Press Release) 2009 FORD FLEX: AN ALL-NEW FULL-SIZE CROSSOVER
REDEFINES THE JOURNEY FOR THE AMERICAN FAMILY
Inside and Out: New Ford Flex full-size crossover is the
first vehicle of its kind with a bold design, striking interior
and seven-passenger seating for families.
Interior refrigerator, second-row footrests, Ford Sync™ in-car
communications and entertainment system, capless fueling, a
2,300-song personal juke box, programmable ambient interior
“mood lighting” and a Multi-Panel Vista Roof™ are among the many
Safe and Secure:
An available rear back-up camera, s tandard f ront-and-side-seat
mounted air bags, three-row Safety Canopy ® side curtain and
AdvanceTrac ® with RSC ® (Roll Stability Control) offer the
safety and security customers demand for their families.
Confident: An award-winning 3.5-liter V-6 engine,
fuel-efficient 6-speed transmission and available intelligent
all-wheel-drive provide powerful and confident road manners.
On Sale Next Year:
The 2009 Ford Flex goes on sale in the summer of 2008, joining
the Edge and Taurus X in Ford’s popular crossover lineup.
NEW YORK, April 4, 2007
– Ford Motor Company redefines the modern American family journey
with the introduction of the 2009 Ford Flex, a full-size crossover
that sets a new standard for style, features, functionality and
comfort in the U.S. industry’s hottest segment.
“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.”
On sale in the summer of 2008, the Flex is arriving as crossovers
continue to outpace even the remarkable growth of SUVs during the
1990s and minivans of the 1980s.
Last year, crossovers surpassed traditional SUV sales for the first
time, and they are trending toward annual crossover sales of 3
million units by the end of the decade. Such growth likely will make
crossovers the first or second largest vehicle segment in the U.S.
“Flex is another example of Ford creating more of the products that
our customers really want,” Fields said. “Ford intends to define
crossover vehicles this decade just as we did SUVs in the 1990s.”
The Flex joins the Edge and Taurus X in Ford’s expanding crossover
lineup. Ford’s success with crossover utility vehicles is
substantial. In March alone, the company’s U.S. crossover
sales were up more than 40 percent over last year – led by the
success of the new Edge.
Redefining the Family Journey
Bold, expressive design and exclusive innovations define the new
“The Ford Flex has the power to move people emotionally as well as
physically,” said J Mays, Ford’s group vice president of Design and
chief creative officer.
“This crossover has been created for people who know it’s the
journey – not the destination – that matters most,” Mays added. “Its
upright, upscale design, versatility and clever touches allow Ford
Flex to stand out in an increasingly crowded sea of crossovers.”
The Ford Flex brings to production the Ford Fairlane concept vehicle
that turned heads at the 2005 North American International Auto Show
“Flex is following in the tire tracks, so to speak, of Ford vehicles
like the Taurus, Explorer and Mustang. It’s the next iconic Ford,”
said Peter Horbury, Ford’s executive director of Design for The
Americas. “It shatters today’s image of people movers.”
Flex’s signature exterior design includes:
chrome horizontal three-bar grille, which builds on the family
“face” that defines the Ford Edge and Taurus X crossovers, as
well as the Ford Fusion sedan.
A unique, all black
“greenhouse” – defined as the windshield, rear and side windows,
and the pillars separating and connecting them to the roof. The
design brings together seamlessly the body with the available
multi-panel roof. Customers can pair a White Suede or Silver
roof option with one of Flex’s 10 available exterior colors or
choose a body-color roof.
Standard 18-inch or
available 19-inch bright aluminum wheels, which plant the new
crossover firmly on the road.
rocker panel design, which eliminates the need for customers to
step over the rocker panel when getting in and out of the
taillamps, which are outlined in chrome. Flex Limited models
have LED taillamps and a brushed satin finish metal appliqué
spanning the center of the liftgate.
Inside, Ford Flex
delivers textures, features and functionality – including segment
exclusives – that create an ideal atmosphere for discerning
customers and their families.
“More than 90 percent of crossover customers make their vehicle
purchases based in part on
the overall quality of interiors,” said Kate Pearce, Flex marketing
manager. “When they see
the Flex’s exterior, they’ll be intrigued. When they see its
interior, they’ll fall in love.”
Flex’s interior provides a level of craftsmanship inspired by
fashion and furniture design,
with modern materials and soft touch points.
Details include tweed-like fabric for the base-level Flex SE’s
seats, with inserts in a miniature houndstooth. Meanwhile, the Flex
SEL features a soft insert with a more pronounced grain on the seat
bolsters, while the Flex Limited features unique diamond-pattern
perforations on the leather seat inserts. Contrast stitching also is
available on leather seats and the center console.
Cool Features Built Right In
Flex is set apart
from other vehicles thanks to a long list of surprising
features. They include:
Class-exclusive refrigerator, mounted between the second-row
captain’s chairs. Unlike competitors’ systems that merely keep
cold beverages cool, the Flex’s available compressor-driven
refrigerator can cool up to seven 12-ounce cans, four half-liter
bottles or two 20-ounce bottles from room temperature to 41
degrees in just more than two-and-one-half hours. That’s 40
percent faster than a standard home refrigerator.
Roof™. It not only brightens the interior, it gives Flex
occupants seated in each row their own special skylight.
best-in-class legroom, including class-exclusive adjustable and
removable footrests. The Flex’s second-row seats fold and tumble
to provide access to the third-row and fold flat into the floor
for added cargo space. An available one-touch system folds and
tumbles the second row.
programmable ambient lighting. Flex owners can choose interior
lighting to fit their mood. With this feature – which also is
being introduced on the 2008 Ford Focus – customers use a
dashboard switch to change the lighting on two LEDs mounted on
the front console, two on the footwells and two around the
Capless fuel filler
system. This exclusive feature eliminates the likelihood of
forgetting to put the gas cap back on after fueling. It also
saves time by doing away with unscrewing and replacing a
fuel-filler cap and provides a better seal, cutting down
the emissions of smog-forming vapors.
Ford Sync™, Ford’s
industry-exclusive, voice-activated hands-free in-car
communications and entertainment system. This available system
fully integrates mobile phones and digital media players into
the vehicle. The Sync in-car communications system was developed
in collaboration with Microsoft and will be offered exclusively
on Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles later this year.
next-generation navigation system, featuring voice recognition
technology and more than 150 hours of music storage. Users can
browse the music jukebox via touch-screen or by using voice
recognition. They can also create custom play lists and burn CDs
for storage on the system’s hard drive. The system also
integrates the climate control and SIRIUS Satellite Radio into
one easy-to-use, smudge-resistant, 8-inch touch-screen display.
Premium AM/FM/MP3 audio systems also are available with a six-CD
changer, auxiliary jack to accommodate MP3 players and the
latest generation DVD entertainment system with a large 8-inch,
second-generation door-entry keypad . Housed within the
vehicle’s black B pillars, the flat-panel, backlit keypad
eliminates the need for door-mounted buttons and gives customers
the ability to unlock doors, disarm the alarm system and disable
the auto-lock function by entering a five-digit code.
Quiet, Confident Ride
The Ford Flex’s chassis
was designed to be capable, including more than 4,000 pounds of
towing capacity, while still delivering the quiet, confident ride
that crossover customers demand.
“A quiet ride is no longer a luxury,” said Gary Boes, Flex chief
engineer. “It’s something
that customers have come to expect from their vehicles and equate
with quality. Flex has
been engineered from the onset with reduced noise, vibration and
harshness in mind.”
Engineering advancements include a new independent rear suspension
system (IRS) with
unique geometry that allows for better tuning to deliver a broad
range of capabilities without compromising the interior package.
Interior noise was minimized by using sound-deadening materials in
the dash panel, headliner and under the carpeting.
In addition, a 6-millimeter thick windshield helps reduce wind and
powertrain noise, while specially selected tires make road noise
Powerful V-6 with AWD
Flex is powered by
Ford’s award-winning 3.5-liter V-6 engine and is mated to a
6-speed transmission. The powertrain is expected to deliver more
than 260 horsepower,
245 lb.-ft. of torque and good fuel economy.
Flex’s available intelligent all-wheel-drive system is tuned to
provide confident driving in all weather conditions. Intelligent AWD
uses an active, on-demand electronic center coupler to allocate a
precise amount of torque from front to rear – up to 100 percent to
either axle. The system also can anticipate wheel slip before it
Safety Families Demand
Flex comes equipped with
features that reflect Ford’s commitment to keeping customers and
their families safe and secure. The new crossover’s body structure
has been optimized with side intrusion beams in the doors, strategic
use of high-strength boron steel and specially designed,
energy-absorbing interior door trims.
Other safety advancements include:
Rear back-up camera.
Mounted in the bottom of Flex’s liftgate badge, the available camera
is activated when the vehicle is shifted into reverse, giving the
driver a view of what’s behind the vehicle. The system works in
conjunction with the vehicle’s reverse sensing system and uses the
navigation screen as a display.
AdvanceTrac ® with RSC ® (Roll Stability Control). This system can
predict a vehicle’s path, using a sensor to measure oversteer and
yaw by monitoring the vehicle’s speed, throttle position and
steering wheel angle. When the system senses wheel slip or the loss
of traction, it applies braking where needed to keep the vehicle
safely on its intended path.
Ford’s Personal Safety System. This suite of safety features
includes dual-stage driver and front passenger air bags, thorax side
air bags for front seat occupants, safety belt pretensioners, seat
weight sensing system for the passenger seat and crash severity
Ford’s exclusive Safety Canopy ® side curtain air bag. Designed for
all three rows, this feature utilizes roll-fold technology to
efficiently deploy the air bag when an occupant’s head is resting
against the side glass. In the event of a crash, the roll-fold bag
will deploy between the occupant's head and the side of the vehicle.
Ford’s BeltMinder™ safety belt reminder for driver and front
passenger. Flex also comes equipped with such standard features as
child safety locks on the rear doors, the LATCH child safety
restraint system and Ford’s tire pressure monitoring system.
About Ford Motor Company
Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn,
Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across
six continents. With more than 280,000 employees and more than 100
plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive
brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and
The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit
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