Ford's Dearborn, Michigan design studio took the task of developing the new model. With today's consumer demand and strong competition, Ford wanted to stand out from the crowd again and target a place among the best in its segment.
The design of the new Taurus was done with fuel efficiency in mind, so the designers team joined the aerodynamic team to develop the car in the test tunnel. Their priority was to create a car that successfully combines aerodynamic and fuel efficiency with an appealing design.
“Even with the artistic license that comes with my job, I still need lots of help to outwit the laws of physics” says Earl Lucas, chief designer of the new Ford Taurus.
“Today, designers work hand in hand with aero specialists. Aerodynamic efficiency is so critical to fuel efficiency that aero engineers are consulted on every facet of a vehicle design” said Ilze Liepa, aerodynamic supervisor for the Taurus model.
Ford says thanks in part to this design achievemt, the Taurus registered a 0.33 drag coefficient that helps that car deliver EPA figures of 18 mpg city (13l/100 km) and 28 mpg highway (8.4l/100 km). The high-performance Taurus SHO, with its 365 hp twin-turbo V6 achieved a 0.32 drag coefficient due to aerodynamic fine-tuning. This helps the Taurus SHO deliver 17 mpg city (13.8l/100 km) and 25 highway (9.4l/100 km).
The various aerodynamic tests were accomplished in conditions of 70 mph (112 km/h) air threads and telltale smoke traces.
“Aerodynamics isn’t always intuitive and a really great aerodynamic shape might not be pleasing to the eye. That’s why we work together so closely”, said Liepa.