Ford Taurus Preview – 2007 Detroit Auto Show: What a mess. After debuting the revamped 2008 Ford Five Hundred family-sized sedan in Detroit, a month later Ford announces a name change to Taurus. So, the Taurus returns, the Five Hundred is dead, and the resulting marketing morass surrounds a big sedan that's actually pretty darn good. The Taurus has been updated with new styling, more power and standard safety features, and a quieter interior. The Five Hundred? If you've got one, maybe it'll be a collectable car one day. Then again, it may come back next year...
Why it Matters
The 2008 Ford Taurus is very significant to Ford’s current and future success. Every new Ford product is essential to its North American “Way Forward” turnaround plan. During the heyday of the original Taurus, Ford had the best-selling family sedan in the United States. But Japanese competition marginalized the Taurus, which ceased production in the fall of 2006. It is the job of this new version, along with the smaller Fusion, to regain the sales volumes of the once-iconic Taurus.
What’s Under the Hood
An improved powertrain motivates the 2008 Ford Taurus. Its new 3.5-liter Duratec V6 engine yields 260 horsepower, a substantial improvement compared with the previous 3.0-liter V6’s output of 203 hp. A new six-speed automatic transmission has been tailored for efficiency, and the Taurus achieves a Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) rating in states that follow California’s strict emissions guidelines, the first V6 to earn the PZEV rating. The CVT has been dropped. Ford has also revised the Taurus's front shock towers, allowing for 10 mm more travel. New front springs and dampers combine with an upgraded rear suspension for a more luxurious ride. Fuel Efficient Power Steering (FEPS) varies power steering boost, maximizing effectiveness and economy.
What It Looks Like
The new 2008 Ford Taurus reflects updated styling sensibilities seen – and celebrated – in the smaller Ford Fusion. The Taurus receives entirely new sheet-metal from the windshield forward. The highlight is Ford’s three-bar chrome grille that aligns with new headlights that define the front fascia’s crisp and modern appearance. New smaller and lower-mounted side mirrors improve visibility while reducing wind noise. Revised rear styling includes new, attractive taillights. Inside, a new 2-tier clamshell console brings creative stowage. Limited models are accented in chrome throughout, including on the door handles, side vents and license plate décor strip.
About Brian Chee Prior to joining Autobytel in the Spring of 2000, Brian Chee spent 15 years as a writer and editor in his native southern California, his work appearing in a wide variety of regional newspapers and online publications. As an editor at Autobytel, Brian has been quoted in numerous regional and national publications, including the Wall St. Journal and InStyle Magazine. He is responsible for writing, editing and planning content for three of the company’s consumer websites: autobytel.com, autoweb.com and carsmart.com. His “beat” includes vehicle reviews, features, news and Auto Show coverage. Brian considers himself a “SoCal” car enthusiast: the kind who grades a car on how it handles today’s urban and suburban reality of daily traffic gridlock, rising fuel prices and fast-paced lifestyles. Brian is an Eagle Scout, a member of the Automotive Press Association, the Motor Press Guild, and the California State University Advisory Board for Internet Writing. Brian holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism.