Ford’s Taurus is one of those vehicles that has seemingly slipped from the automotive writers circuit – a vehicle you don’t hear about much, because, well no one really needs to. Sure, it’s still selling away in the background over the past few years, however its success is not a patch on the glory days of the 1st generation Taurus.
Nevertheless, the Blue-oval has been working hard with putting the finishing touches on its next-generation large family sedan – illustrated exclusively here in ‘have-your-cake-and-eat-it’ SHO apparel.
Stately New Design:
Unfortunately, if you take away the big wheels, honeycomb grille, Shelby-inspired front bumper; there isn’t much visual mumbo involved with the new Taurus. What Ford has done is photocopy the 2015 Chinese-spec Escort sedan and enlarge it into stately, squared-off, and almost muscular proportions.
High series versions should LED headlights and a Fusion-like chrome bar grille, whilst most models will likely share a full-width lower air intake bumper design. The view from the rear is very nondescript, with Escort-style taillights and a trunk-mounted, horizontal chrome strip spanning between the light clusters.
On The Inside:
Sitting upon a stretched and widened version of the Fusion and MKZ platform (possibly shared with the upcoming Lincoln Continental, according to some sources), the next generation Taurus takes on a conservative approach to interior styling; instead opting for increased ‘perceived’ quality with premium materials and luxury features aided by better ergonomics.
Aside from improved interior space, expect a few luxury goodies chucked in as well; cue massaging, heated & ventilated seating, Ford’s next-generation Sync 3 infotainment unit, a full suite of driver assist technologies and a Jaguar-mimicking rotary gear selector.
What Could Drive It:
Don’t expect a small-capacity V8 here, because the buzz-word around Ford is all ‘EcoBoost’. Whilst the engine lineup is yet to be confirmed; look for an array of force-fed engines ranging from an 2.3-liter I-4, 2.7-liter V6 and 3.5-liter V6 for the SHO. Whether it will use the upcoming Lincoln Continental’s all-new 3.0-liter V6 EcoBoost unit remains to be seen.
Power will be fed through the front wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters for greater driver control. AWD is expected to be optional on some models and standard on the SHO; one would hope it utilizes the upcoming Focus RS drivetrain, as it has the ability to send 70% of its power to the rear wheels (drift mode you say?).
The Taurus sits in a segment that is dwindling compared to what existed in the 80’s and 90’s; people have moved out of large sedans and into SUVs. Nevertheless, there is still a market for a roomy, five-seat sedan.
Ford potentially has an advantage over the opposition; competitors such as Chevrolet’s Impala, Toyota’s Avalon,Chrysler 300 and Nissan’s Maxima have all undergone updates of varying levels, so the big Ford will bring the ‘new factor’ along with equipment tweaks to keep it up with the pack.
A full reveal is expected in the coming weeks prior to China’s Shanghai auto show; though Ford hasn’t it made it clear yet if the US will get the same or a similar car.
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By Josh Byrnes
Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes