The Freestyle FX concept is a new kind of vehicle that transcends boundaries and cant be pigeonholed. In the world of crossovers, it is like nothing else because it is based on nothing else. Purpose-built for consumers with active lifestyles, the vehicle was conceptualized as an all-things-to-all-people, no-excuses concept version of the production Ford Freestyle, scheduled to make its debut in 2004.
The Freestyle FX is not based on a car, with a traditional flat floor, low seating position and inherently limited seating flexibility. Its not based on a minivan, which typically feature flat, rising floors and elevated seating positions but compromised dynamic capabilities. And its 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.
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 vehicles 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.
Power for All Conditions
The Freestyle FX features a 3.0-liter 24-valve Duratec V-6 engine and new continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The CVT provides exceptionally smooth operation and delivers up to a 10-percent fuel economy improvement over a traditional transmission.
Coupled with Freestyle’s all-wheel-drive and dynamic stability and traction control systems, the concept car features safety and security typical of an SUV, all in a car-like package.