July 4, 2022

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The Ford Taurus That Didn't Make It

The Ford Taurus That Didn’t Make It


From the June 2022 concern of Automobile and Driver.

Cutting down drag, raising innovation, and bettering excellent have been most important factors in conceptualizing the Taurus, as was proving to individuals that Ford was breaking absent from the vehicles of the Malaise Era. To realize these ambitions, the undertaking received a focused crew of designers, engineers, and entrepreneurs all doing work alongside one another. “The automobile was produced by 1 workforce, Team Taurus, from start to finish. This gave the product or service a cohesive glimpse and truly feel from inside of out,” claims Jamie Myler, Ford’s senior investigate archivist. That this notion was novel should really converse some thing about Detroit’s failings for the duration of that period of time.

The group journeyed into the windmills of their minds and came up with styles encouraged by neo-futurist visionaries like Syd Mead, manufacturing-structure guide for Blade Runner. “The aim on drag coefficient essential a tighter seem, with a lot less overhang of the bumpers, significantly less empty room in the wheel wells, and doors that wrapped earlier mentioned the roof,” Myler suggests.

Designers finally arrived at a wind-dishonest hatchback variety with a teardrop shape. In point, all early Taurus concepts were being hatches or wagons, evolving from Giugiaro-esque knife-edginess to hatchback blobs. A sedan was launched to give the motor vehicle a a lot more standard visual appearance, and in 1981, designers mocked up a full-sizing clay model of a Taurus hatchback (platform code: DN5). Engineering worries about the hatch’s destructive effects on structural rigidity derailed the design.

“I consider the early layout themes that experienced the hatch would have been attention-grabbing,” Myler posits. Consider just one of the slippery outré styles equipped with the Taurus SHO’s 220-hp V-6 and 5-pace. It could have quickly been a prescient competitor to today’s perform­ance “4-door coupes” this kind of as the Audi RS7 or the Tesla Design S.

Nevertheless, the motor vehicle that Ford settled on pushed domestic style far adequate forward that the Taurus stood in as a futuristic auto in RoboCop and Again to the Upcoming Aspect II. It also aged somewhat gracefully. “The innovative style was a little bit jarring to some,” Myler suggests. “But the simple fact that it wasn’t [entirely] redesigned for a ten years speaks to the popularity.”

Just Say No

This 1981 hatchback proposal for the to start with Taurus (underneath) was not chosen, but the aerodynamic shape and the doorways that wrap into the roof made it to creation. The Mercury Sable obtained the prototype’s skirted fenders, and the taillights influenced the 1988-1/2 Escort’s.

1981 ford taurus hatchback proposal

Ford

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