Ford’s Taurus nameplate has a heavy history with the blue oval. When it first came out, it was the best selling car in America, but in recent years it has fallen behind to a lot of its overseas competitors. A name change to "Ford Five Hundred" didn’t do much for sales and was thought by many to be a dumb move, considering that it threw out the only thing about the car that tied it back to its glory days, its name.
Now Ford is getting the picture. They’re renaming the car the Taurus again, and they are really trying this time to build a world-class product. Whether or not they will succeed will be something we’re going to have to wait to find out, but for now we have some spy shots.
We’ve seen the next Taurus already. Some ballsy Ford employee sent out pics with his camera phone and the whole world got a peek. What we saw was actually quite refreshing. A bold, cohesive design language which neither holds on to, or copies anything before it. Yes, we were quite surprised, because the car in that picture actually looked good.
What you see here is nowhere near as revealing. The cars are wearing heavy camo and are quite disguised. Even the coorporate three-bar grill has been disguised by painting some of the bars black. Forget those awesome wheels too, as they’ll never reach production and seem to belong on the new MKS. Seeing as they share similar architecture, Ford’s engineers might be testing something for the MKS on the Taurus mule. It’s kind of like the whole two birds with one stone thing.
We’re expecting to see the official world premiere of the production vehicle at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show in mid-January. Sales will begin in the fall of 2009 and the cars will be badged as 2010 vehicles.
It took some real cojones from a Ford employee for us to see the next Taurus in the flesh.