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Will Ford's Flex Go

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Last week, we took you for a ride in the new Ford Flex during our coverage of the New York auto show. We thought it would make a great taxi, among other things -- but apparently, someone at Ford thinks it might make a great new version of the old Country Squire, too.

Our spy photographers nabbed pics of a Flex wearing some seriously old-school wood-effect trim between the doors. We're not sure if they're serious, or not--this could just be a tongue-in-cheek nod to the inspiration for Ford's offbeat Flex, after all.

But could it also be a real version of the Flex, which goes on sale later this year? Ford's Anthony Prozzi, Interior Design Manager on the Flex, admitted as much when he said on the Ford public Web site: "We took apart the iconic American woody station wagon and modernized it, because this car is for a modern person." It's not clear if he was simply referring to the packaging and interior concept, or if the woody was an inspiration for the entire vehicle concept--including the exterior.

The Flex is a unique, polarizing design--something of which Ford is quite proud. Some might find some kitschy wood trim as a perfect addition to the Flex's funky shape. Who knows? Ford's official Flex Web site allows for some online customization to personalize your virtual version, but faux wood trim is nowhere to be found on your clickable choices. Maybe the woody option is further down the road. Or maybe this is a sign that a few those wacky automotive engineers are just having some fun. Regardless, it certainly caught our eye.

You can see more of the woodie shots in our high-resolution photo gallery--and rest assured, when there's more info, we'll bring it to you.--KGP Photography

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Comments (30)
  1. Putting more lipstick on the pig will not fool Auto Literates as to what it really is: A MINIVAN. And a rather inefficient one at that, as are most crossovers that are all the rage (supposedly).

    Hey FORD: What is the story about the MPG of the FLex? THAT"S what counts!!!!!
     
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  2. Why is FORD going back since 20 years.
    Is there anybody at FORD who can come up with someting new?RETRO MUSTANG,WOODY FLEX,BIGGER ENGINES,NO ELECTRIC CARS COMING,NO DIESELS COMING SOON,FLEX IS SAME AS LINCOLN!PICK UPS LINCOLN AND FORD ARE SAME MODELS.I am sure the big boys like the new president,BILL FORD and the whole family are collecting millions and none are doing anything to go forward.(LIKE THEIR AD SAYS)They are not going forward if they only make old new cars!
    Just watch the other co. GO BY!
     
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  3. It would appear Ford is only 20 years behind the times. I remember forty years ago when they used to laugh about the Japanese. Who's laughing now?
     
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  4. Looks like someone wrapped the lower doors with self-adhesive shelf paper from Walmart...
    ...Wow, that's a Bold Move.
     
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  5. @ Thor: Minivan? that's gotta be the shortest minivan I've ever seen. Station wagon is more like it. It's only marginally taller than the car next to it.

    What's with the bumpers on it though... and does anyone else notice what appears to be a rollcage inside?

    As for the woody trim, I'm guessing it's just a joke.
     
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  6. "...and does anyone else notice what appears to be a rollcage inside?"

    Good eye - Didn't notice that before...
    ...wonder what that's all about?
     
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  7. @ Jason:

    It's 1" shorter than a Sienna or a Grand Caravan. It's 3" taller than a 2nd generation Odyssey.
     
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  8. This is clever.....the new look is a squashed explorer with a sick stick on woodie look....man o man get real at the design studio less pot and more clear thinking will sure help at FORD.
     
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  9. RIP Flex Country Squire!
     
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  10. "Jason Says:
    March 24th, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    @ Thor: Minivan? that’s gotta be the shortest minivan I’ve ever seen."

    Are you sure? The Flex is quite long and is alleged to be very roomy.

    But I bet its MPG will be quite dissappointing, unless Ford has learned its lesson finally.
     
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  11. Like the faux wood trim Chrylser put on the PT Cruiser wasn't bad enough. Ick.
     
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  12. Hey Thor,

    A TaurusX has a combined gas mileage of 19 mpg.

    An odyssey get only 18 mpg.

    The Flex is a TaurusX with different sheet metal. The numbers will be the same.

    The Flex will get better mileage than a minivan. So what is your beef?
     
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  13. " Jay Says:
    March 25th, 2008 at 10:56 am

    Hey Thor,

    A TaurusX has a combined gas mileage of 19 mpg.

    An odyssey get only 18 mpg."

    DUH! The taurus X is a vastly inferior ans much SMALLER and LIGHTER vehicle with a much smaller wheelbase than the S-class-sized Wheelbase of the Odyssey. And the Odyssey mileage you cite is NOT the maximum achievable if you buy the model with the cylinder deactivation. The interior room of the Taurus X is minuscule compared to the Odyssey, and its travel comfort far inferior.

    "The Flex is a TaurusX with different sheet metal. The numbers will be the same."

    I believe the Flex will be far larger inside, and even in exterior dimensions, than the Taurus X. MORE importantly, its aerodynamics are far worse.

    "The Flex will get better mileage than a minivan. So what is your beef?"

    No it will not. See above. And even if it is, I would not give it the time of day.
     
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  14. I bleed Ford blue - but this is a loser from the get-go. Ford needs to hire a chief designer that has *some* imagination.
     
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  15. "And even if it is, I would not give it the time of day. "

    But Ya Already Have Thor, Ya Already Have!
    (My apologies to Bette Davis...)
     
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  16. Yeah, you guys are messed. It's a Taurus X, its a nice safe family car and thats all. Out of a job yet? Keep buying foreign! I hope your Honda treats you good when you're all speaking Japanese and watching porno with the good parts blurred out!
     
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  17. No, It's Clark Griswald's 2009 Family Truckster.
     
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  18. The whole door area is photoshopped. And not even well.

    Suckers!
     
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  19. Jeff: You nailed it.

    Thor: I'm a big Odyssey fan too, but comparing apples and apples, the Flex will probably be in the same league give or take 1 MPG... just as the GM Lambda CUVs are.

    What puzzles me is the mad rush away from the utility of sliding doors. I blame it all on the soccer mom label and that rabble rouser Hillary Clinton!
     
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  20. Gentlemen (although your comments don't warrant such a term),

    This picture was taken probably near the test track (Dearborn). The tubes inside are not a roll cage, but most likely test equipment (kill switch on the dash). The facia's (bumpers) aren't there probably because the were taken off for another unit that needed them. And since the same nerdy techinician riding this car gathering data on the test track has a sense of humor, all of you are getting all excited. You poor dull Americans need so little to get you going.
     
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  21. After looking very close, it may not be a photoshop. I think it is woodgrain shelfliner. The camo guys must be funning us. I hope.
     
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  22. I'll bet everyone here complaining about the would would love to have wood trim on the interior. Yes, this exact rendition of the wood may not be perfect (the outline of it looks wavy and not finished properly). However, the idea isn't bad. it would be better if they also put some on the rear hatch.

    My only dis of this vehicle is the square back end. I thought the Aztec did a good job of dispelling any notions that American buyers like that styling cue on trucks. Put a decent rear end on the thing, and Im in.
     
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  23. This Flex was shot at Bosch in Farmington Hills Michigan, 12mile and Haggerty... This Flex was just sitting in the Bosch Company parking lot with about twelve other hacked up mules. First thing, there is no story here, and they already removed the stickers from the vehicle (if you want to see the real mules, head over to Oakwood). Second, can't wait for KGP photography to get caught photographing on private property... Is this all these guys do? AMAZING!
     
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  24. Guys, this was a joke. A supplier was doing cold weather testing up north and decided to have some fun. It is literally shelf paper. Don't believe every spy camera photo you see.
     
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  25. If it said Honda on the side you clowns would be like "Wow! a stretched Element! Cool!"
     
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  26. That sedan next to the Flex was a fore coming Lincoln MKS luxury sedan. It began with the same architecture of current Taurus/Sable, as well as Five Hundred and Montego. They are crossover sedan and have roof taller than any other sedans on the road!

    The Flex will have new Ecco-boost engine suppose to be fuel efficient.

    Ford plan to let customers customize their Flex exterior; woody is only one of the many choices.

    The cargo number will be much less than minivan, but all seats will be first class comfort.

    We will see will this headturner becoming a success!

    The Japan manufacturers do not laugh at Ford, but laugh at you stupid Americans keep buying your enemy's products!
     
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  27. Now I have to find the 30k that will enable me to trade in the Roadmaster.
     
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  28. The analogy of it as being a squashed Explorer is a good one. As I see it, there isn't much difference. Both seat the same number, both will soon have the same engines, both will have AWD as an option (no more 4X4 Explorer). niether will be worth a dam off-road. The only difference will be one will have a longitudal driveline the other a transverse. Why not just call them both FLEXPLORER? Seriously though if Ford goes through with a woody version they shouldn't go half assed with stick on trim. They should offer doors in the back (as well as a lift gate), real wood, and maybe surfboards?
     
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  29. WOW! Can whiteside wall tires be far behind...
     
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  30. the woody fleX will beccome the modern day version of the ever successful GRAND WAGONEER
     
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