Caught in Dearborn: 2010 Ford Taurus Prototypes
We got our first look at the 2010 Ford Taurus a few months ago thanks to a little camera phone technology and a gutsy Ford employee. That lone photo may have been blurry, but it did show that a radically different Taurus is on the way. Now our spy shooters have captured test mules running around the streets of Dearborn, Michigan, and as you'd expect they are covered from nose to tail in camouflage.
Up front, it appears as though the 2010 Ford Taurus will stick with the corporate three-bar grille. Only the middle piece can be seen on this prototype, but we suspect the others are simply blacked out to hide the true design.
Comparing the light clusters on this prototype with the model caught in the studio, it appears as though there have been a few changes. The location of the orange marker/turn signal lights is different and the overall shape of the housing has changed slightly. The hump on the hood isn't anything to worry about, as it's just extra camouflage to keep the car's true proportions hidden from spy photographers.
Judging from its substantial profile, the next-generation Taurus isn't getting any smaller. The overall shape looks substantially different thanks to a lower roof line and high, rising beltline. Although one of the prototypes is riding on a set of Lincoln MKS wheels, another had a set of huge 11-spoke rims wrapped in low-profile tires.
It's hard to figure out what's going on out back. It looks like there's a spoiler hiding underneath the camouflage, but like the hood bulge, we suspect it's nothing more than another piece of extra foam jammed in to confuse onlookers. Another element of this prototype that's worthy of note is the design of the taillights. They appear to have the same vertical orientation as the current Lincoln MKS, so Ford may be using this design theme throughout its entire lineup.
Figure about four months until we see the 2010 Ford Taurus in full production trim. That's when we expect to see the official world premiere at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show in mid-January. Sales will begin in the fall of 2009.