Ford has today unveiled its 2010 Taurus full-size sedan and it seems appropriate to take a closer look. With Ford Australia confirming late last year that it was hanging onto the Australian I6 engine, and not re-engineering the current Falcon to accept Ford's range of Duratec V6 engines, it got us thinking...
If Ford was intending to continue with its development of the Australian RWD Falcon, wouldnâ€™t it be spending money re-engineering it to accept the Duratec V6? Is it possible that Ford Australiaâ€™s move back to the I6 engine is the most obvious clue yet that it will ultimately cease manufacturing the local Falcon?
Has Ford already decided that the Australian-designed and built Falcon will be consigned to history, when the current model has run its course? Which begs the question, what would Ford Australia replace the locally built Falcon with?
Enter the all-new 2010 Ford Taurus.
Many Australians will recall the old Ford Taurus, a product of Fordâ€™s â€˜oval phaseâ€™. It looked odd, both inside and out, but had a belter of a V6 and was a reasonable drive according to the press at the time. But Australianâ€™s didnâ€™t warm to it, or buy it in sufficient numbers. It was eventually taken off the local market.
The 2010 Taurus is all new, bang up-to-date and, thankfully, quite attractively styled. It is described by Ford as being a â€œdistinctive new vehicle that combines class-leading technologies with confident, engaging driving dynamicsâ€.
"The new Taurus sets the pace for Ford's growing new car launch momentum," said Mark Fields, president of The Americas. "This sedan completely redefines expectations of what Taurus stands for â€“ and helps further define what Ford is capable of delivering â€“ quality, fuel-efficient vehicles featuring the latest technologies and head-turning design."
The 2010 Taurus in standard form is powered by Fordâ€™s award-winning 3.5-litre V6 Duratec engine, sporting 196kW and 338Nm. The V6 is mated to one of two available fuel-efficient six-speed automatic transmissions including SelectShiftÂ® with shift control paddles mounted on the steering wheel and available all-wheel drive.
Ford will also make its EcoBoostâ„¢ 3.5-litre V6 available in the Taurus range as an option and plans to make an announcement regarding this inclusion in the near future.
The Taurus SE offers a six-speed automatic transmission with a 'grade-assist' hill-holding rollback prevention feature. The SEL and Limited series Taurus models are offered with SelectShiftÂ®, featuring shift control paddles mounted on the steering wheel. The SelectShift transmission enables 'match-rev' downshifts and will hold manually selected gears.
The SEL is offered with a 2.77 final drive ratio as standard (with economy in mind), while the Limited series uses a 3.16 gear in front-wheel-drive models, and a 3.39 ratio in all-wheel-drive models to provide improved acceleration. In other words, there will be both FWD and AWD versions of the Taurus available, with buyers being able to decide what is more important to them, fuel efficiency, or the driving experience.
The 2010 Taurus features a new SR1 suspension configuration, named for its 'one-to-one' rear shock absorber ratio. According to Ford it provides a superior balance between cornering and handling while providing a stable baseline for fine tuning. The new SR1 enables the use of 19- and 20-inch wheels â€“ and reduces vehicle weight, saving fuel.
"While driver engagement was a key objective for the new Taurus, we also put huge emphasis on creating a quiet environment," Chief Engineer Pete Reyes said. "Wind tunnel development time was important to reduce noise, vibration and harshness, but it also helped with fuel economy."
2010 Ford Taurus Features
- Bold new headlights combined with recessed parking lamps
- Ford three-bar grille and lowered roofline
- New wheels, from 17- to 20-inches in diameter
- A forward-leaning center stack â€“ home to the climate controls, audio components and available navigation screen
- The door panels employ an innovative urethane tooling process providing unique texture and identity to surfaces, with visible stitching and a hand crafted appeal
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Collision Warning with Brake Support
- Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start
- SecuriCodeâ„¢ Keyless Entry Keypad
- MyKeyâ„¢ allows parents or fleet administrators to activate a restricted driving mode
- Auto High Beams/Rain-Sensing Wipers
Easy Fuelâ„¢ Capless Fuel Filler System
- Blind Spot Information System (BLISÂ®)
- Cross Traffic Alert uses the existing BLIS radar modules to sense oncoming traffic when slowly backing out of a parking spot
- Ford SYNCÂ® fully integrated, in-vehicle voice-activated communications and entertainment system, with 911 Assist, Vehicle Health Report and GPS-based features including business search and call completion. SYNC connects to MP3 players, iPods, memory sticks and PDAs.
- Voice-Activated Navigation System with SIRIUS Travel Linkâ„¢ AND 8-inch screen
- SonyÂ® branded audio components deliver sound from a variety of sources, with an AM-FM tuner, SIRIUS Satellite radio, CD, DVD audio and an integrated 10 GB hard drive for storage of up to 2,400 songs. This package also includes an available 10-speaker premium audio system
- Energy-absorbing front structure features octagonal front frame rails, tunnel rails and "shotgun" front structural members designed to absorb and redirect crash forces away from the passenger compartment
- Ultra high-strength boron steel in the B-pillar for added side impact protection
- Dual-stage driver and front passenger air bags, side impact air bags and Safety CanopyÂ®, a Ford exclusive protection system that features side curtain air bags that help protect front and rear outboard passengers in both rollover and side impact crashes
- Side Protection And Cabin Enhancement (SPACEâ„¢) Architecture is comprised of a hydroformed cross-car beam embedded in the floor between the door frames, providing additional strength in the side of the vehicle
- Personal Safety SystemÂ® is designed to reduce the risk of injury to the driver and front seat passenger in the event of a moderate to severe frontal collision. Sensors note right front occupant weight, safety belt usage, outboard seat belt tension and seating position to optimize air bag deployment force for occupant safety
- AdvanceTracÂ® electronic stability control
- SOS Post-Crash Alert is an integrated system that automatically unlocks the doors, sounds the horn and activates the emergency flashers in the event of an air bag deployment
The 2010 Ford Taurus will be built at Ford's Chicago Illinois Assembly Plant and will be available in dealer showrooms in the States during this coming North American summer.
Will it one day be seen in Australia wearing a Falcon badge?