Forgotten Concept Cars: Ford Freestyle FX

Serial Ford Freestyle was the usual “passable” crossover, of which there are hundreds: three rows of seats, Ford D3 platform (on it the first ХС90 was also built), average sales volumes. The car has been produced only for two years (from 2005 to 2007) and was remembered by nothing special, except for a “silver” of the American competition “Car of the Year”. (North American Truck of the Year).

But the conceptual Freestyle FX, on the basis of which the production Freestyle was built, could offer customers something more. Debuted in January 2003 at the Detroit Auto Show, the Freestyle FX was a three-in-one vehicle: it could be a roomy crossover with three rows of seats, a four-door pickup, or an off-road sedan.

Wide possibilities of transformation of the interior were laid as a key feature of the car – a flat floor and seats set as low as possible. The Freestyle FX body, as it should be a crossover, is load-bearing, but the placement of the power structures differs from the serial Freestyle because of the lack of a pair of stiffeners at the end of the body.

According to Ford representatives, it takes barely more time to switch from one body to another than it does to fold the roof of a convertible. You only have to press a button on the key fob, which lowers the rear side windows and pulls the trunk’s glazing forward. It’s like a slider.

The Freestyle FX trunk has been trimmed with scratch- and damage-resistant plastic and augmented with guide rails. The roof is glass panoramic, and the taillights are LED, which was quite rare for 2003.

The concept car was put on 20-inch alloy wheels with Goodyear tires. For better visibility of the car at night, a pair of extra daylight bulbs were built into the exterior mirrors. The two rear rows of seats completely folded down, thereby forming a huge luggage compartment.

Interior trimmed in leather, installed the advanced at the time of the navigation system, additional atmospheric lighting, the color of which can be changed. Second row passengers have a multimedia system with DVD.

The Freestyle FX was powered by a three-liter V6 Duratec engine, working together with a V-belt variator. This duo went to the production Freestyle, but the admiring reactions did not gather, although Ford insisted that such a power plant is 10 percent more economical than with the usual “automatic” (if such an automatic would be offered).

The regular Freestyle turned out to be without extensive transformation options, with very high seats and a non-alternative variator. Obviously, it was not quite what the public expected. Especially after 2,5 years after the innovative and courageous Freestyle FX was shown.

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