Out now: the Autocade Yearbook 2024
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Ford Taurus
Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024

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The Taurus was Ford’s big hit of the 1980s: a car that beat its competition on all fronts. Ford barely touched the car in its first generation—it was that good and its future looked rosy. The Mk II model had some sheetmetal changes but no major mechanical changes, yet in its first model year (1992) Ford still managed 410,000 sales. However, the rot began setting in during the Mk III—a car that literally took Ford longer to build, yet it remained on the same platform. The ovoid theme divided buyers and Toyota’s Camry found greater favour. The Mk IV formalized the design but cost-cutting saw an even less competitive car when compared with Camry and Accord. A 2004 cosmetic facelift (Mk V if seen from a British perspective?) was seen more as a joke: the Taurus had become a symbol of Ford’s under-investment in its North American passenger car range. A 2007 model year Taurus fleet special was sold, but the name effectively took a break before new Ford CEO Alan Mulally reinstated it on the mid-cycle refresh of the Ford Five Hundred for the 2008 model year. A rebodied version of the Mk V went on sale in 2009 as a 2010 model. The seventh-generation model appeared at the Shanghai show in 2015, built by Changan–Ford. In the US, the Taurus was cancelled during the 2019 model year, as Ford focused on trucks and SUVs.

Marque: Ford | Predecessors: Ford LTD, Ford Five Hundred, Ford Freestyle | Successor: Ford Flex

q.v. Mercury Sable, Mercury Montego


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Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024