The Ford Taurus is an automobile manufactured by the Ford Motor Company in the United States. Originally introduced in the 1986 model year, it has remained in near-continuous production for more than two decades, making it the fourth oldest nameplate that is currently sold in the North American Ford lineup. It has had a more upscale Mercury branded version entitled the Sable (1986–2005; 2008–2009), as well as a performance variant, the Ford Taurus SHO (1989–1999 and 2010–); in addition, it served as the basis for the first-ever front-wheel drive Lincoln Continental (1988–1994). It was a front-wheel drive mid-size car until 1999, and has been a full-size car since 2000, and available in front- or all-wheel drive since 2008. It has been built on the D3 platform since 2008.
The original Taurus was a milestone design for Ford and the entire American automotive industry, as well as a very influential vehicle that brought many new features and innovations to the marketplace. Since its launch in 1986, Ford had built 7,519,919 Tauruses through the 2007 model year, making it the fifth best selling North American nameplate in Ford's history; only the F-150, Escort, Model T, and Mustang have sold more units. Between 1992 and 1996, the Taurus was the best-selling car in the United States, eventually losing the title to the Toyota Camry in 1997. The 1986–1995 Taurus was built on the DN-5 platform, 1996-1999 Taurus was built on the DN101 platform. The 2000-2007 Tauruses were built on the D186 which was a modified DN 101 platform.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, sales of the Taurus declined as it lost market share to Japanese midsize sedans and as Ford shifted resources towards developing SUVs. It was discontinued in 2006, with production initially ending on October 27, 2006, and 2007 being the last model year. Ford had decided to replace the Taurus with the fullsize Five Hundred and midsize Fusion sedans, as well as replacing the Taurus wagon with the Freestyle crossover SUV. However, Ford revived the Taurus name during the 2007 Chicago Auto Show a few months later by renaming two new models that had been intended to be updated versions of the Five Hundred and the Freestyle, the "2008 Taurus" and "2008 Taurus X", respectively. A new model of Taurus was then released for the 2010 model year. This generation is currently in production. The 2013 model was unveiled at the New York Auto Show and will receive minor exterior changes, and interior technology options.
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When the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor (CVPI) ended production in late 2011, a variant of the sixth-generation Taurus will be offered to police forces. Ford is referring to the new police car simply as the "Police Interceptor", rather than a Taurus, although production models will likely be named "Taurus Police Interceptor". It will be available with both engines of the civilian Taurus: the 3.5 L Cyclone V6 producing 196 kW (266 PS; 263 hp), and the 3.5 L EcoBoost V6 from the SHO rated at 272 kW (370 PS; 365 hp). The EcoBoost version will feature all-wheel drive, like the SHO. The Police Interceptor will include much of Ford's latest safety technology, such as Blind Spot Information System, rear view camera, reverse sensing system, Ford SYNC, and electronic stability control. Ford states the Taurus Police Interceptor will match the safety record of the CVPI, and have desirable CVPI features unavailable on the Taurus like a column-shifted automatic added back in. Police officers have criticized the lack of room in the Taurus PI compared to the Crown Victoria.