2010 Taurus, at the top of the Ford
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.
Taurus, a German alternative in style
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
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.
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.
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
centre stack flows in a continuous
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
lines to express quality and
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
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):
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
centre armrest, with cup
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
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