- Ford's redesigned 2016 Taurus will be lighter, faster and more fuel efficient when it goes on sale in the third quarter of 2015, Edmunds has learned.
- The 2016 Taurus will share a front-drive vehicle platform with the Ford Fusion.
- The platform will be lengthened and widened to create the new Taurus.
DETROIT — Ford's redesigned 2016 Taurus will be lighter, faster and more fuel efficient when it goes on sale in the third quarter of 2015, Edmunds has learned.
The car's weight is expected to be reduced and a nine-speed automatic transmission will be offered as part of an effort to improve the big car's fuel economy and performance, an industry source with knowledge of the redesign told Edmunds. Additionally, the redesigned Taurus will share a front-drive vehicle platform with the Ford Fusion. The current Taurus was developed on a modified Volvo platform.
"The problem with today's Taurus is that it is overweight and even the high performance SHO is not really competitive," said the source, who asked not to be identified. "With all the power from the (365-horsepower) V6 EcoBoost, it is pretty hard to overcome the amount of mass that the SHO has to move."
The Taurus SHO "actually weighs about as much as the stretched Audi A8 L. Of course, Audi uses an extensive amount of aluminum, but it is a much bigger car," he said.
"Ford's big focus will be on light-weighting," he said.
The Fusion platform will be stretched to create the 2016 Taurus. The wheelbase will be extended and the rear overhang will be lengthened. Additionally, the Fusion platform will be widened.
It is not known what the fuel economy target is for the 2016 Taurus. The 2014 Ford Taurus with a 3.5-liter V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission returns 19 mpg in city driving and 29 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA.
General Motors uses a similar strategy for its larger cars. GM's Epsilon front-drive platform is shared by the Buick Regal, Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Malibu, and the big Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac XTS sedans. The Epsilon platform's dimensions have been modified for each model.
The current-generation Taurus was developed on a modified Volvo platform that Ford introduced on the 2005 Ford Five Hundred and Mercury Montego. Ford Motor Company owned Volvo at that time. Volvo used aluminum components for portions of the structure to reduce weight, while Ford used less expensive but heavier steel. The nameplates were later changed to Taurus and Sable, respectively.
Edmunds says: Taurus' platform is old and heavy, a candidate for fresh new start.