Large sedans carry a whiff of anachronism in the U.S., but they’re still popular in China, which is why Ford chose the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show as the venue to unveil its redesigned Taurus.
This is the first Taurus designed with the Chinese market in mind, and while many of its features are China-specific, most of the design is expected to carry over to a new U.S.-spec model.
The exterior styling retains a bit of the current Taurus’ bulky proportions, but with a new shield grille and streamlined headlights that impart the family look of the smaller Fusion, Focus, and Fiesta.
At the back, the Taurus features LED taillights, with a chrome bar running between them to emphasize the car’s width. As with the Fairlanes and Galaxies of old, the longer, lower, and wider, the better.
Ford engineers also went to great lengths to maximize interior space, even redesigning the sunroof so that the two panels fold on top of each other, minimizing intrusion into the cabin.
Since Chinese customers who can afford it often prefer to be chauffeured, almost as much attention was paid to the rear seats as the fronts.
In China, the Taurus will be offered with reclining rear seats, with lumbar support and a massage feature.
There’s also a folding center seat that contains a control console for functions like air conditioning, seat position, and infotainment. It’s a setup one would normally expect on a Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Don’t expect these features to be offered in the U.S., although claimed improvements to sound deadening and interior materials could translate into a more upscale-feeling Taurus on this side of the Pacific.
In China, the Taurus will be offered solely with a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6. As with the current model, front-wheel drive will be standard, with all-wheel drive optional.
Expect more engine choices in the U.S. The current Taurus is offered with both 2.0-liter four-cylinder and 3.5-liter V6 engines. We’re hoping for a new version of the performance-oriented Taurus SHO as well.
The new Ford Taurus should enter production in China before the end of the year, built by Ford’s state-owned partner Changan.
A debut for the U.S.-spec version should follow before the end of the year, although the car may not go on sale here until next year.