From the outside it looks like a normal Ford Transit van, but on the inside there's a private movie theater decked out with its own tablet-controlled media server, drop-down screen, high-def projector, and ridiculously nice seating. Oh, and did we mention the built-in bar? You're gonna want the bar.
Our man out west was all over Ford's ultralux passenger van called the Skyliner last week, but we had a chance to take a closer look at some of the insane audio/video hardware this thing's running at the New York Auto Show.
From the exterior, it's a tidy if understated black-on-silver rolling whale. I know, it still looks exciting to you utility-vehicle nerds. But once the Ford Transit bodystyle completely replaces the beloved Econoline in the coming years, get used to seeing this shape all over the place.
Of course, like a delicious Twinky that's got a used band-aid stuck to the wrapper "it's what's inside that counts" with the Ford Skyliner.
And inside are four starship-quality seats mounted into a beautifully glossy wood floor and one hell of an entertainment system.
The driver's appointments aren't quite as glamorous, but it doesn't look too bad behind the wheel of this thing either.
Back where time was really meant to be spent in this thing... the back.
The captain's chairs recline as far as you like of course, to get yourself situated in the optimal cinematic viewing position to watch a 52-inch retractable Stewart movie screen.
Stewart is not Best Buy-grade gear. Their screens show up in famous theaters, big time talk shows, and only the finest of pimp-my-vans. Their screens are tailor made to order, none of that off-the-rack crap us peasants have to pick from.
Jason pointed out that a screen would have a lot of trouble staying put while the Skyliner's underway, but that could be mitigated with a second set of connectors for the bottom of the sheet.
Audio is delivered through a Focal Utopia 7.2 surround sound system. Their speakers are handmade in France, beautiful, and obscenely expensive.
Satellite TV comes from a KVH DIRECTV unit, supplemented by a Kaleidescape media server with storage space for more than 1,000 movies. That'd be enough tentacle porn to keep Dr. Krieger in this van for, like, ever.
The whole setup is controlled through a Crestron automation system, which can be made to dial in just about any pieces of electronics you want it to. It feeds the entire entertainment interface to a smartphone or tablet, so it's easy for anybody to get a handle on. Know how you're parents have, like, four remotes if they want to watch cable TV with sound? None of that nonsense here.
The product specialists guarding the van at the New York Auto Show refused to let me play the Sledgehammer music video I'd brought on a USB stick for the occasion, so I'll have to imagine it would have brought the mind-expanding experience to a whole new level.
Ford's not planning on building more than this one Skyliner van, no word yet on what will become of it. Keep your eye on Detroit Craigslist in a year or so.
Here's a little more behind the scenes of the van's creation, from conversion van specialists Galpin Auto Sports:
Images: Brian Williams