Concept Travel Trailer
At the 2023 South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, Airstream is showcasing an all-new concept travel trailer. The maker of iconic aluminum trailers teamed with Studio F. A. Porsche to create a stylish, functional and efficient travel product worthy of the Airstream name. This is the Airstream Studio F. A. Porsche Concept Travel Trailer.
The design firm Studio F. A. Porsche is not part of Porsche AG, although the business was founded in 1972 by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, designer of the original Porsche 911. The company works with Porsche AG but not exclusively; many of the studio’s clients are outside the automotive industry.
Partnering with Airstream
“Our design team has long wanted to partner with Airstream,” said Managing Director of Studio F. A. Porsche and Chief Design Officer of the Porsche Lifestyle Group Roland Heiler. “More than 20 years ago, when my family lived in Southern California, we owned a 1964 Airstream Overlander. . . . Airstream has always been an iconic brand that has thrived by evolving its products while remaining true to its design DNA — an approach very similar to the philosophy of Studio F. A. Porsche,” Heiler noted.
The trailer concept has a distinctive new look different from the traditional riveted aluminum Airstream, much of which was done to improve aerodynamics. The unique rear shape improves airflow while the trailer is in motion, while a flat underside reduces drag. Further improvements to this slippery design include relocating the air conditioning unit to just above the concept’s floor rather than the traditional roof mount.
In addition to the new look, the concept possesses several innovative ideas and new functionality. A space 10 inches deep below the floor houses much of the trailer’s utility features, including holding tanks, heating components, a spare tire and lithium batteries. The trailer is the first Airstream to feature a lowering suspension and a pop-up roof. With the roof down and suspension lowered, the trailer not only reduces drag but also fits inside a standard garage.
Adopting the popular rear hatch option available on certain Airstream models, the concept has a two-piece hatch with a drop-down tailgate. An awning can be attached to the hatch to create a covered outdoor space.
“Innovation is the art of discovering the possible,” said Airstream President and CEO Bob Wheeler. “Our collaboration with Studio F. A. Porsche brought talented new eyes and minds to our never-ending process of improving the Airstream experience. It’s a fresh design approach aimed at reaching a broader, more diverse base of potential customers,” Wheeler observed.
New Floor Plan
Inside, the design teams maximized usable space while giving the cabin a bright, airy look via extensive use of windows and skylights. With a different style of floor plan than a typical Airstream, this trailer concept features a rear seating area that can be transformed from a dinette to a workspace to a large 82-inch by 61-inch bed.
Possible Future Use
“Like earlier concept vehicles, the Airstream Studio F. A. Porsche Concept Travel Trailer builds on Airstream’s design DNA and our commitment to aerodynamics to create a vision that is both familiar and excitingly new,” noted Wheeler. “While our concept projects don’t always reach the marketplace, the resulting lessons and innovations often influence present and future designs as they make their way into our main product lines,” Wheeler concluded.