PROVOCATIVE FORD FLEX DARES TO BE DIFFERENT
NEW YORK, March 19, 2008 – Now it’s safe to add daring and intriguing to your list of adjectives describing Ford vehicles – the new Flex is here.
Flex is a vehicle that dares to be different. Its contemporary design provokes strong opinions. Its new technologies are intelligent and engaging. All in all, Ford Flex is like no other vehicle on the road today, and that may mean it’s not for everyone.
“Flex is provocative, no doubt about it,” said Jim Farley, Ford group vice president, Marketing and Communications. “The Flex is like nothing else on the road, and it defies being categorized. I have a feeling that Flex is going to appeal to a group of customers who feel absolutely the same way about themselves.”
Ford is not predicting sales or trying to define a profile for the Flex target buyer but is confident that this “white space” vehicle’s distinctiveness will have strong allure. Marketing efforts will focus on the fascination of a stylish vehicle that communicates more intrigue than definition.
Flexing its Character
From its planted stance and broad shoulders – flanked by signature side grooves – to its all-black greenhouse and distinctive multi-panel Vista Roof, Ford designers have created a provocative vehicle.
In a world of automobiles that are easy to categorize, Flex is difficult to define and polarizing. Embracing that enigmatic nature was the key breakthrough in the design process, according to Peter Horbury, executive director, Design, The Americas.
“Flex is a radical departure,” Horbury says. “At first we were uncomfortable with the way Flex could polarize, but its ability to compel an opinion, good or bad, was fascinating. It inspired us forward with courage to create a breakthrough design.”
Flex’s prominent stance is a key design element setting it apart from all other vehicles. Park Ford Flex next to an SUV or a typical crossover. The proportions are immediately surprising.
Capping the horizontal design cues in bold contrast is the unique roof of the new Ford Flex. Available in two colors, White Suede or Brilliant Silver, the roof contrasts stylishly with the Flex exterior paint palette.
“The all-black greenhouse allowed us to do the complementing color roof,” said Flex Designer Rich Gressens. “If we had body colored pillars and clear glass, it would have been difficult to do, but it all ties in together.”
The Flex’s multi-panel Vista Roof adds even more distinction.
Available on Flex SEL and Flex Limited models as an option, the Vista Roof has four glass panels to provide abundant natural light to occupants of all three rows of passengers. The forward panel is a moonroof that opens to let in fresh air.
Style, Luxury and Space for Individuality
The exterior design of the Flex creates interest, but it’s the surprising space and comfort for seven, the elegant, upscale style and clever flexibility of the interior that will magnetically keep people in the new Flex.
“We wanted the interior to be a place of contemporary, relaxed style – somewhere you could feel very comfortable, yet involved and connected,” said Anthony Prozzi, chief interior designer.
“The interior presents an environment that is radically different,” he added. “You’ll notice the improvement in materials, the appointments and the general appearance of the car. Even the way you interact with the car will be different because of all the new technology we’re introducing.”
Smart Features for the Demanding Lifestyle
Flex is packed with innovative, class-leading technology solutions that seek to empower, not overpower the driver.
Flex is powered by Ford’s award-winning 3.5-liter V-6 engine delivering 262 horsepower at 6,250 rpm and 248 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm, mated to a fuel-efficient, advanced 6-speed automatic transmission that uses a wide 6.04:1 gear ratio to deliver good fuel economy and performance.
Flex’s available intelligent all-wheel-drive system is tuned to provide confident driving in all weather conditions. By constantly monitoring and predicting traction, the system can deliver torque to all four wheels, even before the wheels begin to slip. An active, on-demand electronic center coupler can allocate a precise amount of torque from front to rear – up to 100 percent to either axle. Paired with standard Advance Trac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control), intelligent AWD can transfer torque front to rear and side to side.
Manufactured to the highest quality standards at Ford’s Oakville Assembly Plant in Ontario, Canada, Flex will be available at dealers this summer.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 245,000 employees and about 100 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.