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: 2013 Taurus, Malibu: Sleeping Giants Have Woken Up

04-20-2011, 07:45 PM
2013 Taurus, Malibu: Sleeping Giants Have Woken Up
Ford; GM Make Roaring Return to Sedan Game
April 20, 2011
By: Ross Musick

If there's one thing America loves, it's a comeback. When you add in an industrial success story, American laborers working with their hands, and some good ol' fashioned 'merican flag waiving, it's a recipe for marketing gold.

After ceding their strongholds on the auto market to Japanese competitors, America's two largest auto companies have roared back in segments they hadn't contended in for years. After Ford set the world on fire (there's a cruise control switch joke in there somewhere) with the revolutionary Taurus sedan in the mid-1980s, it didn't take long for Toyota and Honda to begin nipping at their heels. A disastrous mid-1990s redesign and falling public perception began to push people into Camrys and Accords at record pace. GM, similarly, let their sedan range slip and trail the class just as the imports were making all the right moves with theirs.

In the last few years, however, Ford and General Motors have brought themselves back to relevancy in the hotly contested mid- and full-sized sedan segment. Ford started this trend with their 2006 Fusion sedan; a car that was very good, though a little rough around the edges. GM quickly followed with a very well executed Malibu sedan for 2008, and both brands have built from there. For the 2010 model year, the boys in Dearborn updated the Fusion with a new look, new engines and an all-new Hybrid power pack delivering an impressive 41 mpg city. They also launched a nearly all new Taurus sedan slotting above the Fusion, including a rebirth of the famed SHO moniker packing 365 hp from a direct injected, twin turbo 3.5L "EcoBoost" mill.

Today, as vehicle life cycles seem to be getting shorter and shorter, GM and Ford are poised to deliver a one-two punch to their import rivals; unveiling outstanding new sedans at this week's New York International Auto Show.

2013 Chevrolet Malibu

The bow-tie brand made a big splash this week by unveiling their new Malibu midsize sedan in both Shanghai and New York. This new Malibu has matured the look of the already handsome outgoing model, managing to look a bit more muscular and refined. The 'bu also comes to the table with only four-cylinder engine options, which is almost certainly the future direction of the segment as a whole. The surprise for many with this introduction comes with the announcement of the new Malibu ECO, using the newly re-branded "eAssist" technology, which was formerly known as the Belt Alternator Starter (BAS) "mild" Hybrid system. The technology allows the specially equipped Malibu to achieve an impressive 38 mpg highway.

2013 Ford Taurus & SHO

Less than three years after hitting the market for the 2010 model year, Ford is already working to freshen the largest sedan in their lineup. The updates involve front and rear end tweaks, updating the infotainment system, and broadening engine options. The 2013 Taurus will now come standard with a 2.0L EcoBoost engine delivering 237 hp and an estimated 31 mpg. The carryover 3.5L mill gets a power bump from 263 to 290, with a mileage increase expected as well. For the SHO model, styling has been made more distinctive from the more pedestrian model, and there have been a handful of other upgrades as well, including braking and performance upgrades.

Logans Run
04-21-2011, 08:27 AM
Ecoboost is going to be the standard engine???

That will be a first for Ford

04-21-2011, 03:01 PM
I read somewhere that the 2.0EB will be an option...
...tho maybe a no-cost option like with the MKZ's v6/Hybrid?