Thursday 26th December 1985
The Ford Motor Company introduced the Taurus, the product of years of engineering. The original Taurus was a milestone for Ford and the entire American automotive industry, bearing an influential design that brought many new features and innovations to the marketplace. Since its launch in 1986, Ford had built 7,519,919 Tauruses through the 2007 model year, making it the fifth-best-selling North American nameplate in Ford’s history; only the F-150, Escort, Model T, and Mustang have sold more units. Between 1992 and 1996, the Taurus was the best-selling car in the United States, eventually losing the title to the Toyota Camry in 1997. The distinctively streamlined car became enormously popular, lifting Ford to record profits in the late 1980s. The rounded “jellybean” shape of the Taurus had a strong influence on the designs of other car manufacturers in the next few years. The first generation was available with either a V6 or an inline four-cylinder engine and came with either a manual (MT-5) or automatic transmission. Like its exterior, the Taurus’s interior was ahead of its time, and many features originating from it are still used in most cars today. Its interior was designed to be extremely user-friendly, with all of its controls designed to be recognisable by touch, allowing drivers to operate them without taking their eyes off the road. For example, the switches to the power windows and power locks were designed with one half of the switch raised up, with the other half recessed, in order for its function to be identified by touch] To further enhance this quality, the car’s dashboard has all of the controls in the central area within reach of the driver. The left side of the dash curves slightly around the driver to make controls easily accessible, as well as creating a “cockpit” feel.