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Many of us still remember the 90′s Ford Taurus line: ugly, poorly built and revolting. There just wasn’t much good to say about them. Fast-forward by about a decade and the Taurus makes more power than recent muscle cars, or at least the SHO version does.
Ford updated its site to include pricing on the 2013 Taurus models, which start at $27,395 (including destination) and go up to $39,995 for the performance-oriented SHO model.
Those willing to foot the bigger bill get a car with the same potent ecoboost 3.5-liter V6 as the company offered on the previous model. While the 365-hp rating is nice, the broad power band is the impressive part. Ford says peak torque (350 lb-ft) is available all the way from 1,500-5,250 rpms, or most of the engine’s rev-range.
That model comes with all-wheel drive and is mated to a high-capacity version of the standard six-speed automatic transmission. The base model now comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder ecoboost capable of 31 mpg highway while still offering 237 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque.
Probably the most noticeable change, the exterior styling got a serious update with Ford’s new hexagonal grille that looks sportier and more Mustang-like. The SHO model comes with 19-inch wheels standard, but customers may choose 20-inch upgraded wheels with summer performance tires. A spoiler and and sport-tuned suspension also come standard.
Don’t let the EcoBoost name fool you, though. As we said in our review of the 2012 model, gas mileage is far from eco-friendly. The SHO gets a thirsty 17/25 mpg city/highway. The standard V6 is also available making 290 hp and 18/28 mpg city/highway.
GALLERY: 2013 Ford Taurus
If you were one of the Ford owners who weren’t thrilled with MyFord Touch, you’ll be happy to learn that the system is receiving an upgrade that will make it more user friendly and easier to operate.
The upgrade, which will be available early next year and offered at no extra charge to exsisting MyFord Touch owners, will feature simpler graphics, faster touch-screen response and easier-to-use controls. The upgraded voice-activated in-car connectivity system will also be available with the new 2013 Ford Escape, Flex and Taurus.
Ford decided to upgrade the MyFord Touch system after conducting a series of polls, as well as receiving a flurry of bad press that stated the system wasn’t user friendly and was a bit buggy. To enhance the user experience, Ford has added Apple iPad connectivity and access to Audible.com audiobooks through voice commands or the touchscreen. Other improvements include better Bluetooth telephone connectivity, an updated map experience from TeleNav and Navteq and improved voice recognition powered by Nuance technology.
MyFord Touch is also getting some visual enhancements. Users will be treated to larger, bolder fonts, while designs are made more consistent and low-priority elements have been removed. In total, more than 1,000 screens have been updated with the improved look.
If you need a tutorial about the upgraded system, you can watch how-to videos at www.syncmyride.com or set up a free “SYNC My Ride” personalized training session at a Ford dealership. If you already have the MyFord Touch system, you’ll be sent a USB flash drive with the software upgrade for installation or you can visit your Ford or Lincoln dealer for the software installation.
You can also check out a video of the upgraded system after the jump.
So the new Ford Taurus was only introduced last year. Why, then, did Ford refresh it for 2013 at the New York Auto Show—why go through all that effort now? Because, according to Ford head design honcho J Mays, the new front end is supposed to showcase Ford’s new global look, and the Mondeo and Falcon are gonna nab a piece of it.
Yes, for once the Ford global look sets its standards from America, not Europe or Australia. The new corporate look, said Mays, will still allow these three diverse sedans to retain their own character. The design elements can be altered to create subtle or aggressive looks across a model range. And the trapezoid grille was influenced by those from Audi—where J Mays used to hang his hat.
The 2013 Ford Taurus was a bit of a surprise for car fans, since the mid-cycle upgrade came early for the barely 3 year old car. Unveiled at the 2011 New York Auto Show, the new Taurus features a host of fairly substantial mechanical upgrades.
First on the list is a 2.0L Ecoboost 4-cylinder engine option, good for 237 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. While performance is expected to be adequate, the real news is a 31 mpg highway rating, which Ford boldly boasted as being better than an Audi A6. Hardly anyone will cross-shop an Audi and a Taurus, but the big Ford should handle better with the addition of a torque-vectoring system, which acts like an ersatz-limited slip differential, using the brakes to control excessive front wheelspin.
MyFordTouch and SYNC, two in car entertainment systems that are likely too advanced for the 60-plus set that buys the car, will also be available. We expect that the 31 mpg rating will be the biggest selling point for Ford’s biggest sedan, with the fact that the Ecoboost is missing two cylinders also downplayed so as not to scare off buyers worried about sluggish performance.
Gallery: 2013 Ford Taurus
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What you’re looking at is the updated 2013 Ford Taurus SHO and while this model might be the most attractive version of the new car, the big news is with the vehicle’s smallest engine.
As a part of a rather significant mid-cycle refresh, the 3.5-liter V6 gets a boost in power to 290-hp, making room for yet another model in the lineup… a 4-cylinder. As shocking as it may seem that a full sized sedan like the Taurus could be capably powered by a 4-cylinder, this is no regular 4-banger, but a turbocharged EcoBoost mill. Power is rated at a models 237-hp and 250 lb-ft of torque, which seems drastically underpowered by V6 standards, but might be adequate for the Taurus (only a test drive will tell). Mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, the car is protected to achieve 31-mpg on the highway.
The two other major changes for 2013 are with the car’s style, sporting a Mustang-inspired front end, while inside the Taurus gets Ford’s
MyFord Touch telematics system with easy to use controls and a high-gloss finish that adds plenty of value to this package.
GALLERY: 2013 Ford Taurus SHO
The 2013 Ford Taurus was revealed Monday night on the eve of the New York Auto Show with a few styling tweaks, but the big news is the addition of Ford’s 2.0 Ecoboost engine as an alternative to their V6 engines.
With the addition of the Ecoboost, Ford expects the Taurus to return 31mpg on the highway, an impressive figure for such a hefty vehicle. The 237 horsepower and 250 lb-ft rating is certainly adequate for the needs of most consumers, and we expect it to be a popular option with fuel conscious buyers. A 6-speed automatic remains the transmission of choice, while the 3.5L V6 making 290 horsepower and the SHO’s 360 horsepower Ecoboost V6 remain available.
The MyFordTouch telematics system also makes an appearance, as does a revised front end. The SHO performance model won’t get an upgraded engine just yet, but will see a more aggressive front end and new wheels. The SHO was rumored to get as much as 400-horsepower from a tweaked Ecoboost V6, but so far no announcements have been made. By going with the 4-banger, Ford is hoping to make the idea of a full-size sedan more palatable to consumers in a marketplace more concerned about gas prices than ever before, and look for them to downplay the two missing cylinders as much as they’ll use the 31 mpg rating as a selling point.
GALLERY: 2013 Ford Taurus
Gallery: 2013 Ford Taurus Live Reveal
See video of the car from the live reveal after the jump: