Ford Motor Co. reportedly is set to rename its slow-selling Five Hundred sedan as the Taurus, reviving a marque that was killed off in October.

The official announcement is expected Feb. 7 at the Chicago auto show.

A Ford spokesman neither confirms nor denies the report, Reuters says, but does reveal to the news service Ford CEO Alan Mulally has expressed interest in reviving the name since assuming his post in September.

Bowing in 1985, the Taurus is credited with helping pull Ford out of one of its darkest periods.

Critics initially knocked the car for its bulbous styling, which stood out alongside boxier vehicles typical of the era. But the Taurus turned into an unqualified success, with many of its styling cues still found in today’s vehicles.

By 1992, the Taurus was the top-selling passenger car in the U.S., with 492,751 units delivered that year, Ford says. The Taurus remained the top seller until 1997, when it relinquished the title to the Toyota Camry.

Taurus U.S. sales totaled 183,248 units through September, according to Ward’s data. However, the majority of deliveries were to rental fleets, an unprofitable market from which Ford and other domestic makers have been trying to distance themselves.

The Taurus ranks eighth on the list of all-time best-selling cars in the U.S.

bpope@wardsauto.com