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2010 Ford Taurus: Full-size of technology in style

2010 Ford taurus full-size sedan: driving shot, front/side.

The 2010 Taurus, at the top of the Ford brand sedans.


29 January 2009.

  2010 Taurus


  Tech. graphics


Say "Taurus" and the first two words to spring to most people's mind are usually: Ford sedan.

Twenty four years ago, the Ford Taurus began as a popular midsize sedan (best selling car in the USA from 1992 to 1996), before graduating to the full-size sedan league, when Ford decided to rename its "Five Hundred" model with the Taurus nameplate since last year.

2010 Ford taurus full-size sedan: profile, driving shot.

New Taurus, a German alternative in style and technology.

Today, the mid-size sedan role is filled by the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan in North America, and the Mondeo in Europe (as D-segment, upper medium category).

As Taurus became the largest Ford sedan, the 2010 model will make (from this summer) another significant step forward to a sphere where value-for-money can also mean aesthetically and technically attractive, and more precisely, as attractive as a German luxury car, but with prices starting from under US$26,000. If you're aiming higher with more typical luxury in mind, then its structural sister, the Lincoln MKS is precisely the American premium full-size ambassador within the Ford group.

2010 Ford taurus full-size sedan: front view, driving shot.

Ford is back.

Several reasons can be found behind these changes. Since 2001, Ford has been carrying it restructuring burden patiently, in a striking contrast with its prosperous nineties. In the mean time, others where celebrating better times, and some others, covering structural problems that might become too slippery in bad financial weathers...

And now that the financial weather forecast is what we all suspect for at least two years, Ford looks like starting to emerge from those slippery roads where others are forced into. The crisis is certainly far from over, but that's for everybody. The fact is that despite all losses in the auto industry in general, Ford still seems leaner and probably more fit to emerge from this crisis better, or at least less badly hurt than many others.

2010 Ford taurus full-size sedan: rear view.

Raised shoulder lines for a more imposing profile and to contribute to a truck capacity of 20.1 cu.ft. (569 litres).

Indeed, while many manufacturers are starting their restructuring exercise, Ford is unfolding its full line-up gradually, in the USA as in Europe. The crisis is not over for anybody, but Ford is finishing its streamlining homework neatly. If we cannot change some realities, at least we can change ourselves to become more fit to face, if not to change them.

2010 Ford taurus full-size sedan: dashboard, wide view.

Forward-leaning centre stack flows in a continuous form.

Following the successful renewal wave of the elegant Mondeo, the dynamic Focus, cheeky Fiesta and cute Ka, the American classy Flex crossover (admittedly, it takes some time to appreciate some daring subtleties), here comes the 2010 Taurus.

Other reasons can be found behind these changes.

2010 Ford taurus full-size sedan: side dashboard view.

2010 Ford taurus full-size sedan: driver position.

Unbroken lines to express quality and craftsmanship.

With oil prices fluctuations, life got a lot harder for body-on-frame models and makers... except for those who switch timely to unibody crossovers (frameless, lighter and more agile unitary body), betting again on passenger cars from all size, with more differentiation and body options, and above all, new energy solutions such as hybrid cars and trucks (Ford has the Ford Escape Hybrid and its brother the Mercury Mariner Hybrid, as well as the new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid and Mercury Milan Hybrid from this spring) and new technologies, such as Ford's EcoBoost.

Hence, the 2010 Taurus is adding to the rational image associated with the nameplate, a new attractive design for a car that goes this time beyond the "passenger car" function, to wrap a long list of technically seducing and convincing arguments such as (all are detailed in the special 2010 Taurus technologies page):

2010 Ford taurus full-size sedan: instrument dials.

2010 Ford taurus full-size sedan: speedometer.

2010 Ford taurus full-size sedan: rpm.

2010 Ford taurus full-size sedan: gear indicator.

Colours reflecting visual dynamism.

Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning, Intelligent Access with Push Button Start, MyKey programmability, Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert, Rain-Sensing Wipers, EasyFuel capless refuelling, Ford SYNC and Voice-Activated Navigation with SIRIUS Travel Link, in addition to six-speed automatic transmissions including SelectShift with shift control paddles mounted on the steering wheel.

So, the new Taurus is moving up to represent now the premium flagship in the Ford brand line-up. This move is described by Mark Fields, president of the Americas: "This sedan completely redefines expectations of what Taurus stands for – and helps further define what Ford is capable of delivering..." in terms of quality, fuel-efficiency and the latest technologies.

Design - From the body first, panels get more dynamic and sculpted, with bold new headlights, a lowered roofline, new wheels (17 to 20 inches) and raised shoulder lines, not only for a more imposing profile, but also to contribute to a generous truck capacity of no less than 20.1 cu.ft. (569 litres, or 0.57 m3).

Inside, the forward-leaning centre stack flows in a continuous, unbroken form through the instrument panel and down into the centre console. These unbroken lines are meant to express quality and craftsmanship.

The door panels employ a urethane tooling process providing unique texture to surfaces, with visible stitching, allowing for door panel two-toning with model series differentiation.

Engine and transmission - The new Taurus gets Ford’s Duratec 3.5-liter V-6 engine, delivering 263 horsepower and 249 foot-pounds (337 Nm) of torque to the standard front-wheel-drive system (an all-wheel-drive option is available), with a ULEV-II emissions certification and a choice of two new six-speed automatic transmissions. An advanced EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6 version will also be available (more details about this version later).

Fuel economy is enhanced with a two-speed fuel pump and Aggressive Deceleration Fuel Shut-Off (ADFSO) technology.

2010 Ford taurus full-size sedan: console.

SelectShift: enables match-rev downshifts and holds manually selected gears, rather than hesitate or shift unnecessarily.

The Taurus SE version offers a six-speed automatic transmission with a Grade-Assist hill-holding rollback prevention feature, and a final drive ratio (2.77) geared for better fuel economy.

SEL and Limited series Taurus models get the six-speed automatic transmission with SelectShift shift control paddles mounted on the steering wheel, offering conventional automatic operation, or a manual shift mode to control gear selection.

The SelectShift transmission enables “match-rev” downshifts and will hold manually selected gears, rather than hesitate or shift unnecessarily, like some auto transmissions do in particular conditions, especially when going uphill or downhill.

The SEL is also offered with a 2.77 final drive ratio, while the Limited series gets an enhanced acceleration with a 3.16 final drive ratio in front-wheel-drive models, and a 3.39 ratio in all-wheel-drive ones.

Suspension - The chassis and suspension components are tuned for sporty handling with optimised roll stiffness. The MacPherson front struts and multi-link rear suspension are adopted for responsive steering and handling, with comfortable ride quality.

2010 Ford taurus full-size sedan: rear curtain.

Rear curtain.

For the 2010 model year, Taurus features a new SR1 suspension configuration. Named for its “one-to-one” rear shock absorber ratio, Ford says that it provides a better balance between cornering and handling while providing a stable baseline for fine tuning. It also enables the use of 19- and 20-inch wheels – and reduces vehicle weight, contributing to better fuel economy (figures to be announced later).

Prices - From this summer, the new 2010 Taurus will offer three trim levels (USA specifications): SE, SEL and Limited. Starting at $25,995, including destination and delivery, the new Taurus starts out at the same entry level price as the 2009 model.

2010 Ford taurus full-size sedan: rear centre armrest.

Rear centre armrest, with cup holders.

The SEL series will begin at $27,995, and comes with 18-inch painted aluminium wheels, heated exterior mirrors, supplemental park lamps and chrome exhaust tips.

The Taurus Limited series will begin at $31,995, adding to the SEL appointments standard leather seats, 19-inch chrome clad aluminium wheels, 10-way power driver and passenger seats, reverse sensing and a premium sound system with SYNC.

Optional technologies include (see the "2010 Taurus technologies page") Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Warning, Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start, SecuriCode Keyless Entry, MyKey, Auto High Beams/ Rain-Sensing Wipers, Easy Fuel Capless Fuel Filler, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), Cross Traffic Alert, Ford SYNC and Multi-Contour Seats.

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