New Car: 2013 Ford Taurus

On the eve of the New York auto show, Ford has unveiled the 2013 version of its full-size Taurus sedan, with tweaked styling, a new four-cylinder turbo engine option and a host of other improvements.

You might ask, as we did: Didn’t Ford just introduce the new Taurus for 2010? What’s with the face lift now? According to Ford’s head product man, Derrick Kuzak, it’s because Ford is “not just a carmaker, we’re also a technology company and continuous improvement is part of our culture.” Oh. Okay. Surely, though, it’s no coincidence that Ford’s cross-town competitors recently began shipping re-worked Chrysler 300s and Dodge Chargers to its dealers.

The biggest news for the ’13 Taurus is the addition of an optional turbocharged, direct-injection—alright, EcoBoost—2.0-liter four-cylinder. We’ll first see the four-cylinder this fall when it becomes available in the Explorer and Edge SUVs. In the Taurus, the four-banger will make 237 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. Bolted to a six-speed automatic, it should return at least 31 mpg on the highway, by Ford’s guess. As in the Explorer and Edge, buyers will have to pay a yet-unspecified premium for the little turbo compared to the base 3.5-liter V-6.

The fuel-economy benefit had better measure up to Ford’s predictions, as the addition of variable valve timing on both its intake and exhaust cams brings the 3.5 an additional 27 hp for 2013. It now produces a class-competitive 290 hp and 255 lb-ft. Again, a six-speed automatic is the only available transmission. The SHO’s 365-hp twin-turbo V-6 will be unchanged for 2013.

Other mechanical changes for all 2013 Taurus models include a function that uses the brakes to provide an effect similar to a limited-slip differential, an electric-assist steering system with a quicker ratio, a larger brake master cylinder—as well as revised booster tuning to improve brake-pedal feel—and a sportier suspension tune. The interior will use more soft-touch materials and benefit from a more comprehensive sound-deadening package.

Ford also will upgrade the Taurus with the company’s full array of electro-wizardry, including the not-universally-loved MyFord Touch infotainment system and Curve Control, a sort of predictive stability control that slows the car should the driver enter a corner too quickly. As is the fashion these days, Ford is adding LED taillights.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

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