Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Flex Country Squire's woody heritage is recalled on the new Coupe in two ways. Brushed stainless steel trim strips on the body sides remind one of the famous "yacht" paneling, and the electronically assisted liftgate is adorned with a hefty and artful slab of actual American Walnut, beveled and embossed, highly varnished, and waterproofed. Click on image to enlarge. They can be further enlarged by right-clicking on "View Image" or by saving to your hard drive.

Paying respects to the original 1951 Ford Country Squire, the marque's first use of that iconic name, this completely contemporary Sport Activity Coupe is a 2-door wagon just like that '51. Prominently featured is a forward angled "basket handle" C pillar, a nod to the Crown Victoria coupe of '55-'56, the '77-79 Thunderbird and the early '80s Fairmont Futura sport coupes. And yes, I said "C pillar." Just behind the long single side doors are small triangular windows, shades of vintage Thunderbirds, which slide electronically into the pillar when the doors are opened, creating the first, true, pillarless coupe from Ford in decades.

The standard Flex's severely vertical roof pillars were ditched, along with the third row of seating. With the slanting and aerodynamic roofline, the interior has been reconfigured for only four people. Twin rear bucket seats were moved back and closer together, taking advantage of the space formerly reserved for the third row. The rear side panels have "wraparound" sections leading to the rear buckets, and with the full length central console, giving the rear seat the comfort and glamour of Ford's 1960s Thunderbirds.

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