• May 10th 2007 at 10:06AM
  • 21
The Ford Flex is an important vehicle for ford, as it is basically the automaker's replacement for its dead (and not missed) minivans. Absent the Flex, which doesn't arrive until MY2009, the only 7-passenger vehicles the Oval offers are the fuel-thirsty Expedition, the slow-selling Explorer, and the lame-duck Freestyle, which gets reincarnated as the Taurus X later this year.
Popular Mechanics was able to get some shots of the Flex while it was testing on public roads. Since the car is a known commodity, having been shown in new York last month, the prototype seen here is refreshingly devoid of the bras and cladding most development mules wear in public. Ford does the bare minimum, giving it black bumpers and a white Gilette grille, but it's all production bodywork.

Looking over the spy shots reminds us just how big the Flex is. It's as long as a Tahoe, and its lower stance seems to exaggerate the length when viewed in profile. Of course, that size is what's supposed to make it such a comfortable way to haul you, a bunch of friends, and a fair amount of stuff, too. Hopefully, the 3.5L V6 is up to the task, because while its perfectly good in the smaller Edge and Lincoln MKX, we wonder how spunky it'll be pulling around the sizeable Flex. Time will tell -- and there's time enough between now and when the big crossover arrives in showrooms for Ford to make sure everything's as it needs to be to make it successful.

[Source: Popular Mechanics]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Flex will be no more than 100 lbs heavier than the Edge. The plant conveyor system is the limiting factor.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #7 AFAIK the Lincoln one will launch at the same time - Ford just isn't showing it yet, and that's probably a good thing. I'm surprised they demoed the Flex so early as it is. It won't be here for what? 12-14 months?

      As far as the engine goes, I'm not basing this on anything, but maybe it'll get the 3.7L V6 that the MKS will have?
      • 8 Years Ago
      I like the weirdness. Frankly I'm tired of the cookie cutter, play-it-safe Japanese designs. They make me yawn. I like the roominess of this thing. Keep in mind this is Ford's mini-van replacement. When you have 3 kids and a bunch of stuff to haul 417 miles to grandpa and grandma's house, most of the other CUVs and mini SUVs simply don't cut it.

      I do agree that Ford is completely idiotic in their naming. I realize they are trying to be edgy and fresh and appealing, but how long have Honda and Toyota had the Accord/Civic and Camry/Corolla respectively? Not only are the they building brand loyalty, they continually refine their models and build MODEL loyalty as well.

      I have a Windstar and Corolla that I will definitely consider trading in on this vehicle when it comes out. It's a welcome replacement to the mini-van.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Look @_@, BMW Mini got knocked up by the Scion xB!...or was it the Range Rover?

      • 8 Years Ago
      Edge, Fusion and Flex. Who is naming these things? All names that will die in under a decade. Just bring back the Probe next and the circle will be complete. And whats with the cheap looking chrome wheels. They look ridiculous on Caddies, no better here...
      • 8 Years Ago
      so much for hope....
      all the coool is gone.
      now it looks soo long...
      like a retarded volvo wagon.
        • 8 Years Ago
        just like Ford, you are behind the times.
        this was almost a month ago.

        this is an 'awesome' example of how Ford has ruined a concept that enthusiasts knew would never come true.
        it lost its 'stand-out'ness. now it looks like an old Boronco.

        "It will have suicide doors"..
        "nevermind we put in extra map liights and cup holder for everyone."

        It lost its sportiness it jazz. the things that some EU and Asia manf. have in there cars....cause they LISTEN to consumers.

        No worries it fills the gap of/lack of a mini van for ford well. soccer moms and espiring dj's will love it. as long as it doesnt have enough recalls/problems to fill the glove box it should sell.
        • 8 Years Ago
        this car is awesome how can u say tht?
      • 8 Years Ago

      I think they should rename it the Fairlane. Flex sounds a bit odd even though the Flex is supposed to be flexible.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Guaranteed that it will be at least 500# heavier than it should/could be.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I remember the good old days... when the Ford Aerostar came with a 100 HP 2.3L ... and a 115 HP 2.8L V6...

      Then, it got MASSIVELY upgraded with it's 145 HP 3.0L V6 and the 155HP 4.0L V6. My friend had the lowly 3.0L and it still had enough power to tow a sailboat. Through the mountains.

      Now, everyone is whining about how the 203 HP freestyle "didn't feel powerful enough" and how they hope that there isn't JUST 260HP in the Edge.
      • 8 Years Ago
      No thanks
      • 8 Years Ago
      Oh look! The new Ford MINI. :D
      • 8 Years Ago
      the spy photo looks like crap, but the show car actually looks like something that will sell. I'll be on the lot the day they come in for a look.
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