Ford unveils new Taurus for Chinese market

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News
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Ford Motor Co. on Saturday unveiled a new Taurus sedan that for the first time will be sold in China.

The Dearborn automaker took the wraps off the new car — along with a refreshed Focus and Explorer SUV— at a special event in advance of the Shanghai Auto Show.

The Taurus is powered by a twin-turbo 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine and will be manufactured at the recently opened Changan Ford Hangzhou Plant. No pricing or release date information was given.

“The new Ford Taurus is another example of the best Ford has to offer globally, designed and developed with the Chinese market in mind,” Marin Burela, president, Changan Ford Automobile Co., said in a statement. “More than just a premium business sedan, it’s an elegant statement of what is possible under the One Ford plan.”

The new flagship sedan is designed differently than the North American Taurus and features a shield-like, trapezoidal five-bar grille and sleek LED headlamps. Designers added a number of details on the exterior, including upswept highlight trim on the doors and 19-inch alloy wheels.

“The Ford Taurus we’re introducing today shows the amazing strength and flexibility of our One Ford plan,” John Lawler, chairman and CEO, Ford China, said in a statement. “It combines the best of our global product development and large-car expertise with a clear understanding of what Chinese customers in this segment want.”

Recent Taurus sales have struggled as North American consumers turn to sporty SUVs and trucks, but large cars are still popular in China, where many can afford personal drivers. Ford last month unveiled a new Lincoln Continental concept at the New York Auto Show that features an elaborate, spacious back seat designed for customers in China.

The Taurus also emphasizes the back seat.

In a first for a Ford vehicle in China, the Taurus has power-reclining rear seats with optional adjustable lumbar support and a massage function. A rear-seat control panel allows the passengers to control air conditioning, seat functions and car media. The panel can be hidden to accommodate three rear-seat passengers.

Ford also revealed a refreshed Focus that will go on sale in China later this year. It features a wider exterior and simpler interior with a streamlined instrument panel.

A new Explorer SUV also features a refreshed exterior, more driver assist technologies and new 2.3-liter four-cylinder and 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engines.

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