Ford Freestyle FX | Part Two

Ford Freestyle FX Concept Interior


Purpose-Built Architecture

The Freestyle FX is not based on a car, with a traditional flat floor, low seating position and inherently limited seating flexibility. It’s not based on a minivan, which typically feature flat, rising floors and elevated seating positions but compromised dynamic capabilities. And it’s not like other crossovers that are typically based on other platforms, like those of minivans. They feature poor third-row headroom and legroom, sub-par driving dynamics, and even aesthetic compromises.

The concept vehicle, like the production Ford Freestyle, which debuts in 2004, features an all-new, purpose-built crossover architecture with unitized body construction. Unibody construction eliminates the need for a separate structural frame by designing the supporting structure into the body parts, thus saving weight and adding much desired rigidity, in turn delivering better ride and handling qualities.

Driving All Roads, For All Walks Of Life
No matter where the road leads, Freestyle FX can adapt to accommodate a hectic lifestyle by transforming into three different vehicle configurations. The Freestyle FX can convert from a 6-passenger sportwagon to either a 4-passenger sedan or a 4-passenger SportTrac-like vehicle with a cargo bed.

The vehicle’s transformation, which occurs in less time than it takes to put the top down on a convertible, begins with the press of a button on the hand-held remote key fob. First, the rear-most side windows, between the ‘C’ and ‘D’ pillars, retract into the recesses of the side cargo hold. The back portion of the roof and rear backlight move forward with the roof rails telescoping into their forward portions. When complete, the ‘D’ pillar joins the ‘C’ pillar. The result is a two-row SportTrac-like vehicle with a rugged cargo bed that can accommodate everything from fichus trees to snow boards.

The tonneau, made of a durable plastic, can be installed fitting flush with the side rails and forming a seamless decklid-appearance at the rear of the Freestyle FX. In this configuration the vehicle displays the profile of a traditional sedan.

The roof, made of amber-colored tempered glass, offers a unique view of the sky and achieves the freedom of a top-down convertible with the quietness of a sedan.

continues... | Part Three
Published 17 January 2003 Melanie Carter

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