FUNKMASTER FLEX TO REVEAL CUSTOM FUSION FOR FORD’S GROWN AND SEXY URBAN VIDEO GAME
- Ford to reveal the FunkMaster Flex Fusion at the 2005 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, Nev. on Nov. 1
- The Flex Fusion was created to be an integral part of Ford's new African-American “Grown and Sexy” Web site which features the Flex Fusion Night Club online video game
Las Vegas, Nov. 1 – Hip-hop DJ and guru of urban car culture FunkMaster Flex mixes his East Coast New York personality and style into his latest vehicle creation, an urban street version of the hot 2006 Ford Fusion. The Flex Fusion was designed specifically to be revealed at the 2005 SEMA show in conjunction with the launch of Ford’s new interactive Fusion “Grown and Sexy” Web site designed to target African-American consumers.
“From the first time I saw the Fusion at Ford's design studios, I liked what I saw, the car looked hot,” said FunkMaster Flex. “Being selected as the first customizer to work with an all-new nameplate for Ford was extra special for me, but when they informed me that they wanted me to do a SEMA Fusion, I realized I could take my creative vision to the extreme. I now had the power to build the Fusion that every weekend customizer wants to have parked at the end of his driveway.”
The FunkMaster Flex Fusion
FunkMaster Flex is a fan of “old school” late sixties and early seventies American sedans like the Ford Galaxie 500, Gran Torino and Mustang. So, when he decided to become a spokesperson for the Ford brand in May 2005, he had a strong desire to know what the company was doing with the Ford 427 concept, which was a runaway hit of the2003 North American International Auto Show. With one visit to Ford’s design studios in Dearborn , MI., he discovered that the 427 design characteristics were being implemented into an all-new mid-size sedan, the Ford Fusion. Soon, after that visit, he began making requests to Ford's marketing team to become the first custom builder to modify the all-new sedan.
On July 30 th, Flex revealed his first custom 2006 Ford Fusion at his Custom Car and Bike Show in Boston , Mass. Flex’s car featured a custom two-tone tribal paint scheme, matching interior, black chrome wheels and performance tires. It proved to be a popular attraction with show goers as crowds gathered to register to win the car. The car continued to travel with Flex’s show tour throughout the summer. To date, the sweepstakes has garnered more than 12,000 entries.
Flex loved the first car but still had a desire to take a Fusion custom in a different direction. He wanted to demonstrate to weekend customizers exactly what could be done with a complete customization of the new Fusion. There was no better way to showcase this new Fusion than at the 2005 SEMA Show along side the launch of the “Grown and Sexy” website which features his first online video game, the Flex Fusion Nightclub game.
Here are the customization tips that FunkMaster Flex employed to construct his SEMA Fusion.
- Flex suggests that owners go for a custom paint job. “The scheme developed shouldn’t be too busy or overloaded with color. Two-tone paint works best. The exterior should strive to draw people into the interior,” said Flex. For the Flex Fusion, he chose a two-tone red paint scheme with black pinstripe. The exterior paint is designed to invite people to discover what’s inside the interior of the car.
- Flex feels that rims need to be classy and clean: “The ‘spinners’ trend has played itself out and buyers should be looking for something different.” The Flex Fusion features BOZE ® alloy 3-piece black chrome wheels with a staggered stance with 19-inch wheels in the front and 20-inch wheels in the rear with Toyo ™ performance tires.
- Exterior personal touches are a must. “Make sure to add anything that you like as long as it’s not gaudy. Let your friends guide you with these additions. Trust their advice. Chrome accents, a new grille and tinted windows can define a vehicle,” says Flex. The Flex Fusion features a custom 3-D Carbon ® body kit and Valanca ® rear and roof wings.
- “The interior needs to tie directly into the exterior with enough technology to impress,” says Flex. A two-tone dash, door panels and steering wheel along with appointed Ostrich leather excite drivers to get behind the wheel of the Flex Fusion. A Clarion ® navigation system, Icon ® TV monitors in the rear-head rests, JL Audio ® amplifiers and speakers, and an innovative side- mirror camera system allow the driver to fully control his driving experience.
- A Flowmaster ® exhaust, Wilwood ® performance brakes and H&R ® springs round out the performance upgrades for the car. They are fantastic enhancements to the Fusion proven powerplant and driving dynamics.
Beyond the Flex Fusion, Ford has several innovative plans to make Fusion relevant to the African-American consumer.
The “Grown and Sexy” Web site
The Flex Fusion Night Club video game was created to be an integral part of Ford’s new Fusion online web destination www.grownandsexy.com . The concept of “Grown and Sexy” is an urban African-American expression of the Fusion’s general market marketing campaign “Life in Drive”. The themes behind “Grown and Sexy” are all about breaking free from convention to enjoy life with style and attitude. The Fusion is a sedan designed towards 25 to 39 year old customers who are looking to express their personality and achievements. The Web site and the complete “Grown and Sexy” marketing campaign were created by Ford’s African-American agency, The Uniworld Group and launched on Oct. 31. The site goes beyond a traditional vehicle launch campaign by serving as a permanent online content portal for the Ford Fusion with content targeted to African-American buyers.
The “Grown and Sexy” Web site features three different Fusion experience sections.
- EMOTION: The Emotion section gives visitors a chance to discover what “Grown and Sexy” is all about. They can experience the creative television commercials developed for the campaign, then visit the Fusion Mixer, which was developed to provide visitors a chance to mix various types of music together to form their own personal tunes that match their style and personality. Individuals can choose from salsa, reggae, R&B and country music beats.
Finally, Emotion visitors have the opportunity to play the Flex Fusion Nightclub Video Game. The Flex Fusion Nightclub video game brings the Emotion section visitors even further into the Web site by allowing them a completely unique way to experience “Grown and Sexy”. The object of the game is to drive your Ford Fusion to the various clues left by FunkMaster Flex to discover the popular nightclub where he will be performing. The player is first allowed to select his or her driver from an array of “Grown and Sexy” characters, all of whom have faced different career challenges in their lives and become confident and successful business professionals. The player then can select the type of tuned Ford Fusion he or she would like to drive from the FunkMaster Flex garage. Once all of these decisions are made the player is ready to race against the clock to find Flex and his favorite nightclub where he will perform. Drivers cruise the street of a metropolitan city with print billboards from the “Grown and Sexy” Fusion marketing campaign.
- STYLE: The Style section allows visitors to view interior and exterior images of the 2006 Fusion. Visitors can also see images of some of the current America ’s Next Top Model contestants, who posed with the Fusion in a recent episode of the show. To demonstrate how the Fusion can be personalized, visitors can find images of FunkMaster Flex’s first customized Fusion.
- HEAT: The Heat section allows visitors to gain information about Fusion’s various powertrain configurations, excellent driving dynamics and other innovative and distinctive characteristics of the midsize sedan. Various magazine, newspaper and online editorial articles also give visitors a chance to read what the media think about the new car.