*What a combination!  Ford Motor Company and Funkmaster Flex.  The two mega cultures – cars and music – are a joint force to be dealt with and recently had tongues wagging at the New York Automobile show at Jacob Javits Center on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 where the hip hop superstar was a special guest at the premiere automobile company’s exclusive presentation of its 2011 car collection.

Audrey J. Bernard

One of the highlights from the captivating car show was the unveiling of the all-new 2011 Ford Fiesta that features a vibrant design, 15 class-exclusive technologies and is projected to deliver 40 mpg highway.

Flex and Ford have had a long association that appears to be ramping up in advance of the Fiesta’s debut in showrooms this summer.  The customized automobile earned its street creds during last year’s Fiesta Movement resulting in its starmobile appearance on an upcoming episode of Funkmaster Flex’s new TV show Funk Flex Full Throttle, which premiered on Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 2 p.m. EST on MTV2.

The Fiesta will play a starring role in one of the show’s hip episodes as celebrity customizer Flex puts his creative spin on the vehicle that has a strong following prior to its launch.

As a direct result of the success of the Fiesta Movement social media initiative – which has generated more than 6.2 million YouTube views, more than 750,000 Flick views and nearly 4 million Twitter impressions – more than 125,000 people have already expressed an interest in the 2011 Ford Fiesta.

Funkmaster Flex with 2011 Ford Fiesta (Scroll down for more photos)

As part of the partnership, one viewer will win the chance to take home the keys to the Fiesta customized by Flex as part of the Funk Flex Full Throttle giveaway.  The customized car cost is $31,865.00.  The winner of the car will be randomly selected.  For the chance to enter the giveaway, please visit www.fordurban.com by July 2, 2010.

The customization will include features such as a custom body kit, wheels, and tires, lowering kit, a Funkmaster Flex signature two-tone paint job and a custom interior.

The show – filmed in Flex’s car shop — will be a learning lesson for discerning automobilistas as they learn more about other Ford vehicles customized by Flex including the 2010 Ford Taurus and 2010 Ford Fusion.

“Ford has had a partnership with Funkmaster Flex that dates back to 2005 which allows us to become a part of Flex’s world and connect with today’s young urban consumers in a way that is most relevant to them,” said Crystal Worthem, manager, multicultural marketing.

“Being able to incorporate the Fiesta into a show that will allow us to continue to highlight the customization potential of this vehicle by someone who is an authority when it comes to vehicle customization is exciting for us,” Worthem concluded.

The Funk Flex Full Throttle show is described as a high-adrenaline tour of music and car culture — the ultimate ride for fans who love to live in the fast lane.  During each 30-minute episode, Flex will interview some of the hottest Hip-Hop artists with his signature raucous, familiar style.

Flex will also give the artists and viewers a look at his latest car customization projects.  Some of the celestial lifestyles of celebrities that will make an appearance on the show include Juelz Santana, Fabolous, Mike Epps, Diddy, Swizz Beatz, Nicki Minaj, Jadakiss and Ludacris.

“The Fiesta is definitely a vehicle that has major customization potential but also can stand on its own without having to do anything to it all,” said Funkmaster Flex.  Whoever wins this vehicle is going to be hitting the streets in a mean vehicle that has some serious technology on the inside.  Ford really got it poppin’ with this vehicle and showed how you can take a small vehicle and push it to the next level.”

Going on sale this summer, the all-new Fiesta features an expressive, vibrant design, sharp reflexes, and a global track record that will redefine U.S. small car customers’ expectations.  Featuring class-leading technologies and a projected best-in-class highway fuel economy of 40 mpg, Fiesta brings efficiency and convenience together in one package.

It’s also designed to be versatile, personal and adaptable.  In fact, Fiesta is delivers best-in-class convenience and connectivity with the segment-exclusive SYNC voice-activated communications and entertainment system that provides an omnipresent link to contacts and information as well as an expressive color palette and available graphics.

In the latest tactic to sell the 2011 Ford Fiesta to consumers, Ford has given the top 12 American Idol contestants an opportunity to customize the small car.  The new Fiesta marketing twist was featured in a video segment of the popular singing show.

“It comes as little surprise that music is a ‘common theme among the contestants’ who tweaked the Fiesta,” a Ford spokesperson said.  “Male contestants favored Tuxedo Black Fiestas, while the women opted for Bright Magenta and Lime Squeeze.”  Ford is giving away the vehicles in a contest entitled the Ford Music Video Challenge.

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 198,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and until its sale, Volvo.

The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company.  For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.

A New York City native, Funkmaster Flex is synonymous with hip hop.  For over a decade, he has reigned as America’s # 1 Hip Hop DJ personality, reaching more than two million listeners a week through his popular radio show.  His production talents and artist relationships have earned him five gold records for major-label mix albums.

Flex has successfully connected his hip hop celebrity status to the auto industry to become a guru of car customization culture.  Through his high-profile custom-car club, Team Baurtwell, Flex has customized cars for attention-drawing personalities in film, music and professional sports.  His eight-city Custom Car and Bike Show keeps him constantly connected with the latest trends and styles happening in the automotive industry.  (Photos courtesy Ford Motor Company)

Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.

Funkmaster Flex with Ford's CEO Alan Mulally (Photo by Audrey J. Bernard)

Michelle Matthews Alexander, multicultural public affairs manager, Ford & Lincoln Brands, with public relations expert Chris Chambers (Photo by Audrey J. Bernard)

Jadakiss poses in front of 2011 Ford Fiesta

American Idol contestants test drive 2011 Fiesta