• All Taurus models have improved braking, with a larger brake master cylinder.
• Torque-vectoring control, which uses a slight amount of braking force on the outside front wheel when accelerating through a corner to aid handling, is standard.
• Curve control, a braking control aimed at slowing the vehicle if it senses that a driver inadvertently enters a curve too quickly, will be available. It debuted on the new Explorer.
• Exterior styling changes include a wider grille and front fascia opening; a new hood, new headlamps, taller rear fenders, a new decklid, and LED taillamps. A rear decklid spoiler will be optional on SEL and Limited models and standard on the SHO.
• The SHO will be distinguished from other Taurus models by a black mesh grille, black sideview mirrors, SHO badges behind the front wheels, and new 19" or 20" wheels.
Of special interest, the all-wheel-drive SHO gets its own portfolio of improvements, including tweaks to its electric power steering and, most welcome, its brakes. The front brakes see a 19% increase in thermal mass capability and a 67% increase in the swept area. The rear brake discs are now vented and themselves offer a 53% increase in thermal mass, which effectively measures the rate at which the brakes can cool. "These changes give us huge improvements in fade resistance," says Taurus chief engineer Bill Gubing, "and also stopping distances."
The SHO powertrain, a 365-hp twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 and six-speed automatic, carries over, but the paddle shifting apparatus is different: "We re-engineered the way they shift," explains Gubing. "Each paddle [left and right] used to have the ability to go up and down. We got a lot of feedback from our customers that they really wanted one paddle dedicated to down and one paddle dedicated to up. So it's now more like a race car-inspired shifting pattern. The right paddle is for upshifts, and the left paddle is for downshifts."