• Mar 17th 2009 at 8:01AM
  • 12
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The last time we saw Airstream involved in a concept vehicle was two years ago when Ford unveiled it's trailer inspired concept van with a HySeries drive powertrain. This time around, Airstream is providing an actual trailer with propulsion coming from a new MINI Cooper S Clubman. The trailer maker and automaker are collaborating with furniture maker Republic of Fritz Hansen to produce an exhibit for the Salone del Mobile show in Milan, Italy. The theme is surfing with the MINI carrying a pair of boards with the black Clubman getting wetsuit style neoprene accents. The 22 ft trailer gets a fold down side panel and water-proof interior to protect it from elements dragged in by the surfers. The show runs from April 21-30 in Milan.


[Source: BMW]

MINI AND AIRSTREAM, DESIGNED BY REPUBLIC OF FRITZ HANSEN
03/16/2009

Exciting cooperation between three iconic brands set to steal hearts during Salone del Mobile.
Munich. Airstream Inc. and MINI have teamed up to offer the best in both design and functionality with a one-off MINI Cooper S Clubman and Airstream creation designed by Republic of Fritz Hansen. The concept will be presented for the first time at the INTERNI DESIGN ENERGIES exhibition in the courtyards of Università degli Studi di Milano during the upcoming world-renowned Salone del Mobile show in Milan. The exhibition will be open each day from Tuesday 21 to Thursday 30 April from 10:00 a.m. until midnight.

Republic of Fritz Hansen, the Copenhagen based premium furniture brand known for its minimalist and functional design, has spared no details when it came to designing the interior of the MINI Cooper S Clubman and Airstream trailer. Drawing inspiration from the outdoor lifestyle of surfing, the Airstream interior will feature, amongst others, new interpretations of Arne Jacobsen's Egg™ and Swan™ Chair and a table set up with four unique Series Seven™ chairs, allowing plenty of room for guests. Sleek wood panelling will top it off giving it the ultimate "modern surfer" look. "Here at Republic of Fritz Hansen we are thrilled with the collaboration and really look forward to introducing this unique and eye catching concept," says Jacob Holm, President and CEO at Republic of Fritz Hansen.

The MINI Cooper S Clubman will also reflect the same adventurous personality and style with clean lines, bold colours such as lightning green and all the interior gadgets you can expect to find in a MINI plus more.

The MINI Cooper S Clubman will be predominately jet black with black "wetsuit" neoprene accents along with green trim. The 22ft silver Airstream trailer will also enjoy the same exterior details as the MINI but will have an interior designed for beach goers with features such as a waterproof interior and a sun bathing bed.

"Partnering with MINI was a given," said Bob Wheeler, CEO of Airstream, Inc. "As one of the oldest manufacturers of recreational vehicles in the U.S. and MINI's longstanding history producing unmistakable sport cars, we knew that we would make a dynamite team," said Wheeler.

"It has always been important for us to implement new products and ideas in unconventional ways. The concept MINI and Airstream, designed by Republic of Fritz Hansen, presents a surprisingly different way of using a MINI and an Airstream with a design, which consciously transcends into the world of the surfer. At the same time, we have achieved a successful co-operation with two international cult brands which authentically embodies the MINI attitude to life" said, Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, Head of MINI Brand Communication.

MINI Cooper S Clubman

Shifting gears is without doubt a thrilling experience in the top model MINI Cooper S Clubman. Boasting a 1.6-litre four-cylinder power unit developing maximum output of 172 hp at 5,500 rpm with the help of a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct gasoline injection, the MINI Cooper S Clubman offers maximum torque of 177 lb-ft all the way from 1,600 to 5,000 rpm, with a further brief increase to an even more significant 260 Newton-metres or 192 lb-ft by means of the Overboost function. On the road, this accelerates the MINI Cooper S Clubman to 60 mph in just 7.0 seconds and gives the car a top speed of 139 mph.

The MINI Cooper S Clubman offers not only impressive performance, but also an exceptionally good balance of driving pleasure and economy, with average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of just 6.3 litres/100 kilometres. In the US EPA test cycle, the MINI Cooper S Clubman reaches a combined fuel consumption of 27 mpg. The MINI Cooper S Clubman has a CO2 emission rating of 150 grams per kilometre.

More information about the project at http://www.MINIspace.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hope everyone realizes that this is only a styling exercise. I own a 20ft vintage Airstream and there is NO WAY you could safely tow it with a Mini. Even if this trailer went on a diet to bring it down closer to one ton mark, this is much too large to be towed with such a small vehicle - the wheel base it too short and the vehicle too light. Good luck in strong cross winds or when a big-rig barrels by you in the opposite direction. BTW, where's the hitch on the Mini???

      One other very important point - YOU DO NOT PUT A BLACK ROOF ON A TRAILER - HUGE UNNECESSARY THERMAL LOAD. You would need a huge side door to help exhaust all of that latent heat.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Mini has an European tow rating of 650 kg (1433 lbs) with a maximum tongue weight of 75 kg. So it can pull a small camper, no voiding the warranty involved.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm a big fan of utility trailers: They take care of most problems that people think you need a pickup truck to solve. I appreciate that my utility trailer uses no gas while parked in my backyard. Plus, I'm willing to lend my trailer to folks I wouldn't trust with a pickup.

      Meanwhile, there are camping options for smaller vehicles. I tow a popup camper with a minivan, and have been pleased with the combination. Small car owners should take a look a mini-popup campers designed to be towed by motorcycles. The RV industry is also responding to the automotive reality with smaller offerings. My one frustration is that the auto industry now neglects something they used to sell regularly: A *car* with a useful OEM tow rating.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Be careful... don't overload:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJJkjT7VB8k
        • 6 Years Ago
        it's from an insurance advertisement.
      • 6 Years Ago
      +1 for towing with small cars (within reason) instead of dragging around the extra weight the other 99% of the time you're not towing.

      While the weights are an issue, I kinda doubt Airstream would sign on to this exercise if they couldn't make it towable with the car in question. Look at the design drawing... it's an aluminum shell: no built-in cabinets, no bathroom (maybe a hidden Thetford porta pottie), no kitchen, no propane, a couple surfboards serving as shelves, a couple/few plywood-formed or plsatic modern chairs, an air mattress stuck to the inside of the door, etc. As shown, there's probably not 200lb over the weight of the bare shell. You could probably save some more weight on the axle/wheel/tire combo since the gross weight of the trailer will be minimized.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You're right. It is a pointless styling exercise designed to attract attention to the Mini. You can round off the number of Airstream sales in this style to one. Airstream is hurting, and may just have been willing to build a one-off in just about any nonsensical style.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow lets hope in 10 years they actually market something like this, right now all Americans think you have to have a 6.0L megaduty pickup to haul anything, which is of course ridiculous, except for the first commenter : ) he gets a grape job sticker! Yes its always bothered me that I'll have to build my own reasonably sized camper trailer, and that none of the ultra backwards manufacturers here could come up with a lighter smaller trailer for non-rednecks, they had it right for years but since the 80's big oil has run this country and I guess that includes the size of camper trailers you must buy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Isn't the towing capacity of the Copper around 1300 lbs, properly equipped?

      How much does a 22' Airstream, with your stuff, weigh?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm a huge HUGE fan of the idea of a little car with detachable utility. I have a civic and a 4'x8' flat-bed trailer, and it's better for carrying light bulky stuff than any pickup truck because it's easier to load (being at knee level and not having side-walls), and being able to overhang the front, back, and sides.

      And 98% of the time, I'm not hauling it around.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The dry weight on my 1967 20ft Airstream is 3100#. Load it up with camping/sports gear, food, fresh water, propane and a roof AC & you're quickly approaching 4000#. Even if this trailer were down in the 1500# range, when loaded it will most like far exceed the towing ability of a Mini. Besides, to be safe, you really shouldn't exceed 80% of a vehicles maximum towing capacity.

      BTW, the lightest 22ft Airstream sold in Europe has a dry weight of 3020#(1370kg)
      harlanx6
      • 6 Years Ago
      I once saw a demonstration where the guy pulled an airstream with a bicycle. That aircraft type construction is pretty light and stiff. I think there is no doubt this can be done well.
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