Few things excite multiple fanbases as a mashup and now Airstream and Porsche may have just united two seemingly disparate groups with their new collaboration: the Airstream Studio F.A. Porsche Concept Travel Trailer.
The concept trailer, which makes its debut Friday at this year’s South by Southwest Conference in Texas, is the result of partnering of each company’s design team to produce what could be the next-generation Airstream.
“Innovation is the art of discovering the possible,” said Airstream President and CEO Bob Wheeler in a statement. “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.”
What is it?
First and foremost, it’s the first “garageable” camper in Airstream’s history, courtesty of a pop-up roof that is laden with solar panels to provide some power if you’re boondocking. It’s 16.4 feet long and rides on a single axle with an adjustable suspension. That allows the user to change the ride height to meet their needs — lower for aerodynamics or higher for off-road maneuveability.
It’s designed to sleep two people, and features the usual amenities found in Airstreams of this size: a bathroom with a shower, a two-burner electric stove, a sink and a few other options, all in Airstream’s Scandinavian-inspired design theme.
The extensive use of windows and skylights creates a spacious interior feel and connects owners with the beauty of their surroundings.
Building on the current popularity of the rear hatch option in select Airstream travel trailers, the concept trailer’s redesigned rear hatch features a new two-piece design, with a hinge-up hatch and a drop-down tailgate, Airstream noted.
Awnings can be attached to the hatch to create a shady place to relax and plan the next adventure. This conceptual design extends the interior living space, connecting travelers with their surroundings and allowing for easy loading of adventure gear.
Pairing of icons
The travel trailer is a “what if” exercise the two companies decided to engage in, which the Porsche design team being charged with creating the next-gen Airstream incorporating the best-known design elements of both brands.
The process engaged Studio F. A. Porsche designers in Zell am See, Austria, and Los Angeles in a steady back-and-forth with Airstream designers and engineers at the company’s headquarters and manufacturing facility in Jackson Center, Ohio.
The result is a modern-looking travel trailer that uses Airstream’s traditional stainless steel, while incorporating the aerodynamic curves of Porsches past and present. It was produced in stages using renderings, a one-third scale model, computer-assisted aerodynamic testing until moving the final product.
The concept will be showcased at Porsche’s SXSW exhibit where Airstream and Porsche Lifestyle Group executives will unveil a 1/3 scale model of the trailer and a Porsche Macan tow vehicle. Porsche’s 2023 SXSW theme is ‘Porsche X,’ which emphasizes collaboration. The legendary automotive brand is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2023.
“Our design team has long wanted to partner with Airstream,” said Roland Heiler, managing director of Studio F. A. Porsche and chief design officer of the Porsche Lifestyle Group. “More than 20 years ago, when my family lived in Southern California, we owned a 1964 Airstream Overlander.
“That’s when I met Bob Wheeler for the first time at a vintage trailer show in Newport Beach. For me 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. So, it is not difficult to imagine that we were more than excited when the idea to develop a new iteration of Airstream’s travel trailers finally became reality.”