Ever since its 1986 debut, the Taurus has been one of the most important models under the Ford banner. The first generation of the Ford Taurus was in some ways groundbreaking. Offering rear-wheel drive, top-quality parts, and an aerodynamic body, the Taurus effortlessly replaced the Ford LTD. A driver-friendly dash along with the cozy interior accessories were also a high point of the Taurus's first series. The choice of engines were a V6 or inline 4-cylinder. Drivers also had the option of an automatic or manual transmission. The car received plenty of mainstream attention right away, proving to be a bigger success than Ford had anticipated. After the model's first year, it had already racked up Motor Trend's Car of the Year (1986) and was also named to Car and Driver's Ten Best list.
During its second generation, Ford dropped the manual transmission and 4-cylinder engines as optional Ford Taurus parts. The Taurus also became longer by several inches and heavier by a couple of hundred pounds. A slight redesign of the Ford Taurus accessories was evident on the exterior, as well. Come 1992, the interior was overhauled. Most controls were placed towards the left, allowing easy access for the driver to reach them. An optional passenger's side airbag was also introduced for the Taurus but come 1994, Ford made it mandatory. The Ford Taurus now became the first model in its class to have dual airbags as a standard feature. The fourth generation of the car was not as successful. ABS rear disc brakes were now a dealer upgrade, the dual exhaust was left out, and the interior was scaled back and seen as less user-friendly. After slumping sales persisted throughout the beginning of the decade, Ford (controversially) decided to halt production of the Taurus.
Alan Mulally took over as the CEO of Ford and promptly began plans to revive the model. After months of speculation, the Five Hundred and Freestyle were revealed as the Taurus and Taurus X at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show. Now equipped with the Five Hundred's 3.5L Duratec V6, 6-speed automatic transmission, and a sportier front-end, the Taurus is back and better than ever. Trim levels include the Limited, SE (base model), SHO, SEL, and X. The Ford Taurus SHO is the high-performing version of the model and houses an Ecoboost 3.5L V6 capable of 365 horsepower. Both the SEL and Limited offer a variety of luxury applications and parts including keyless entry, Bluetooth, a power passenger seat, leather upholstery, and ambient lighting.
One of Ford's homestead models, the Taurus is like a champion boxer that can take a few punches before delivering a knockout of its own. The Taurus is still a mainstay and offers a wide range of options to drivers, depending on how they intend to use their version. Package it to luxury or intense style, it doesn't matter-this model is an open template that welcomes individuality. The Taurus is backed by a comfortable level of performance that has been raved about for years. Back and better than ever, the Ford Taurus is poised to make even more news in the years to come.
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