Airstream and Porsche show electric camper combo at SXSW
Airstream is back with another iteration of the conceptual electric travel-trailer tech it teased in 2022, this time in partnership with Porsche Design. While it remains in the "What if?" stages (Airstream's own words), it's a pretty cool preview of what recreational trailering may look like in the future if two of the world's coolest brands on wheels have anything to say about it. This new collab picks up where the eStream tech Airstream showed us nearly a year ago left off. This time around, it's smaller (somewhere between Airstream's existing Basecamp and Bambi models, just eyeballing it), simpler and slicker, setting aside some of the more ambitious features in favor of production-friendly design.
Officially dubbed the Airstream Studio F. A. Porsche Concept Travel Trailer, this concept is underpinned by a 10-inch deep skateboard-style chassis that incorporates the camper's holding tanks, batteries and associated electronics. Airstream and Porsche wanted to make it more accessible to those who don't have a ton of room for storage, so its already-compact shape was further augmented with an adjustable-height suspension that can drop it low enough to fit in some residential garages (or to improve aerodynamics on the road). A pop-up roof and detachable exterior awning help expand the concept's habitable space once you reach your destination.
We mentioned that Airstream has ambitions beyond merely further streamlining its already-sleek trailers. Anybody who's had a barstool chat about how to improve electric vehicle range has probably tossed around the idea of towing a battery behind a truck to provide additional range. A camper provides the perfect vessel for such a setup, plus you get the benefit of sleeping quarters on top of it — literally. And that's a good thing, because a towed battery alone would be both impractical and inefficient. The living space is what ultimately makes it worthwhile.
And if Airstream gets its way, future production campers will benefit even more from EV and driver assist tech. The aforementioned eStream concept incorporates electric motors into its axle, enabling advanced braking, sway control and steering features. The concept can even maneuver and park itself at your campsite, meaning you could unhook and park your tow vehicle immediately upon arrival and do the tricky maneuvering remotely.
If you'd like to check it out in person, Airstream and Porsche will have a scale model at SXSW