The 2008 Ford Taurus features more than 500 improvements that make it more distinctive, quieter, faster and safer. Highlights include new exterior styling, a new powertrain, a new all-wheel-drive system, more standard safety features and structural upgrades to further enhance crash protection.
"Customers will find the 2008 Taurus delivers more of what they are looking for, including a strong design, high-quality interior, power and performance, must-have features like Ford Sync and a great safety reputation," said Cisco Codina, Ford's group vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service.
The 2008 Taurus features Ford's 3.5-liter Duratec V-6 that delivers an estimated 260 horsepower - an increase of nearly 30 percent from the previous engine - and 245 pound-feet of torque. It is mated to the same smooth shifting, six-speed automatic transmission as the new Ford Edge.
Importantly to customers, even with more power and performance, the 2008 Taurus delivers real-world fuel economy similar to outgoing Five Hundred - thanks to advancements in powertrain technology.
New exterior design is more emotional, more Ford
The new look of the 2008 Taurus suggests the same proven emotional appeal of the popular Ford Fusion. The new Taurus features the Ford brand's signature three-bar chrome grille, a sculpted hood with crisp accent lines and a new front fascia chamfered at the outer edges, adding more structure to the design.
New taillamps carry a strong, horizontal theme to the rear, while a new rear fascia houses dual chrome-tipped exhausts. Chrome side vents, door handles and mirror caps give the high-line model a more expensive appearance.
Ultra-quiet interior and plush ride
Interior quietness is often associated with a customer's perception of overall quality. For 2008 the Taurus team has delivered interior quietness that rivals many luxury cars. The new sound package includes such technologies as expandable foam pellets in the A-pillars to reduce wind noise and the use of an advanced sound-deadening material called Sonosorb(TM) in the doors, headliner and pillars. Sonosorb increases sound-deadening efficiency by 20 percent while retaining the same thickness as the material it replaces.
Engineers also reduced road noise by stiffening the area where the rear package shelf meets the floor pan. Even the new climate control system is 50 percent quieter than before.
Taurus's plush, confident ride is further improved for 2008.
Upgrades include revised shock towers that help increase front suspension travel by 10 percent, new dampers and springs in both front and rear, and a revised, retuned rear suspension.
One of the most significant changes is how the engine is mounted in the vehicle. The engine was previously mounted to the front subframe. On the 2008 Taurus, the engine and transmission are bolted to the body with hydraulic mounts to reduce vibration. By moving the roughly 600-pound powerpack off the subframe, engineers were able to better tune the suspension and, ultimately, create an even better ride.
Maximum convenience and space
A large majority of customers shopping in the large car segment place front seat roominess as a key want (86 percent) while many also prioritize cargo capacity (63 percent). Answering these desires, the 2008 Taurus features the most spacious interior of any large sedan, with best-in-class legroom front and rear and 60/40-split fold-flat second-row of seats. With the fold-flat front-passenger seat, items up to nine-feet long can fit inside.
Taurus also offers a number of must-have technologies. In addition to a standard auxiliary audio input jack, available convenience features include a voice-activated navigation system, a DVD entertainment system and factory-installed SIRIUS(R) satellite radio.
Ford Sync(TM) is also available on the new 2008 Ford Taurus. Sync is a voice-activated hands-free in-car communications and entertainment system which fully-integrates mobile phones and digital media players. The Sync in-car communications system was developed in collaboration with Microsoft and will be offered exclusively on 12 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury products in North America beginning this year.
Building on safety leadership
Research routinely demonstrates that safety features are at the top of customers shopping lists. For example, nearly 70 percent of shoppers are interested in side air bags and 65 percent are interested in electronic stability control.
With these standard airbags and available electronic stability control, the 2008 Ford Taurus is expected to be segment leader in safety, capable of achieving five stars ratings in all four categories for the U.S. government's crash tests.
Ford's AdvanceTrac(R) electronic stability control system can predict the vehicle's intentions using a sensor to detect and measure oversteer and yaw by monitoring the vehicle's speed, throttle position and steering wheel angle. When the system senses wheel slip, engine torque is reduced and braking is applied where needed to help keep the car tracking safely on its intended path.
Additional standard safety equipment includes dual-stage driver and passenger front air bags, seat-deployed side air bags for driver and front passenger, and Ford's Safety Canopy(TM) side curtain air bags for both rows. For an added measure of safety, a new steering wheel design recesses the air bag 15 millimeters farther away from the driver.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures and distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 300,000 employees and more than 100 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.fordvehicles.com.