From expandable foam pellets in the A-pillars that help reduce wind noise to hydraulic engine mounts that reduce overall vehicle vibration, the 2008 Ford Taurus is a testament to quiet quality.
From a customer perspective, interior quietness is often associated with overall vehicle quality. With that in mind, the Taurus team set out to deliver an interior quietness package that rivals many luxury cars.
"The Taurus is now a leader in that regard," said Paul Larkins, Ford manager of Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH). "We continue to examine every possible way to reduce road and wind noise, as well as structure-borne noise inside the cabin, so that the human ear can easily and comfortably hear speech."
The new Taurus sound package includes the use of an advanced sound-deadening material called Sonosorb™ in the doors, headliner and pillars that improve the vehicle's sound-deadening efficiency by 20 percent.
Even the new climate control system is quieter than before.
"Nearly every part of the heating and cooling system was changed," said Ben Winter, 2008 Taurus lead engineer. "When the fan is on maximum, the new climate control system is 50 percent quieter than the outgoing model and delivers improved performance."
With the introduction of Ford's new 3.5-liter Duratec 35 V-6 to the Taurus, one of the most significant changes is how the engine is mounted to the vehicle. Previously mounted to the front subframe, the engine and transmission on the 2008 Taurus are bolted to the body with hydraulic mounts to reduce vibration.
By moving the roughly 600-pound powerpack off the subframe, engineers were able to better tune the suspension and, ultimately, create an even better ride.
To combat wind noise, side mirrors were made smaller and given a more aerodynamic shape for less turbulence.
The team was also able to reduce vibration by reshaping the area under the rear window -- called the rear package shelf -- and stiffening the area where the shelf meets the floor.
The Taurus isn't the only vehicle benefiting from the work of Ford's NVH team. Similar sound packages have been applied to the 2008 models of the Taurus X, Escape and Focus, Mercury Sable and Mariner and the 2007 Ford Expedition.
"Exceptional cabin quietness has already contributed to customer satisfaction in the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX," said Larkins. "For Ford's engineering teams the focus on best-of-class interior acoustics will continue with every vehicle we make."