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Shanghai show: ‘Aussie’ Ford Taurus set for debut

Another one: The 2016 Ford Taurus has been receiving engineering input from Ford Asia Pacific engineers in Australia.

New Ford Taurus to share Shanghai show spotlight after Aussie shakedown

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Ford logo7 Apr 2015

By RON HAMMERTON

ANOTHER Ford car with Australian input, the 2016 Ford Taurus, is set to make its debut at this month’s Shanghai motor show ahead of its roll out later this year in China.

The large sedan – making its first appearance in the world’s biggest automotive market as the Blue Oval’s new flagship there – will make its public entrance just down the hall from the Holden-developed Chinese Chevrolet Malibu at Auto China 2015 on April 20.

The plan to unveil the China-specific Taurus at the show was confirmed overnight by Ford which says it is one of seven new Ford models to be launched at the show for the Asia Pacific market.

In North America, the new Taurus will be based on Ford’s CD4 front-wheel-drive modular large car platform that also underpins the new Mondeo mid-sizer which makes its Australian debut this weekThe Chinese version is thought to be a separate model, developed in part at Australia’s Ford Asia Pacific design and engineering centres in Victoria to suit Chinese tastes and prices.

This is the same car that GoAuto captured in scoop photographs taken on public roads between Ford’s You Yangs proving ground and its engineering centre at Geelong last August, and which has been in regular testing in the area ever since.

Ford China CEO John Lawler said in a statement released in China overnight that his company was looking forward to taking the wraps off seven new vehicles for customers in China.

“With the new Ford Taurus, our Ford Performance vehicles, and a few other surprises, there will truly be something for everyone,” he said.

The previous Ford Taurus was built on an old Volvo S80 platform dating from the era when Ford owned the Swedish brand.

Despite the Australian connection, the Taurus is not slated to enter the Australian market as a replacement for the locally made Falcon large sedan when the latter goes out of production in about 18 months.

Ford Australia is on the record as saying the new Mondeo – sold in the United States as the Fusion – will be biggest passenger sedan offered in local Ford showrooms once the Falcon moves on.

The new Taurus is expected to be unveiled at a special Ford event on April 18 – two days ahead of the opening media day for the show.

It is the second consecutive year that Ford’s Australian team has been front and centre at the annual Chinese auto show that alternates annually between Beijing and Shanghai.

Last year it was the unveiling of the new Focus-based Escort that was designed and developed in Melbourne.

While Ford will be showing the Australian-fettled Taurus at Shanghai, rival General Motors will also be pulling the satin covers from their own Aussie-developed vehicle, the Chevrolet Malibu.

As GoAuto reported last week, the Chinese-version of the Malibu – a remake of the current model – had input from GM Holden’s design and engineering team.

Development “mules” were photographed by a GoAuto reader in shake-down testing on Melbourne roads last year.

Ford is also preparing to display the Ford GT and Focus ST and RS at the Shanghai show.

Ford Motor China also has announced that it has opened a new plant in eastern China, capable of building 250,000 units a year.

The plant – Ford’s sixth in its partnership with Chinese motor company Changan – will start production with the Edge SUV.

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