From the June 2022 difficulty of Car and Driver.
Reducing drag, rising innovation, and enhancing high quality had been the main issues in conceptualizing the Taurus, as was proving to customers that Ford was breaking away from the vehicles of the Malaise Era. To obtain these targets, the venture obtained a devoted crew of designers, engineers, and entrepreneurs all working collectively. “The car was developed by one team, Team Taurus, from start to finish. This gave the product a cohesive look and feel from inside out,” says Jamie Myler, Ford’s senior analysis archivist. That this idea was novel ought to talk one thing about Detroit’s failings throughout that interval.
The group journeyed into the windmills of their minds and got here up with designs impressed by neo-futurist visionaries like Syd Mead, production-design lead for Blade Runner. “The focus on drag coefficient required a tighter look, with less overhang of the bumpers, less empty space in the wheel wells, and doors that wrapped above the roof,” Myler says.
Designers finally arrived at a wind-cheating hatchback type with a teardrop form. In truth, all early Taurus ideas had been hatches or wagons, evolving from Giugiaro-Esque knife-edginess to hatchback blobs. A sedan was launched to present the automotive an extra conventional look, and in 1981, designers mocked up a full-size clay mannequin of a Taurus hatchback (platform code: DN5). Engineering issues in regards to the hatch’s detrimental effect on structural rigidity derailed the design.
“I think the early design themes that had the hatch would have been interesting,” Myler posits. Imagine one of many slippery outré designs geared up with the Taurus SHO’s 220-hp V-6 and five-speed. It may have simply been a prescient competitor to at the moment’s carry outance “four-door coupes” such because the Audi RS7 or the Tesla Model S.
Still, the automobile that Ford settled on pushed home design far sufficient ahead that the Taurus stood in as a futuristic automotive in RoboCop and Back to the Future Part II. It additionally aged comparatively gracefully. “The revolutionary design was a bit jarring to some,” Myler says. “But the fact that it wasn’t [entirely] redesigned for a decade speaks to the popularity.”
Just Say No
This 1981 hatchback proposal for the primary Taurus (under) wasn’t chosen, however, the aerodynamic form and the doorways that wrap into the roof made it to manufacturing. The Mercury Sable obtained the prototype’s skirted fenders, and the taillights impressed the 1988-1/2 Escort’s.
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