2000 Taurus Concept

[ Compiled by: Qwertz9586 ]   [ First Posted: October 27, 2006 ]   [ Last Modified: February 17, 2010 ]
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Provided by TCCA Member 03TaurusInOhio

2000 FORD TAURUS

OVERVIEW

"Our goal of the 2000 Ford Taurus was to build on the car's segment-leading five-star safety rating and add even more safety enhancements and features. We also took into account customer feedback and expectations in the mid-size family sedan segment and worked to improve Taurus' interior roominess, comfort, trunk space, powertrain performance, ride and handling, as well as quality and durability."
- Mike Zevalkink, Vehicle Line Director, Ford Large and Luxury Vehicle Center, Ford Motor Company

SAFETY
  • Designed for enhanced performance during crash tests and real-world accidents
  • New Ford Personal Safety System:
    • Dual-stage inflating air bags - standard
    • Crash severity sensors - standard
    • Front-seat safety belt usage sensors - standard
    • Driver seat position sensor - standard
    • Front seat safety belt pretensioners - standard
    • Front seat safety belt energy management retractors - standard
  • Ford's new Belt-Minder system helps remind Taurus occupants to buckle up.
  • Ford's unique head-and-chest side air bags for front-seat occupants (available).
  • Energy-absorbing interior trim helps absorb crash energy.
  • Special armrests are designed to better collapse during side impacts and help absorb crash energy.
  • Child-seat tether anchors in the back seat allow parents and child care providers an improved method to more securely buckle in child safety seats.
  • Emergency trunk release system - standard

COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
  • Power Adjustable Pedals (available)
  • Improved front and rear headroom
  • Increased trunk space
  • New Integrated Control Panel
  • Increased and improved stowage, power points, cupholders

DESIGN
  • Functional, customer-driven design
  • New sheet metal - only doors are carryover
  • Evolutionary, contemporary design
  • Four-door sedan in two trim levels: LX and SE
  • Four-door wagon available in SE trim

POWERTRAIN
  • Two-valve V-6 Vulcan 3.0-liter has increased to 155 horsepower and is available in gasoline or flexible-fuel versions
  • Four-valve V-6 Duratec has increased to 200 horsepower
  • Both engines meet federal Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) standards

DRIVING DYNAMICS
  • Steering gear valving improved for better on-center feel, more precise turn-in
  • Rear suspension includes revised strut valving with retuned stabilizer bar and spring rates for smoother ride and improved handling
  • All-Speed Traction Control combined with ABS available for first time in 2000

Ford Taurus, known since its introduction for setting new standards in the family sedan segment, continues to lead the industry in new directions - this time in vehicle safety.

Ford's redesigned family sedan makes its 2000-model year debut with new styling and becomes the first vehicle to roll out Ford's most comprehensive package of safety technologies.

Taurus was the only mid-size sedan priced below $20,000 in 1999 to achieve the U.S. government's highest possible front crash test rating - five stars for both driver and front seat passenger.

New Safety Features

Among the most significant new safety features is Taurus' Personal Safety System. It combines dual-stage inflating air bags with crash severity, front-seat safety belt usage and driver seat position sensors - all of which work together to determine the rate of air bag deployment during frontal collisions.

The system also incorporates front-seat safety belt pretensioners and energy management retractors to help ensure optimum occupant protection during frontal crashes.

A new emergency trunk release system - the first standard system of its kind in the industry - also is standard. The system helps to free children or adults locked in car trunks via a special handle attached to the inside deck lid.

Side impact air bags also are available. The front-seat side air bags deploy independently during side impacts and are designed to help reduce the risk of injuries to occupants' heads and necks.

Comfort and Convenience

Taurus becomes the first American car with available power adjustable pedals, which are designed to improve driver comfort. The brake and accelerator pedals can be horizontally adjusted up to three inches rearward from the standard location.

While providing greater comfort for a wider range of drivers, this feature also can help further reduce the risk of air bag-related injuries by allowing drivers to position their seats further away from the steering wheel.

Front and rear headroom is improved - and is segment-leading. Rear headroom is increased by 1.9 inches, and front headroom is increased by 0.8 inches.

Trunk space is increased by 1.2 cubic feet - with a deck lid that's four inches higher at the rear edge, and an opening that maintains a low liftover height while adding two inches in width.

A new Integrated Control Panel (ICP) for the audio and climate control systems has a soft-cornered rectilinear shape with square control buttons. The buttons also are arranged in a linear grid fashion for more intuitive use.

The flip/fold console in the six-passenger configuration now folds down flat to the floor, allowing better access to the lower part of the ICP. The five-passenger full-length floor console has a larger armrest and a larger storage area and an innovative, adjustable cup holder. An open bin is added to the front of the console below the instrument panel, with a molded compartment that's sized to accommodate a portable cellular phone.

Increased stowage and convenience features also include:
  • Cargo hooks for plastic grocery bags in the larger trunk
  • Molded map pockets in all four doors
  • Seatback map pockets on the driver and passenger seats
  • Second power point
  • Open storage bin in the center stack of the new Integrated Control Panel
  • Adjustable cupholders available on the five-passenger configuration
  • Rear cupholders featured on both the five- and six-passenger configuration
  • Passenger side console map pocket available on the five-passenger configuration
  • Five-passenger sedan also relocates the optional six-disc CD changer from the trunk to the console for added convenience. An optional MACH* 80-watt Audiophile Sound System with six speakers also is available.

Design

The new models will be offered in two trim levels: the LX Sedan and SE Sedan. The SE Wagon also is available.

While the exterior changes are designed to be evolutionary, the 2000 Taurus is considerably different from its predecessor. Only the windshield, side glass and doors are carryover. All other exterior panels and features are new - including a major revision of the rear portion of the roof, which provides nearly a two-inch improvement in rear headroom.

The hood is raised at both the front and the cowl, where a 0.6-inch higher kick-up at the trailing edge directs air over the windshield wipers. This reduces wind noise and up-flow of water trapped beneath the blades.

New, complex reflector, clear-lens headlamps have a larger, more sporty shape. The low beam lights have a sharper cutoff pattern and are 25 percent brighter than the headlamps they replace. Low-beam bulb life is increased 100 percent, and high-beam bulb life is increased 140 percent.

Wheels and tires are upsized to a standard 16-inch diameter. The bigger, wider P215/60R16 all-season tires fill out the wheel wells and give Taurus a wider, sporty stance. Steel wheels with bolt-on wheel covers are standard on the LX. Two choices of aluminum wheels are available.

A new rectangular backlight is mounted flush to the body for a sleek appearance. The new decklid is four inches higher at the rear edge, and its opening width is increased two inches. Trunk capacity increases 1.2 cubic feet to 17.0 cubic feet. Innovative sedan trunk features include cargo hooks for items like grocery bags to help organize cargo.

On sedans, new, larger taillamps with integral backup lamps are positioned higher and farther apart, increasing trunk space. The stop and taillamp functions are 60 percent larger, and the turn signal function is 100 percent larger for enhanced visibility.

Powertrain

The 2000 Taurus powertrains have been refined to improve mid-range torque and reduce noise, vibration and harshness. Two different 3.0-liter V-6 engines are offered in four configurations. Transmissions have been refined to provide smoother shifting.

The two-valve Vulcan 3.0-liter engine is available in both gasoline and Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV) version. The Vulcan is rated at 155 hp at 4,900 rpm and 185 ft.-lbs. of torque at 3,950 rpm.

This is an increase of 10 hp and 15 ft.-lbs. of torque, lending the 2000 Taurus a stronger performance feel. The Vulcan FFV version runs on any mixture of ethanol up to a concentration of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline (E-85).

The four-valve Duratec 3.0-liter engine is 30 pounds lighter thanks to composite cam covers and intake manifold, fabricated steel right exhaust manifold and a single exhaust system that maintains the same back-flow pressure as the former dual exhaust system.

The Duratec is rated at 200 hp at 5,650 rpm and 200 ft.-lbs. of torque at 4,400 rpm - an increase of 15 hp and 15 ft.-lbs. of torque, compared with the 1999 Taurus equipped with a Duratec engine. Other refinements include a tumble port combustion system for improved spark delivery, reliability and durability; a modified EGR system for improved flow control; and a new air pickup providing colder air and reduced noise.

As a result of these improvements, customers should perceive an increased performance feel and a quieter engine.

In addition, the Vulcan and Duratec engines meet Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) standards in California and the 13 Northeast states.

Driving Dynamics

Steering, suspension and brake refinements improve ride smoothness and vehicle dynamics while also providing a quieter interior.

Steering is enhanced through a revised boost curve and steering gear valving, improving down-the-road feel and creating a more positive, precise on-center feel. A new pulse suppresser for the power steering hoses helps quiet steering moves off of full left or right lock.

Changes in front end geometry enhance highway directional stability and reduce wind wander. Retuned front struts and revised front springs - with a 20-percent rate decrease - result in a smoother ride without compromising handling.

Rear suspension changes include revised spring rates - decreased by 12 percent - to improve ride plushness. The rear roll center also was raised 22 mm to reduce body sway.

The 2000 Taurus also benefits from extensive noise reduction measures. A new lightweight dash insulator absorbs sound from the engine compartment instead of simply acting as a sound barrier. The carpet barrier is twice as heavy, providing an additional 12 pounds of floor-pan insulation to reduce the amount of road and tire noise entering the passenger compartment. A new rear wheel well acoustic spray reduces road noise as well.

All-Speed Traction Control, combined with ABS brakes, is offered for the first time on Taurus. The traction control system significantly improves traction on split-coefficient surfaces, such as concrete and ice, particularly while turning, making lane changes or driving uphill.

The ABS uses Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) to optimize the balance of braking effort between the front and rear brakes and between the left and right rear brakes.

Standard sedan brakes are front-disc, rear-drum design. Standard wagon brakes are a front-disc, rear-disc system. ABS is standard on SE models and optional on the LX sedan.

Recyclability

The 2000 Taurus underscores Ford's commitment to the environment.

In addition to being available as a flexible-fuel vehicle (FFV) operating on ethanol, Taurus' gasoline engines will be certified to Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) standards.

The 2000 Taurus is 85 percent recyclable by weight.

Taurus also is among leading automotive users of recycled plastic. Nearly one-fifth of this family sedan is made from recycled consumer materials, including plastics, steel, aluminum and rubber.

Assembly Plants

The 2000 Taurus will be built at Ford Motor Company's Atlanta and Chicago Assembly plants. The Atlanta Plant tied for "Best Plant in the World" in 1997, when it received the J.D. Power Platinum Award. The Chicago Plant won the J.D. Power Silver Award in 1998 for plant quality.

Markets

Sold primarily in the United States and Canada, the 2000 Taurus also will be exported to more than 15 markets throughout the world - including South America, China, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

# # #
11/22/99
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