Ford took the wraps off of the all-new Flex crossover at today’s press conference in New York, showing its new take on the crossover/people mover. The minivan has held this role for years, but with Ford’s Freestar being dropped due to dwindling sales, the company felt the need to do something different. And that they have.
The Flex is based on the Fairlane concept car shown a few years ago in Detroit, and at least in shape, it has not ventured far from that original.
“The new Ford Flex crossover is a game-changer. It’s the first vehicle of its kind that combines seating for seven, interior spaciousness and surprising features with a striking design that looks great on the road and at home for today’s modern American families,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas, as he revealed the new vehicle at the 2007 New York International Auto Show. “The Flex builds on Ford’s leadership in crossover vehicles, which is the fastest-growing part of the auto market today.”
Flex features seating configurations for six or seven, the six-passenger version featuring two bucket seats in the second row. Access to the third row is made easy with second-row seats that fold and slide out of the way with the flip of a single lever. Cargo space is also plentiful, even with the third row in place.
A number of innovations are introduced on the Flex, including a capless fuel filler, available center console refrigerator, programmable ambient lighting, real-time traffic and weather information, and a 23,000 song personal juke box.
Flex will go on sale next summer as a 2009 model.
But that wasn’t the only Flex making news from Ford. Well-known New York DJ and car customizer Funkmaster Flex was on hand, along with a couple of other well-known names in customization—Carroll Shelby and Chip Foose. Each of these three designers/tuners have partnered with Ford to add their own flavor to three production models to create special, limited edition vehicles.
Carroll Shelby’s name is synonymous with performance, and it’s no big surprise that the special-edition car from Shelby is a Mustang. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1968 Shelby Cobra GT500KR (King of the Road), this 2008 Shelby GT500KR is the most powerful production Mustang to date. Under that carbon-composite hood lurks a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 pumping out 540 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque.
Each GT500KR is identified by special 40th Anniversary KR badges on the fenders and grille and Shelby lettering stretching across the front of the hood and along the rear portion of the deck lid. A special Shelby VIN tag is affixed to each vehicle, mounted in the engine compartment.
“I’m proud to once again be a part of an historical moment, bringing back the ‘King of the Road’ Mustang, and collaborating with Ford SVT and Ford Racing,” said Carroll Shelby. “I’m committed to continuously upping the ante when it comes to performance, and it’s great to be doing it with Ford.”
Only 1,000 GT500KRs will be sold.
F-150 Foose Edition
Known for his hot rod designs and as the star of the TV show “Overhaulin’,” Chip Foose has worked with Ford behind the scenes for many years, but with this special Foose Edition F-150, the relationship has gone public.
And as expected, this is no typical F-150. Based on the 2WD FX2 Sport, the truck has been lowered slightly and sits on 22-inch wheels. Large fender flares, wide racing strips on the hood, custom grille and dual exhaust give the Foose F-150 a high-performance look. And this truck has the power to backup those looks.
Under the hood is a 450-horsepower supercharged V8 engine with 500 lb-ft of torque, making this the most powerful truck from Ford since the 2004 F-150 SVT Lightning. The Foose Edition F-150 will go on sale in limited numbers early next year.
Funkmaster Flex Edition Expedition
The special-edition Expedition put together by Funkmaster Flex will definitely stand out in a crowd. Designed to be eye-catching, but not over the top, the FMF Expedition sports a two-tone Colorado Red and Black paint scheme accented by orange pinstriping and chrome badging. The custom front and rear fascia are from 3D Carbon, and look is completed with the 20-inch chrome wheels.
Inside, the design cues from the exterior are carried through, with matching Colorado Red center console and trim. Seats are covered in black leather with red-stitching and FMF red logo headrests. FMF floormats round out the package. Adding to the exclusivity of the FMF Expedition, each copy will feature an exclusive numbered dash plaque signed by Funkmaster Flex.
“Once Ford and I finished the concept Expedition, we knew we had something serious! It was poppin’!” said Funkmaster Flex. “We then started showing it at auto shows, to dealers and to my fans and realized we hit on some themes that we could turn into a limited-edition production ride.”
The Funkmaster Flex Expedition will be available in Ford showrooms later this fall.
By Perry Stern
Custom Vehicles From Ford*New York Auto Show 2007 - MSN Autos