Fifth-generation Ford Taurus
|Manufacturer||Ford Motor Company|
|Predecessor||Fourth-generation Ford Taurus|
Ford Five Hundred
|Successor||Sixth-generation Ford Taurus|
|Body style(s)||4-door sedan|
|Layout||Front engine, front-wheel drive / Four-wheel drive|
|Platform||Ford D3 platform|
|Engine(s)||3.5 L DOHC Duratec 35 (Cyclone) V6|
|Transmission(s)||6-speed 6F automatic|
|Wheelbase||112.7 in (2862.6 mm)|
|Length||201.8 in (5125.7 mm)|
|Width||74.1 in (1882.1 mm)|
|Height||61.2 in (1554.5 mm)|
|Curb weight||FWD: 3,741 lb (1,697 kg)|
AWD: 3,930 lb (1,780 kg)
|Related||Ford Taurus X|
The Fifth-generation Ford Taurus is an automobile manufactured by the Ford Motor Company from 2008 until 2009. It is the fifth in six generations of the Ford Taurus. However, it is sold under the Taurus name only in the United States and Canada since the Ford Five Hundred was sold in Mexico.
This generation of the Taurus is sold in the Middle East as the Ford Five Hundred.
The Ford Taurus was discontinued in late 2006 due to slumping sales.  However, this caused a controversy within the auto industry, with popular automotive websites such as Autoblog  and The Truth About Cars  expressing their disappointment at Ford for letting the Taurus nameplate decline. MSNBC interviewed many Ford workers who felt that Ford unjustly abandoned the car that had done so much to revitalize Ford and the US industry. In an October 25, 2006 USA Today editorial, "How Ford starved its Taurus" it was noted that the Japanese stick with their winners and make them better (such as the Toyota Corolla, which has been in continuous production since the 1960s), while Detroit automakers retires cars or entire division nameplates in search of "the next big thing".
|How can it go away? It's the best selling car in America. |
—Alan Mulally, 2006
However, after Alan Mulally became Ford's CEO, rumors were rampant that he was interested in reviving the Taurus. These were fueled by the fact that he said in an interview with the Associated Press that he was baffled to find out that the Taurus had been discontinued when taking position as CEO at Ford, as well as stating that he believed that discontinuing the Taurus was a mistake, and that the Five Hundred should have been named "Taurus" from the beginning. The rumors of a possible Taurus revival were confirmed in mid 2007, when the revamped versions of the Five Hundred and Freestyle were unveiled as "Taurus" and "Taurus X" at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show, a decision that was influenced strongly by Mulally. In a later interview, Mulally explained that the fact that the Taurus was well known and had a positive brand equity associated with it strongly influenced his decision to revive the name.
The Exterior of the Fifth-generation Taurus is largely carried over from the Five Hundred. Apart from that of the front fascia, the Taurus is practically identical to that of the Five Hundred. Some design features on the Taurus were first used on a 2007 option package for the Five Hundred entitled the "chrome package".
The Taurus has a different front fascia that has Ford's signature three bar grille, new headlights, a new front bumper with fog lights, and side fender vents. The Taurus also gains new wheels, each differed on whether the SEL or Limited model was specified. Around the back, the Taurus has Toyota Altezza style clear taillights and an added roof mounted Satellite radio adapter. However, despite these new design features, the Taurus' shape has been criticized for looking too similar to that of the Volkswagen Passat. 
As with the exterior, the interior of the Fifth-generation Taurus is largely carried over from the Five Hundred. However, it offers many subtle differences such as using a darker shade of woodgrain, a new steering wheel, among other changes.
The radio is a new design that has chrome trim around the buttons, a new double tiered bin is in the center console, and there is a new shifter that is of a different design. However, the most notable feature of the Fifth-generation's interior - a feature that was new for the Taurus - was Ford's SYNC system, developed by Microsoft. This feature accepts voice commands, and can connect the driver's cell phones and MP3 players to the car, while organizing personal information. 
Models and Engines
The fifth generation Taurus is now offered in three models; the SE, SEL and Limited. The SE is the base model that costs approximately $24,000 USD, with the middle option SEL costing around $26,000 USD And the top of the line version Limited, which costs $30,000 USD.  This generation of Taurus uses the 263 hp 3.5 L Duratec 35 V6 which replaces the 203 hp (151 kW) Duratec 30 3.0 L V6. The Five Hundred/Freestyle's ZF-Batavia CVT, which had maximum torque capacity of 221 lb·ft (300 N·m), is also replaced with a Ford-GM joint venture six-speed automatic capable of withstanding the Duratec 35s additional torque. The Aisin AW six-speed automatic that was used on FWD Five Hundred and Montegos was also replaced by the new six-speed. 
As with the Taurus, the Sable name was resurrected to apply to an updated version of the Mercury Montego. However, the changes from the Montego to the Sable are more extensive to that of the Five Hundred to the Taurus. From the Montego, the Sable sports a new front fascia, hood, fenders, trunk, and taillights. Inside, the Sable offers similar options and features to the Taurus, although it has the unique features of two toned leather seats and light woodgrain trim. The Sable offers the same drivetrain improvements as the Taurus.
Ford Taurus X
When the revived Taurus was launched, a crossover variant was launched with it, entitles the Taurus X. As how the Taurus is revived from the Five Hundred, the Taurus X was revived from the Ford Freestyle, itself based on the Five Hundred. The Taurus X sports a revised front fascia, hood, wheels, fenders, and tailights over the Freestyle. It also contains the same drivetrain improvements as the Taurus and Sable. As with the Taurus, the Taurus X also boasts some minor interior changes, mainly with the addition of the Microsoft SYNC system as an option.  The Taurus X is offered in three models; SEL, the Limited, and a top of the range Eddie Bauer edition.
Notes and References
- "So we got a Ford Five Hundred". DriveArabia.com. http://www.drivearabia.com/news/2008/02/10/so-we-got-a-ford-five-hundred/. Retrieved on 2008-02-11.
- "Storied Ford Taurus reaches end of line". Detroit News. 2006-10-23. http://detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061023/AUTO01/610230304/1148. Retrieved on 2007-08-14.
- "So long, friend. Ford producing last Taurus next week". Autoblog. http://www.autoblog.com/2006/10/19/so-long-friend-ford-producing-the-last-taurus-next-week/. Retrieved on 2007-07-26.
- "Ford Taurus: Oedipus Wrecks". The Truth About Cars. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/ford-taurus-oedipus-wrecks/. Retrieved on 2008-04-05.
- "Toyota Corolla history". Edmunds.com. http://www.edmunds.com/toyota/corolla/history.html. Retrieved on 2008-04-04.
- "How Ford starved its Taurus". USA Today. 2006-10-25. http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2006-10-24-ford-taurus_x.htm. Retrieved on 2006-10-25.
- "CEO insisted in bringing "Taurus" back". MSNBC. 2007-02-07. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17033668/. Retrieved on 2007-07-26.
- Ford CEO Alan Mulally on the new Ford Taurus. Autoinsider news.
- "2008 Ford Taurus Limited review". The Truth About Cars. 2007-07-18. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/ford-taurus-limited-review/. Retrieved on 2008-08-03.
- "2008 Ford Taurus features more power, style, and more standard safety features". Media. Ford.com. 2007-02-07. http://media.ford.com/products/press_article_display.cfm?article_id=25372&vehicle_id=1538. Retrieved on 2007-02-07.
- Siler, Steve, and Mike Dushane (February 2007). "Ford slaps a once-successful nameplate on its refreshed and reinvigorated Five Hundred". Car and Driver. http://www.caranddriver.com/autoshows/12454/2008-ford-taurus.html. Retrieved on 2007-02-25.
- "Ford strengthens crossover leadership with introduction of new 2008 Taurus X". Media. Ford.com. 2007-02-07. http://media.ford.com/products/press_article_display.cfm?article_id=25373&vehicle_id=1540. Retrieved on 2007-02-07.
|Wikinews has related news: Ford Taurus to be revived|
« previous — Ford road car timeline, North American market, 1980s–present
|LTD||LTD Crown Victoria||Crown Victoria||Crown Victoria|
|Sport compact||EXP||EXP||Probe||Probe||Escort ZX2||ZX2|