Ford Taurus X
Unveiled today at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show, the 2008 Ford Taurus X is a full-size crossover that offers three rows of seating, a powerful 3.5-liter V-6 engine with six-speed automatic transmission and a long list of standard safety equipment – including side curtain air bags and AdvanceTrac® electronic stability control.
Innovative convenience features on the Taurus X include one-touch, flip-and-fold second-row seating and an available power rear liftgate. The 2008 Taurus X will reach dealer showrooms in late summer 2007.
"The three-row Taurus X is a key element in o ur broad crossover lineup and is a great complement to the popular, two-row Ford Edge," says Cisco Codina, Ford's group vice president of North America Marketing, Sales and Service. "Like Edge, the new Taurus X delivers confident design, good power and handling, and plenty of standard safety equipment. With Taurus X, customers get a roomy, interior that is flexible, functional and comfortable – in all three rows."
Bold, new look inspired by the Ford Edge
The exterior design of the Taurus X picks up design cues from the Ford Edge, including the
step-up headlamps and distinctive Ford three-bar chrome grille. The Taurus X also features a restyled hood, newly shaped front fenders and fascia along with headlamps and fog lamps mounted in new chrome surrounds.
Taurus X sports a new rear fascia, Fusion-inspired taillamps, chrome dual exhaust tips and an available reverse sensing system. A new roof rack up top features a tougher, more rugged design.
Also available for the first time on Taurus X is an Eddie Bauer branded series. Ford's relationship with Eddie Bauer over the last two decades has proven to be very popular with customers with a nearly 40 percent take rate of the series on both the Ford Explorer and Expedition. The Eddie Bauer series includes a unique two-tone paint scheme, standard 18-inch, five-spoke aluminum wheels, wiper activated headlamps and an Eddie Bauer badge.
Innovations improve an already versatile interior
The 2008 Taurus X delivers the interior space and convenience features that customers shopping for a three-row crossovers are known to prioritize. Two new features set Taurus X apart: one-touch, flip-and-fold second row seats that provide easy access to the third row and an available power rear liftgate. Controls for the power liftgate are located on the center console, rear cargo area and on the key fob.
With the Taurus X, the interior is as large and comfortable as it is flexible. It is available in 5- and 7-passenger configurations and offers exceptional visibility and space for all passengers because of the stadium style seating that places the third row higher than the second row.
It can haul cargo as well. With the second and third row folded flat, Taurus X offers 85.2 cu. ft. of cargo space behind the first row. Fold the front passenger seat flat and Taurus X can accommodate items up to nine feet long.
Must-have features include an available voice activated DVD-based navigation system and SIRIUS satellite radio. For entertainment, rear seat passengers can enjoy an available DVD player with a large, eight-inch screen and a clearer, brighter picture.
Taurus X is also one of 12 new Ford, Lincoln and Mercury products to offer Ford Sync™ – a voice-activated, hands-free, in-car communications and entertainment system. Developed in collaboration with Microsoft, this Ford-exclusive system fully integrates mobile phones and digital media players into the vehicle.
New powertrain transforms Taurus X
At the heart of the 2008 Taurus X is Ford's 3.5-liter Duratec 35 V-6 engine. It delivers an estimated 260 horsepower – an increase of nearly 30 percent over the previous engine. To manage the additional power and deliver sharper performance, the continuously variable transmission has been replaced with a six-speed-automatic gearbox that was developed in tandem with the Duratec 35.
Even with the increase in power and torque, the 2008 Taurus X is expected to post real-world fuel economy numbers similar to the 2007 Freestyle, thanks to a more efficient powertrain and technologies like a fuel-saving electric power steering system. Final numbers, measured under the new-for-2008 EPA standards, will be released closer the vehicle's on-sale date.
Taurus X's available intelligent all-wheel-drive system, new for 2008, is less complex than the system it replaces and similar to the Ford Edge AWD system. It incorporates an active, on-demand electro-mechanical center coupler to allocate a precise amount of torque from front to rear, up to 100 percent to either axle. This system can also anticipate wheel slip before it happens. Under heavy acceleration, for example, the system will proactively allocate torque to the rear wheels before the front wheels begin to slip.
Taurus X features a long list of standard safety features
Taurus X is expected to earn five star ratings in all four categories of government crash tests, giving it leadership in passive safety. In terms of active safety, every 2008 Taurus X has standard anti-lock brakes and AdvanceTrac® electronic stability control, a feature nearly 70 percent of car shoppers are interested in according to Ford customer research.
The AdvanceTrac system can predict the vehicle's path 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 or the loss of traction, the system reduces engine torque and applies braking where needed to keep the car tracking safely on its intended path.
The 2008 Taurus X features standard dual-stage driver and passenger front air bags, seat-deployed side air bags for driver and front passenger and Ford's Safety Canopy™ side curtain air bags for all three rows. The advance side air curtains feature "roll-fold" technology to enhance protection during an extended crash event. New reinforcements in the foot well area provide for better crash protection, while side impact protection is improved with pressurized crash sensors in the doors and redesigned interior door panels.
The rise of the crossover segment
Crossovers are part of the fastest-growing vehicle segment in the United States, outpacing even the remarkable growth SUVs achieved in the 1990s. CUVs surpassed traditional SUV sales for the first time last year, and they are on the way to 3 million sales annually by the decade's end.
Two distinct consumer trends have helped fuel the explosive growth of the CUV segment: car buyers seeking more spacious and flexible interiors along with the security of all-wheel drive, and traditional SUV buyers seeking more maneuverable and fuel-efficient vehicles that still make an active lifestyle possible.
The three-row Taurus X will complement the sporty and popular two-row, five-passenger Ford Edge in the lineup. To further underscore Ford's commitment to leadership, the two crossovers will be joined by yet another large Ford crossover – based on the Ford Fairlane concept vehicle – which will debut later this year and go on sale in 2008.
Text and photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company