It would be poetic to say that the return of the Great American Sedan was announced as the speedometer of the 2010 Taurus SHO swept past the one-hundred-and-twenty-mile-per-hour mark with the insouciant prowess of a young Mark McGwire taking practice swings in the batter’s box. And it would be more than delightful to describe the way this big sedan trail-braked into an off-camber hairpin, smoking in sideways and providing my dry-heaving fellow member of The Press As A Whole the most panoramic view possible of the Great Smoky Mountains above the spectacular dashboard and sculpted bonnet while the steering spoke to me with crystalline clarity and the transmission snapped off two flawless downshifts. Or I could describe how, on a hill so steep walking it would be a challenge, the twin-turbo SHO squeaked its front tires for a nearly imperceptible moment before swapping drive to the back wheels and rocketing us up the slope with the force of a small-block Chevy.
The truth of the matter, however, is that I knew everything I needed to know about the 2010 Taurus when I was handed a floppy-looking interior door skin.
“THANK YOU, AND GOOD MORNING FOR COMING!” Huh? Mark Fields doesn’t read a teleprompter terribly well, and he would go on to make at least one more hilarious malapropism in the following few minutes, (“WE CAN’T WAIT FOR ALL OF YOU TO GET BEHIND… uh, THIS CAR!”) but it didn’t matter. With their 2009 press conference, Ford broke from the troubled domestic-manufacturer pack and ran for full-throttle glory. We’ve seen this kind of bravado from the Blue Oval’s Detroit rollouts before, but there was a critical difference. Last year the 2009 F-150 arrived in a blast of pyrotechnics as a quartet of Mustangs twirled smoking donuts , but this year the fireworks were silent, replaced by a determined confidence in a simply spectacular wave of product. Gone was the machismo and Toby Keith-fueled manic energy; the new Ford wants to be a great car company, not just a great truck company.
See the S:S:L 2009 NAIAS Day 1 Coverage Gallery HERE.
Ford debuted the Ecoboost Flex alongside the 2010 GT500 and 2010 Taurus before deftly sneaking the F150 on stage just before the end of their show. For a truck with so many early accoldades, they still seem a little nervous about it sharing the stage with a line-up that focuses on fuel efficiency and sporty driving dynamics. More details in our daily wrap-up article later this evening.
See the complete Ford Press Conference gallery HERE.