Ford Freestyle FX | Part Three

Ford Freestyle FX Concept


Sporty Tough Design

Starting with a typical “two-box” people mover design and long 114-inch wheelbase, Ford designers opted to give the Freestyle FX a short front overhang and a roof profile which falls approximately mid-way in height between many utility vehicles and traditional station wagons. They then combined the best attributes of sedans, like seamless body panels, refined surfaces and low-to-the ground silhouette, with the imagery and rugged good looks of a sport utility vehicle.

The collective result is a sporty, tough design that draws second looks from both truck lovers and car aficionados.

“The Freestyle FX is one of those vehicles that incites debate as to its lineage, but customers are in full agreement that it’s great to look at,” says Scott Strong, director of design for Ford’s Family and Lifestyles Group. “Its purposeful stance, refined surfaces and rugged good looks transcend traditional notions of how people movers are viewed. The Freestyle FX’s proportions are always at one with its mission, even when the rear roof is retracted to imitate a SportTrac or sedan.”

At the front, the Freestyle FX uses large, trapezoidal high-intensity discharge headlamps with integrated turn signals and a grille design reminiscent of the Ford Escape, Explorer and Expedition. The grille design ties the vehicle firmly into the Ford family. Integrated driving lights reside on opposite ends of a bar that horizontally intersects the large air intake in the bottom portion of the front bumper.

Large taillamps housing bright, LED lights grace the liftgate and wrap around to the rear fenders to provide tremendous visibility from the back and sides of the vehicle. The rear tailgate opens downward in a traditional fashion while the backlight can be opened up and independent of it, adding to flexibility. Twin exhaust pipes exit the rear diffuser at a central position through large, chrome-plated rectangular tailpipes.

Flared wheel lip moldings give a rugged, anchored look and conceal aggressive 20-inch aluminum wheels on Goodyear run-flat tyres. An all-aluminum cargo rack graces the roofline of the vehicle. Side repeater lamps are neatly integrated into the forward face of the sideview mirrors and amber accent light strips run the width of the door handles, providing instant visibility at night.

Aluminum skid plates are mounted directly beneath the front and rear bumper valences and alongside the Freestyle’s rocker panels, providing a distinctive visual bridge to the vehicle’s Ford family SUV lineage.

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

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