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2007 Detroit Auto Show: Five Hundred Gets More Power and a New Look

NOTE: Since this was written in January 2007, Ford has changed the name of the Five Hundred to Taurus. This resurrects the recently dropped moniker of Ford’s once-top-selling Premium Mid-Size Car and applies it to the freshened and upgraded Five Hundred. Now, Taurus 500 would have had a ring to it.
2008 Facelift Addresses Power and Style Criticisms
When Ford introduced the Five Hundred for the 2005 model year, its package was praised but its 203HP V6 and bland styling took a lot of heat, and sales were not as robust as Ford was hoping. The facelift revealed by Ford’s newest executive, Alan Mullaly, at the 2007 North American International Auto Show, on sale in summer 2007, addresses both issues.



There is a far more impressive and substantial face to the new Five Hundred. The most notable change is Ford’s family three-bar grille, and perhaps the least important is the addition of side vents, some variation of which is popping up on nearly everything these days. There is a new sculpted hood and front fascia. Side-view mirrors are smaller, but offer improved visibility and reduced wind noise. The Limited adds more chrome, including on the side vents, door handles, and mirror caps. Oddly, the revised mirror does not add turn-signal indicators, a feature customers seem to appreciate and one that is becoming more and more common. In the rear, the taillamps and fascia are revised. Interior changes focused on a quieter ride, with a revised sound package. Ride is improved with revised shock towers, new dampers and springs front and rear, and a revised and retuned rear suspension.

New features include the Ford Sync option, developed by Microsoft and Ford. It allows users to integrate digital music players and cell phones to the car. Though Sync includes a USB port for playing music, it does not include a hard drive. Sync allows voice control of cell phones and music players, and can access cell phone books and read back text messages received on the phone. Five Hundred for 2008 also can be ordered with voice-activated navigation and in-car DVD entertainment.
The Five Hundred also gets Ford’s new 3.5L V6, delivering 260HP in this application, and a change that may be more appreciated by Five Hundred buyers than the exterior updates. This is the V6 first seen in the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX and MXZ. The CVT is dropped with the 2008MY change, leaving only the six-speed automatic for both front- and all-wheel-drive models.


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