Ford Taurus and Taurus X will replace the Ford Five Hundred and the Ford Freestyle

Ford Motor Company today announced it is bringing back the well-known Ford Taurus name, introducing a new name – Taurus X – for its three-row crossover.

“Taurus has been an icon for Ford’s family sedan for more than two decades, and it’s time to return this powerful name to where it belongs,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s President of The Americas, at the Chicago Auto Show. “Consumer awareness of the Taurus name is double the Five Hundred that it’s replacing.

2008 Ford Taurus replacing the Five Hundred
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“By giving these vehicles the names that consumers recognize at the same time we’re making significant upgrades, we’re confident that even more people are going to be attracted to these great products in the future,” Fields added.

The 2008-model Taurus sedan will go on sale this summer, replacing the Ford Five Hundred. The new Taurus features a Ford Fusion-inspired exterior design, a new powertrain with 60 more horsepower, a new all-wheel-drive system, more standard safety features – including standard electronic stability control – and other refinements to make it more distinctive, quieter, faster and safer.

The 2008-model Taurus X crossover will go on sale late this summer – replacing the Ford Freestyle – with the same design, powertrain and safety upgrades, as well as three row of seats, one-touch flip-and-fold second-row seating and an available power rear liftgate.

Ford Taurus: An Automotive Icon

The Ford Taurus was a milestone in automotive design when it was introduced in 1985. It was the best-selling car in America for five straight years, starting in 1992. At its peak, Taurus posted annual sales of more than 400,000 units. When production of the original Taurus ended after 21 years on Oct. 27, 2006, nearly 7 million cars had been sold – and an estimated 3.5 million Taurus models remain on the road today

2008 Ford Taurus replacing the Five Hundred
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The Taurus name remains powerful today. In fact, it is one of top three most recognized Ford nameplates, behind only the F-Series and Mustang. Consumer awareness of the Taurus nameplate remains at an impressive 80 percent.

“The Ford Five Hundred has been a solid product, and it has one of the highest satisfaction rates in our lineup,” said Cisco Codina, Ford’s group vice president of North America Marketing, Sales and Service. “Once people discover the vehicle, nearly 60 percent end up buying a one.

“The Taurus will be even better thanks to significant upgrades – and, now, a name that people know. Going forward, we’re going to cherish this iconic name with the same clarity, confidence and intensity as we do with F-Series and Mustang,” Codina added.

2008 Ford Taurus replacing the Five Hundred
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The new Taurus X crossover builds on the strength of its namesake, while underscoring Ford’s commitment to leadership in crossover vehicles. Crossovers already have surpassed SUVs in annual vehicle sales, and Ford predicts they will become the largest or second largest segment in the U.S. by the end of the decade – with sales of 3 million units.

The three-row, seven-passenger Taurus X will complement the sporty and popular two-row, five-passenger Ford Edge in the lineup. 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.

2008 Ford Taurus replacing the Five Hundred
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“The Taurus and Taurus X draw design cues from the Fusion sedan and Edge crossover. This family relationship will be a huge asset. The Fusion is an unqualified success, and the Edge is off to an even faster start than we saw for the Fusion,” Codina said.

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