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Ford Flex

SylviaSylvia Member Posts: 1,636
edited May 2014 in Ford
The Fairlane - will this popular car of long ago make a triumphant comeback?


  • togloondatogloonda Member Posts: 16
    need to get rid of the center console

    and tell us more about the engine and what is in it
  • bb31bb31 Member Posts: 1
    I'm trying to find info on whether the Fairlane will actually be going into production. I've heard talk that it will be part of the 07 line up. Anyone have news updates and how close to the concept version will it be? I'm really interested in this car and would very much like to see it happen. Thanks.
  • dialm4speeddialm4speed Member Posts: 110
    Holy Jesus! Stop now Ford! Don't bring this horrible thing to market! What is it? A minivan/crossover? Fairlane = D.O.A!!!!
  • jonny0jonny0 Member Posts: 3
    My nephew picked up a 67 Fairlane in pretty nice clean condition, he's dropping a 428 CJ 4spd in it, he only paid $ 500.00 for the car too. lucked right out.
  • SylviaSylvia Member Posts: 1,636
    I was at the LA Auto Show yesterday and snapped these:
  • SylviaSylvia Member Posts: 1,636
    or as close as I could get!
  • skooby1skooby1 Member Posts: 1
    I saw the Fairlane concept at the LA auto show as well. I personally love this concept and if it is put into production the way the concept looks like, I'll see this as the sure sign of turnaround at Ford and buy its stock :P
    I saw the concept upclose and it has features that probably would not translate into production; such as real wood trims that make the whole thing look like something out of Ikea catalogue. Ikea to me means "products with cool looking design that look dated within three months and fall apart for sure within a year." The canvas top is at least original --somehow reminds me of Ralph Lauren-- but hugely impractical. The edges were already worn and stained from touching. I guess Ford will use simple fiberglass top instead. In fact, I feel like it has enough of Range Rover design cues to make it look upscale and suv-ish. What could be better than that to beat the scary stigma attached to the minivans? I strongly believe, Fairlane, if well executed, will be a strong contender in the new segment pioneered by Pacifica and now further expanded (upward) by the R-class.
  • siwsiw Member Posts: 1
    I think this is a great concept for those who have not lost their youthfulness but have many children to transport. It is a great compromise of the stylishness of the suv and minivan. I contacted ford in Oct.05 about this concept via their website and they actually wrote back saying it is in just the concept stage as we know and they have no intent of mass producing this vehicle at this time nor in the coming '07 line up however all positive and negative comments are noted and welcome.they told me that Based on the amount of comments they receive ways heavily on whether they decide to produce a concept in mass production or not so go to their website and tell them what you think also.
  • dialm4speeddialm4speed Member Posts: 110
    Being contacted by the company means jack squat!!! A few years ago I contacted Chrysler about the Dodge Razor. It was a total no brainer of a concept and I should be riding in one today but all I got from them was the same BS story Ford gave you. I even talked to a few Dodge reps at the auto show and they said everyone liked the car, yet Chrysler decided NOT to make it.
  • m1miatam1miata Member Posts: 4,551
    Fairlane as a mini-van ---yuk! Horrible misuse of a good name. The Fairlane 500 was a neat little car. Bring that back. A cool Fairlane with an inline 6 and an optional 4.6V8 for under $20K and under $24K and you gotta deal.

  • twaintwain Member Posts: 185
    I know Ford is scared to death of the "minivan" name after the Freestar was such a dud, but the Fairlane should have sliding doors. It doesn't look like a minivan and sliding doors are soooo practical. At first, I liked the Element's "suicide" doors but not any more. I've read too many complaints.

    Replace the Freestar with the Fairlane but give it sliders.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,148
    When I read about the Ford plant in Hazelwood, MO, being closed, I thought I understood that Ford is getting out of the minivan business entirely. Did I misinterpret (or mis-remember)?

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  • twaintwain Member Posts: 185
    When I read about the Ford plant in Hazelwood, MO, being closed, I thought I understood that Ford is getting out of the minivan business entirely. Did I misinterpret (or mis-remember)?

    I seem to recall hearing that too. But I think the Fairlane concept would be an excellent opportunity for Ford to re-enter the "minivan" market with something that didn't look like a minivan.
  • gene_vgene_v Member Posts: 235
    The Hazlewood plant produces SUV's, the Ford Explorer not mnivans.
  • nshah23nshah23 Member Posts: 3
    it will probably be built on the same platform as the 500 (s80 platform...d-1 i think) and it will get fwd, w/ awd optional and the new 270 hp 3.5 L V6
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,989
    Based on this article, the Fairlane would be based on the Ford 500/Freestyle platform. Other than style differences, why would you need both the Freestyle and Fairlane. The Freestyle already is a 3 row people-mover, car based CUV. To me, the Fairlane is like an art-deco version of the Freestyle.

    I just don't understand why Ford makes such a big deal about the Fairlane as the next "people mover", when they already have the Freestyle in the same basic configuration and more than capable of doing everything the Fairlane can do. I think Ford's problem is that they keep getting rid of vehicles and making new names (granada, taurus, 500, escort, focus, etc...), rather than sticking to a name and just making it better and better (aka camry, corolla, accord, etc).

    http://detroitnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060621/AUTO01/606210400/1148- -
  • coldcrankercoldcranker Member Posts: 877
    There is a person (probably a humanoid, not a small furry carnivore) that posts under the name "foxrun" (searchable word on the Edge forums) who works at the plant where the Edge is being built, says they have already begun planning factory workflow for the Fairlane (or whatever it will eventually be called). Therefore, I'd think they may use the Ford Edge/Fusion chassis for this horseless carriage motorcar. ... Could it look more like a brick? But maybe thats the trend (ala Scion Xb box, Land Rover classic, Honda Element, Dodge Nitro, etc.).... You know, making it shaped like a fridge means wind noise could be bad.
  • coldcrankercoldcranker Member Posts: 877
    bobw3, Ford is using the Chrysler business model of introducing new products to keep the consumer buying more new cars. I have a Freestyle, like you, and know its a winner, but the new models coming out have got me curious.
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
    The name will be Ford Flex...

  • hwyhobohwyhobo Member Posts: 265
    The name will be Ford Flex

    Ford must be having some special competition for the worst possible name. How is "Flex" supposed to be better than "Fairlane"? Is "Flex" a hint on its torsional rigidity?
  • ANT14ANT14 Member Posts: 2,687
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Interesting read. I am not sure how they get full size + V6 together but if it works I guess it's cool.

    Legendary Tarus reliability too? :)

  • Too bad Ford is doing it again...introducing something they have no intention of selling for more than a year hence. Other production ready concepts are usually unveiled a few months before Job One. Plus, Ford's gestation time for any new model still seems to be the longest in the industry. They need to fix that.
  • Also, I like the proportions for the most part. A shorter front overhang would have looked more modern. And what is this about Ford not being able to get even 60" of shoulder room out of a vehicle 80" wide? That is wider than many full-size SUVs. Many of them offer several inches in excess of 60 in the shoulder room department. It is especially a mystery, given the slab sides it sports.

    What they really need to do is start pulling some of their introductions forward, like GM and Chysler have started doing. This thing could turn out to be old news by the time it hits market. Just imagine how many more CUVs and CUV alternatives will hit the market b4 summer 08.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Heck Subaru just released the new impreza and it'll hit the streets in under 6 months.

    Tribecca re-design will hit the streets in 2-3 months.

  • fordenvyfordenvy Member Posts: 72
    I'd buy it over a mini-van, but I don't have kids. No use for it, has truck-mini-van crossover look to it. I think it'll sell, but I personally don't like how similar it looks to the scion toaster (you know that little box).
  • displacedtexandisplacedtexan Member Posts: 364
    ...with the rest of Ford's product lineup? It seems that between the TaurusX, Edge, Escape, Explorer, and Expedition they should already be able to meet any need. The Flex should stand out in a parking lot, but is it really necessary? Ford needs to be concentrating on cars - that's where the market is leaning. Anyway, that's what the media would have one believe, and something like the Flex isn't going to help Ford's image as a behind-the-times builder of big, gas guzzling truck-like things.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I have to agree, their lineup is starting to look like GMs.

    Focus (do they make that still?)
    Tarus X
    Expedition XL

    Seems like they should have the market pretty well covered.

  • Yeah, right. Except for the fact their sales are so down and market share is shrinking. The Freestyle may already cover this market, but guess what? It doesn't sell. The Taurus X should pick up a few more sales, but due to its looks, it will still be an also-ran. The Flex at least will stand out. So those who don't like cool styling like the Flex (and even more funky things like the xB) can still buy the sensible Taurus X--at least until Ford kills it.

    They definitely need more (and different) products if they wish to make a prifit again. Their thought now is rather than relying on blockbusters like the old Taurus and Explorer used to be, to market more types of vehicles. Don't know if it will work, but the fact is they still have way fewer models than GM and Chrysler.
  • twaintwain Member Posts: 185
    Why does Ford need the Flex when it has the Freestyle? BTW, renaming that the TaurusX was stupid. The Flex was interesting when it had suicide doors but now it's just a big bloated Freestyle. Sliding doors would have been optimal but I guess those are the kiss of death. With the conventional doors and the same drivetrain as the Freestyle, the Flex is redundant.

    For something really exciting, bring the SMax over from Europe. Ford is running scared and making bad decisions. Resurrecting the Taurus name and putting conventional doors on the Flex is the evidence.
  • Disagree almost entirely. First, Ford needs the Flex because the FS does not sell very well. Still, they have the FS/Taurus, and it does offer another option to those who might not want to pay for the Flex or might not like its styling.

    The Flex is a bigger and more expensive vehicle. That's the same as asking why should Jeep have both the Grand Cherokee and the Commander? Why have both the Patriot and Compass? Why the 4 door Wrangler adn the similar sized 2008 Liberty? I think because they appeal to a wider variety of people.

    As for the Taurus, it is righting a stupid decision. The Taurus name is iconic and more recognized than almost any other. What it needed was a decent car attached. Whether the improved 500 is that remains to be seen. But imagine Chevy renaming the Corvette or Ford the Mustang or F150, just because it was redesigned? It would be as stupid as the MKS/Z/Z/R names are for Lincoln.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Oh the Tarus name is iconic alright! Maybe it's just my generation but it conjures up cars with 2 out of 4 hub caps, broken transmissions, crappy hard seats, essentially Ford's equivalent of the K-car during the late 80s and early 90s when I was in HS and College.

  • baggs32baggs32 Member Posts: 3,229
    The Accords, Civics, Camrys, and Corolloas of the same period meet that description too. It's not just the Taurus.

    I thought hosts were supposed to be un-biased and fair? :confuse:
  • Doesn't matter what it conjures up. The point is that it does! No one wonders if a Taurus is a Ford.

    I am old enough to remember some truly crappy Mustangs. The 1973 Mustang had morphed into a big, overdressed fat lady. The Mustang II was a rolling turd. Just give the name everyone knows a decent car to attach to and all will be well.

    Too bad Ford couldn't think of a more recognizable Ford name for the Flex. But if the car is good enough, and grabs enough attention, the name won't matter...it will work. I mean, think about it...Civic? Camry? Deathnell names if the cars had been no good.
  • twaintwain Member Posts: 185
    First, I agree about the Lincoln names. The MKZ or whatever it is called, should have remained the Aviator.

    The Ford 500 and the Freestyle might have established an identity if they keep being improved, like with the addition of the 3.5 engine. But changing the name to Taurus so soon is just admitting failure.

    As for the Grand Cherokee and Commander, the Commander is doing poorly and may be discontinued. The Grand Cherokee was enough.

    Patriot and Compass... couldn't agree more. The Compass was a big mistake. I think the Patriot will be a hit.

    Ford would have been better served to introduce a small crossover to replace the aging Escape. Or at least upgrade the 3.0 engine and the 4sp auto.

    The Flex might have been interesting with the concept's suicide doors. As is, it's just more of the same in a boxier container.
  • Yup, your Lincoln comment jsut shows the ultimate dumbness of such nothing not-names. The Lincoln you refer to is the MKX (Lincoln Aviator replacement). The MKZ is the Fusion clone. The MKS sedan is allegedly still on its way after being announced years ago. As to whether it is the LS replacement or Continental or even Town Car replacement, not even Lincoln knows. And though the MKR (rear drive sedan) should be pulled forward to production ASAP, who but Lincoln geeks like me is ever going to keep names that all START with MK straight? Someone was paid big money to come up with that stupid naming system. Money well spent, hey?

    And yes, the Flex is mostly more of the same in a boxier container. It is roomier than the others and it doesn't say minivan. Lets see if it sells.
  • savethelandsavetheland Member Posts: 671
    I had an impression that Ford was going to introduce Fairlane as Mercury analog of Freestyle – more expensive and more stylish than Ford. That’s what Mercury supposed to be.
  • sdrickesdricke Member Posts: 5
    Simply put, I'm not a Ford fan. Never have been. Not because of the typical "Found On Road Dead" idiot hype, but simply because I thought Ford styling was lame, and in many cases, boring. When Toyota builds vehicles that have more futuristic styling than you, something is wrong. Enter the Edge. It was the first Ford I had ever seen that gave me goosebumps. It looked great. Proportions were perfect. That grille and headlight construction, amazing. Then I read the first Edmund's Full Test. Okay, there were complaints, but there always will be. But there was one thing that caught my eye. A vehicle, barely visibly bigger than an Escape, with a price tag of almost 40 Grand. What the heck is going through the Ford Exec's minds? Their sales are WAY down, their products are getting better, and their prices are about 10K more than they should be. At the place near death where Ford is sitting, you would think Hyundai would be their target as far as pricing and packaging is concerned. I would never, ever pay 37K for a compact/midsize crossover with only five seats unless it was a lower end Infiniti or Lexus. Now I sit here at my computer desk drooling over the new Flex. I love the thing. Totally retro in a Mini Cooper sort of way, and totally modern in a Fusion (which actually has a major pricing value over its competitors) sort of way. Nonetheless, the only thing I can think about is that $45K pricetag undoubtedly to be stuck to the window when I see the thing at my local dealer in a couple of slow, Ford-like years. If Ford can keep the Flex's fully loaded cost to a low 30K max, I think the Flex could very well be the next big thing in the midsize crossover segment. Or, at the very least, price the Edge like its Mazda CX-7 cousin. Even that would be nice.
  • Agreed. Except they are going after the CX-9 type crowd and price range.

    I suspect though, that whatever sales the Taurus X has at the time the Flex comes out (summer 2008??? Are they kidding??? And for that they pay Mulally 38 million?????....but I digress) will die off. When Taurus X sales tank (again), and begin to resemble miserable Freestar levels (rather than simply mediocre Freestyle sales), they will come out with a cheaper Flex model to cover that market, and maybe a slightly redesigned Edge that could accommodate a small third row.

    But of course that means Ford will be behind everyone else again.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Why would Ford want to go after the CX-9 folks? They own Mazda!

  • Well, geez, then why does GM market the Acadia and Outlook and Enclave? Or the Vue and Equinox and Torrent? I don't know. I suspect because such marketing works.

    There are countless more examples of manufacturers covering the same bases with their own competing products. It seems to me that even if the CX-9 and Flex might be cross-shopped, they are far more different than the multiple choices other auto companies are issuing. The Mazda is rather sleek, though still offering good space. However, the Flex will have a lot more interior space for a couple extra inches in length.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Good question, I have no idea why they do it either, it doesn't work, although you are right the Flex is a bit boxier.

  • sdrickesdricke Member Posts: 5
    Speaking of the Freestyle, er, Taurus X and the re-badging that goes on in the automotive world, does anyone besides me remember the Mercury "Freestyle" concept that was showed off a couple of years back? I don't even remember the name, but I thought it was the best looking Mercury ever. That coming from a guy that everytime he hears "Mercury" he sees "Grand Marquis" flash before his eyes. Maybe the best move for Ford would be to discontinue the Mercury brand, the same way GM did Oldsmobile. Speaking of GM, wouldn't it serve them a little better to combine the Buick, Pontiac, Saturn and GMC line into one division as a sport-luxury (think Infiniti) option? That would leave them with what? Chevrolet, the new division, and Cadillac. If Toyota can survive (and thrive) with their 3 divisions, why is it so hard for other automakers to do the same thing? Is it greed or the lack of know-how?
  • Idoubt it is greed. I think they are casting a wide net. GM has had a ton of divisions for generations. If it was a truly bad idea, I think more than Oldsmobile would have died by now.

    The Mercury was the Meta One. It had a great interior, innovative front end styling...but was saddled with the exact same body as the Freestyle. They were talking diesel hybird propulsin too. I think someone must have realized that investing all that in the bland FS body may not have been the wisest move.

    There have been some good looking Mercurys over the generations: the 49-51, the 66 Comet, the Cougar, the original Marauder, the 1972 Cyclone amd Montego, several convertibles, etc. The current Mercury Fords are arguably better looking than the Ford counterparts, though all of them are nothing more than rebadges now. It looks as though Ford is hedging its bets with Mercury. With all the plans for Lincoln now, if they can get that volume up, then they could dump Mercury. Bt neither brand can survive without the other at current sales levels. And keeping Mercury is cheap right now, because Ford is putting no extra effort into Mercury to make it a real "division" like, say, Chevrolet and Buick or Saturn.
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,989
    Anyone know of a site with the dimensions of the Flex, both inside and outside?
  • Dimensions are on Ford's site.
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,989
    I looked but couldn't find them. Could you paste the exact page link...thanks.
  • Hey, you are right. Ford changed the links to the Flex, and the specs have been removed. Guess maybe the ones they posted before are in flux.
  • baggs32baggs32 Member Posts: 3,229
    Try here.
  • twaintwain Member Posts: 185
    It is roomier than the others and it doesn't say minivan. Lets see if it sells.

    Most of my disappointment in the Flex is about the doors. The concept had the bold and different rear hinged doors. Like the Element. The most practical would be sliders but any hint of minivan is avoided like the plague. But when it comes time for production Ford plays it safe with the doors. Now, there's nothing interesting about the Flex. It's a bloated Freestyle.

    If the Flex had kept the concept's doors, it would clearly have its own identity, separate from the Freestyle. But now, Ford has two large three row crossovers with only styling to set them apart. It would be like having two large sedans like the 500... er, Taurus.
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