2010 Ford Taurus/Taurus SHO
By DAVID GOODSPEED
The Ford Taurus ?? the car that changed America??s view of the family sedan ?? is all-new for 2010 and ready to take on the world??s best, with an upscale new design, enhanced driving dynamics, class-leading technologies and competitive pricing.
????The new Taurus sets the pace for Ford??s growing new car launch momentum,?? said 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 ?? quality, fuel-efficient vehicles featuring the latest technologies and head-turning design.??
The new Taurus benefits from Ford??s Global Product Development System, which made it possible to deliver an all-new sedan 12 months sooner and with more new features than customers and dealers might have expected. The new Taurus shares platforms with Flex and Lincoln MKS and upcoming MKT, but officials have said there will not be a Mercury Sable sibling as in previous Taurus releases.
??Taurus is our premium Ford flagship, and it casts a halo across the entire brand portfolio,?? said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president for global product development. ??Building on its reputation for safety leadership, we leveraged extensive use of computer-aided design and engineering technologies as well as digital pre-assembly modeling to deliver a high-quality, new Taurus a year ahead of schedule.??
Pricing has already been announced and production begun on the 2010 Taurus. Entry pricing will start at $25,995 ?? the same price as 2009 models, but with more class-leading features, new technologies and perceived quality that rivals premium luxury sedans.
??The new Taurus showcases the best of what the Ford brand has to offer ?? expressive design, class-leading technologies and an engaging driving experience with impeccable quality,?? said Jim Farley, Ford??s group vice president of marketing and communications. ??When customers get behind the wheel and drive one, their experience will beat or rival that offered by the best cars in the full-size sedan segment ?? including the Toyota Avalon.??
Ford hopes to change the perception of the ??family sedan?? with the new Taurus. Inspired by the advent of so many crossover-type vehicles, this Taurus is aimed more at drivers who might move friends and family but place more of a premium on the driving experience and technologies aimed at making time on the road more meaningful and fun.
??Taurus is more of a ??me?? sedan now, and we??ve delivered with this buyer in mind,?? said Moray Callum, director of Ford??s Car and Crossover Design.
Alongside the launch of the base sedan models, the Taurus SHO returns as the sporty version of Ford??s new flagship introducing a new generation of premium performance and fuel economy with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. This engine delivers V-8 levels of power (365 hp and 350 lb. ft. of torque) without compromising its V-6 fuel economy.
??The 2010 Taurus SHO features an enhanced six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission with control paddles mounted on the steering wheel, in combination with a sophisticated torque-sensing all-wheel-drive system, a sportier SHO interior, subtle exterior design cues and myriad technologies and features offered on Taurus.
??Taurus SHO suspension and steering have been sport-tuned to provide enthusiastic drivers with precise control, confident handling, communicative feedback and a compliant ride,?? said Pete Reyes, Taurus chief engineer.
Taurus SHO features an advanced electric power assist steering system, providing responsive road feel and enhanced on-center balance while offering the additional benefit of increased fuel economy. SHO also features a sport-tuned suspension with unique shock absorbers, springs, stabilizer bars and strut mount bushings specifically developed and harmonized to deliver the highest level of road holding, cornering agility and steering responsiveness available in a Blue Oval fullsize sedan.
Taurus SHO takes full advantage of the multi-link SR1 rear suspension design. Named for its 1:1 shock absorber ratio, this configuration provides an inherently stable baseline for the SHO development team to fine tune for enhanced driver control and agility. In addition, the SR1 rear suspension geometry provides increased travel, while enabling the use of 19- and 20-inch wheels and tires.
For the discriminating automotive enthusiast, Taurus SHO offers an available SHO Performance Package consisting of upgraded brake pads, recalibrated EPS for even more responsiveness, a ??Sport Mode?? setting for the standard AdvanceTrac electronic stability control and a shorter 3.16:1 final drive ratio for faster acceleration. Performance-compound 20-inch Goodyear Eagle F1 tires on premium painted wheels also are included.
Taurus SHO will be available this summer, starting at $37,995, including destination fees.
??The new Taurus SHO delivers on the authentic sleeper sedan formula but adds all-new luxury-appointments, convenience features and technologies to an unsurpassed balance of power and fuel economy,?? Fields said. ??This new sport derivative answers enthusiasts?? calls for a premium Ford flagship sedan with even more attitude.??
Introduced in 1989, Taurus SHO was conceived as a discreet performance-oriented sports sedan, ideally suited to the automotive enthusiast needing the room and capability of a four-door full-size car. Produced through 1999, more than 100,000 were sold.
To familiarize ourselves with the new Taurus models, we recently spent a couple of days in eastern Kentucky and western North Carolina with the Ford Taurus team. We split drive time between the Taurus and Taurus SHO models on roads in and around the Smoky Mountain range separating the cities of Knoxville and Asheville.
Impressive would best describe our driving experiences, especially given the lackluster aura surrounding the outgoing model, and that is just for the standard models. The SHO steps that up one better with its performance package and powertrain. Excitement is what was promised and Ford certainly made good on that one.