2007, 21:47   #2 (permalink)
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Re: US:Ford Airstream concept

MANDATORY RENEWABLE ENERGY – THE ENERGY EVOLUTION –R4

In order to insure energy and economic independence as well as better economic growth without being blackmailed by foreign countries, our country, the United States of America’s Utilization of Energy sources must change.
"Energy drives our entire economy." We must protect it. "Let's face it, without energy the whole economy and economic society we have set up would come to a halt. So you want to have control over such an important resource that you need for your society and your economy."
Our continued dependence on fossil fuels could and will lead to catastrophic consequences.

The federal, state and local government should implement a mandatory renewable energy installation program for residential and commercial property on new construction and remodeling projects with the use of energy efficient material, mechanical systems, appliances, lighting, etc. The source of energy must by renewable energy such as Solar-Photovoltaic, Geothermal, Wind, Biofuels, etc. including utilizing water from lakes, rivers and oceans to circulate in cooling towers to produce air conditioning and the utilization of proper landscaping to reduce energy consumption.

The implementation of mandatory renewable energy could be done on a gradual scale over the next 10 years. At the end of the 10 year period all construction and energy use in the structures throughout the United States must be 100% powered by renewable energy.

In addition, the governments must impose laws, rules and regulations whereby the utility companies must comply with a fair “NET METERING” (the buying of excess generation from the consumer), including the promotion of research and production of “renewable energy technology” with various long term incentives and grants. The various foundations in existence should be used to contribute to this cause.

A mandatory time table should also be established for the automobile industry to gradually produce an automobile powered by renewable energy. The American automobile industry is surely capable of accomplishing this task.

This is a way to expedite our energy independence and economic growth. (this will also creat a substantial amount of new jobs) It will take maximum effort and a relentless pursuit of the private, commercial and industrial government sectors commitment to renewable energy – energy generation (wind, solar, hydro, biofuels, geothermal, energy storage (fuel cells, advance batteries), energy infrastructure (management, transmission) and energy efficiency (lighting, sensors, automation, conservation) in order to achieve our energy independence.


Jay Draiman
Northridge, CA. 91325
1-7-2007

P.S. I have a very deep belief in America's capabilities. Within the next 10 years we can accomplish our energy independence, if we as a nation truly set our goals to accomplish this.
I happen to believe that we can do it. In another crisis--the one in 1942--President Franklin D. Roosevelt said this country would build 60,000 [50,000] military aircraft. By 1943, production in that program had reached 125,000 aircraft annually. They did it then. We can do it now.
The American people resilience and determination to retain the way of life is unconquerable and we as a nation will succeed in this endeavor of Energy Independence.

Solar energy is the source of all energy on the earth (excepting volcanic geothermal). Wind, wave and fossil fuels all get their energy from the sun. Fossil fuels are only a battery which will eventually run out. The sooner we can exploit all forms of Solar energy (cost effectively or not against dubiously cheap FFs)the better off we will all be. If the battery runs out first, the survivors will all be living like in the 18th century again.

Every new home built should come with a solar package. A 1.5 kW per bedroom is a good rule of thumb. The formula 1.5 X's 5 hrs per day X's 30 days will produce about 225 kWh per bedroom monthly. This peak production period will offset 17 to 24 cents per kWh with a potential of $160 per month or about $60,000 over the 30-year mortgage period for a three-bedroom home. It is economically feasible at the current energy price and the interest portion of the loan is deductible. Why not?

Title 24 has been mandated forcing developers to build energy efficient homes. Their bull-headedness put them in that position and now they see that Title 24 works with little added cost. Solar should also be mandated and if the developer designs a home that solar is impossible to do then they should pay an equivalent mitigation fee allowing others to put solar on in place of their negligence..
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