New Airstream and Porsche Collab Reimagines Camper Design
It’s an Airstream, Jim, but not as we know it.
Camper trailers are often quite utilitarian in design, but Airstream is one manufacturer that has always found time to deliver style on top of functionality. The company's latest effort is a futuristic collaboration with Studio F.A. Porsche, with the sleek camper to be showcased at this year's South By Southwest festival.
Airstream worked with Studio F.A. Porsche, the automotive brand's independent design house named after Ferdinand Alexander Porsche himself. The concept trailer is a drastic step away from Airstream's traditional Space Age aesthetic of shiny, riveted steel panels. Instead, it leans heavily on modern materials and has a design language that feels very close to today's Porsches. The concept was worked up as a series of renders with a one-third scale model also produced.
Aerodynamics was a major focus of the design. To that end, the designers worked to reduce external protrusions on the trailer. The rear shape of the trailer was also refined to reduce drag as much as possible, with the flush underside also contributing to this effort.
Part of the reasoning behind this push was to make the trailer more suitable for towing behind EVs. Towing always brings a range penalty, and slow EV charging times can make that a real killer. Minimizing that impact as much as possible helps make touring with a camper and an EV more practical.
The trailer doesn't just focus on swoopy lines and cutting-edge aesthetics, either. It was designed with an eye to improving usability, too. To that end, the trailer features a pop-up roof, which provides significant additional standing room when erected. The trailer also has a system that allows the suspension to be lowered, allowing it to be parked in low-height residential garages. Airstream is branding it the first "garageable" design the company has ever developed.
Inside, the design aesthetic is refreshingly modern, with finishes that wouldn't be out of place in a fancy display home. The trailer also features the usual array of nifty folding doors and panels that you'd expect. The rear seating area can be transformed for dining, working, or sleeping. Meanwhile, the galley is designed with hinged counters that provide additional counter space rivaling that of much larger trailers. Of course, every trailer and RV manufacturer loves to play Tetris with the internal furniture, but Airstream has a knack for doing it better than most.
Airstream has long traded on its classic retro aesthetic. However, this concept suggests the brand isn't ignoring the march of time outside its own doors. It takes into account how cars and customers are changing, and is built to suit those new realities. It may or may not enter production, but it shows that smart minds at Airstream are asking the right questions about how to tackle tomorrow.
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