NEW YORK - Ford introduced its 2013-MY Taurus at the New York Auto Show. The company said the new model is more fuel efficient, offers more technology features, and shows a refined design and improved craftsmanship.

Under the Hood

Ford said the new Taurus is the first North American model to come equipped with the company’s advanced 2.0L EcoBoost engine, providing an estimated highway fuel economy of 31 mpg and delivering a company-estimated 237 horsepower and 250 lb.-ft. of torque.

The automaker said the standard 3.5L V-6 will deliver 290 hp via twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) and will be more fuel efficient, though Ford hasn’t yet announced mpg numbers for the V-6. The V-6 and EcoBoost engine are mated with six-speed automatic transmissions.

Ford added that each Taurus powertrain features other fuel-conserving technologies, such as:

Low-tension front end accessory drive belt

Smart battery management

Aggressive deceleration fuel shutoff

Variable-displacement air conditioning compressor

Reduced friction lubricants

Electric power-assisted steering (EPAS)

Exterior Design

The new Taurus’ design builds in the company’s 2010 model, with a more muscular hood, larger wheels and tires, and raised rear quarter panels. Ford said the company hasn’t changed the dimensions of the vehicle or increased the Taurus’ weight with these design modifications.

Ford added its Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system, which the company said allows Ford’s vehicle dynamics engineers to tune the vehicle to optimize steering feel. The company also said it improved vehicle handling and ride quality.

The automaker also added torque vectoring control to the vehicle, which applies a slight amount of braking force on the outside front wheel when the driver accelerates through a turn, and provides an effect the company said is similar to that of a limited-slip differential. This feature provides more control when increasing speed through curves and is standard.

Interior Design

The new Ford Taurus’ interior features a number of enhancements, including the use of recyclable and environmentally friendlier materials in interior component construction. The seat cushions are made of a high concentration of soy-based foam, cloth surfaces and the headliner use recycled materials as do noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) control components.

The Taurus features the company’s MyFord Touch system, which uses an 8-inch touchscreen and steering-wheel-mounted five-way toggles to control various functions in the cabin. The driver can personalize these screens to display information relevant to each driver by using voice commands. MyFord Touch is powered by a new version of Ford’s SYNC system, combining voice control for vehicle functions, enabled Bluetooth devices, MP3 players, and external media.

Other technologies and features in the vehicle include the following:

  • New heated steering wheel and heated and cooled leather-trimmed seats
  • Multicontour seats with Active Motion seat massage system
  • Intelligent Access with push-button start
  • Auto high beams employ a sensor to switch headlamps to high beam when the sensor detects no oncoming traffic
  • Rain-sensing wipers use an optical sensor to detect the intensity of rain and/or snowfall to automatically adjust wiper speed
  • Rear view camera activates when reverse gear is selected, projecting via the center stack-mounted 8-inch screen
  • Rear window power sunshade, a luxury-class feature that shades the rear glass at the touch of a button, helping to keep the cabin cooler
  • In addition, Taurus is available with other audio and navigation connectivity alternatives.

Safety Features

The new Taurus features a stiff body structure that contains much high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels, including boron. The new vehicle features the company’s Trinity front-crash architecture, named for the three elements designed to absorb and redirect crash forces away from vehicle occupants. Taurus also features Side Protection And Cabin Enhancement (SPACE) Architecture, which adds further structural enhancement.

Airbag restraints in the Taurus feature optimized tethering and venting to alter deployment force based on occupant size, position, and seat belt status. In addition, Taurus features the company’s Safety Canopy with rollover sensor. In the event of an airbag deployment, Taurus provides an SOS Post-Crash Alert System, and features Ford’s AdvanceTrac with Electronic Stability Control.

In addition, Taurus offers a complement of driver-aid technologies, such as:

  • Adaptive cruise control employing radar technology to monitor traffic up to 600 feet ahead, automatically adjusting Taurus speed to help maintain a safe distance
  • Collision warning with brake support, enabled by adaptive cruise control, provides a “heads-up” visual warning combined with an audio signal to alert the driver to slower moving traffic ahead. The system also pre-charges the brakes to aid stopping
  • Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) is designed to alert the driver if another vehicle is driving within a potential blind spot
  • Cross-traffic alert, enabled by BLIS, senses and warns the driver of oncoming traffic from either direction when the Taurus is backing out of a driveway or parking space
  • MyKey owner controls feature allows parents or fleet administrators to activate restricted driving modes. MyKey can limit top speeds and audio volume, provides earlier warnings and prevents deactivation of stability control systems. A new MyKey feature can prevent access to blocked satellite radio content

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet