Special Coverage

New York Int’l Auto Show

NEW YORK – The refreshed ’13 Taurus fullsize sedan will be the first Ford vehicle to offered two different direct-injected turbocharged EcoBoost engines, but it won’t be the last, says the auto maker’s top engineer.

Introduced to a small group of journalists here on the eve of the New York auto show, the updated Taurus will be available with either a 237-hp 2.0L inline 4-cyl. or a 365-hp 3.5L EcoBoost V-6, which also will be available on the high-performance SHO edition. A normally aspirated 290-hp 3.5L V-6 will be offered, as well.

The 2.0L EcoBoost, which will serve as the premium engine on the standard Taurus, will achieve at least 31 mpg (7.6 L/100 km) on the highway, Ford says. The auto maker does not disclose fuel-economy ratings for the 3.5L EcoBoost V-6 nor the normally aspirated 3.5L V-6.

Derrick Kuzak, group vice president-global product development, says the ’13 Taurus is in line with Ford’s long-term EcoBoost strategy, which calls for 90% of its North American nameplates to come equipped with the turbocharged engines by 2013.

“It’s going to come across all of our vehicles,” Kuzak tells Ward’s. “Absolutely, you’ll see other vehicles with two EcoBoost offerings.”

The ’13 Taurus also reflects Ford’s commitment to refreshen its vehicles at a quicker pace. The current-model Taurus was launched in August 2009.

The average age of Ford’s lineup is 2.8 years, making the auto maker’s products the most revitalized among full-line manufacturers in the industry with the exception of Hyundai, which matches Ford.

Ford will continue to offer new or refreshed vehicles at a quick pace, Kuzak says. “One of the biggest determinates of market share is the freshness of your product lineup.”

In addition to a new engine lineup, the ’13 Taurus receives a number of other upgrades, including a more muscular hood, larger wheels and tires, raised rear-quarter panels and light-emitting diode taillamps. All models will come standard with electronic power-assisted steering.

Torque-vectoring control, which applies a slight amount of braking force on the outside front wheel when accelerating through a corner, also comes standard.

The SHO is differentiated by a black-mesh grille, high-intensity headlamps, a spoiler and a “subtle” SHO badge behind the front wheel openings.

A SHO performance package includes a sport-tuned suspension with unique dampers and springs; performance brake pads and unique track-tuned calipers; recalibrated steering; electronic-stability control “track mode; a 3.16:1 final drive ratio; an enhanced extreme-duty cooling system; 20-in. machined and painted wheels and performance summer-compound tires.

Across the board, all new Taurus models will receive a larger brake master cylinder with revised booster tuning, resulting in a shorter pedal ratio and improved pedal feel, Ford says.

The ’13 Taurus is set to arrive in dealerships next spring. Pricing will be announced closer to the launch date. All Taurus models are built at Ford’s Chicago assembly plant.

bpope@wardsauto.com