After 11 years in production, Ford's funky three-row crossover is officially dead.
After being in production for 11 years, the Ford Flex is officially dead. Ford announced it's axing the boxy crossover as "part of a plan to strengthen its focus on products in the heart of the fastest-growing segments." In other words, Ford is shifting its focus to SUVs and trucks. Production of the Flex is beginning to wind down at Ford's Oakville Assembly Complex.
Launched in 2008, the Flex was one of the first crossovers to offer three rows of seats for large families, while its funky exterior design created by designers with backgrounds in fashion instead of cars and trucks made it stand out from the crowd. It also handled more like a car than a full-size SUV.
The Flex's lavish interior was created by Ford interior designer Anthony Prozzi, who worked in the New York fashion industry, and featured quilted leather seating surfaces and mahogany inserts in the door panels that resembled the surface of a roll-top desk. The Flex could even be ordered with a real refrigerator in the console between the second-row seats.
"Flex broke the mold. It had both crossover and minivan elements in a hip, trendy package that stood out from what was becoming a really boring minivan segment," said Chris Kessler, Ford Flex marketing manager. "Its design traced its roots to the traditional family station wagons that many of our customers remember growing up with, but it brought forward modern sport/utility design elements and features both parents and kids loved."
The Flex proved popular with celebrities, sports stars and rappers, resulting in some unique designs. At the 2008 SEMA show, Funkmaster Flex and Nelly presented modified versions of the Flex with featuring custom paint schemes, exotic leather interiors and extravagant entertainment systems.
In its 11 year run, Ford sold more than 296,000 units of the Flex. More than half of Flex sales were in Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco through 2019. Starting at $30,575, the 2019 Ford Flex is available with a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 producing 287 hp and 254 lb-ft or a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 with 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Both powertrains are paired with a six-speed automatic.