Ford Motor Company effectively reshaped the American family car when they presented the Taurus in 1986. The Ford Taurus successfully challenged the rising tide of import-branded sedans and remained a staple in the modern Ford line-up since its introduction. Undergoing a significant enhancement in 1992, a radical new shape of the Taurus was unveiled for the 1996 model year. Employing curved and oval-shaped details inside and out, the look of the 1996 to 1999 Ford Taurus line-up received mixed reaction. The oval-shaped radio unit proved problematic for the select group of buyers wanting to upgrade to an aftermarket stereo system.
Offered as a sedan or wagon body style, the 1998 Ford Taurus featured base power from a 3.0-liter V-6 or a 235-horsepower 3.4-liter V-8 propelling the SHO model. For 2000, the Taurus was restyled in a manner that filtered-out some of the oval-shaped interior and exterior design features that proved polarizing to potential buyers. Adopting headlamp housing more closely resembling the Focus, a flattened rear deck lid featured new taillights. The performance-rated Taurus SHO model did not return to the line-up for 2000. Attempting to remodel the brand based on model names starting with the letter F, the Five Hundred replaced the Taurus in 2005 as the family sedan flagship.
As sedan only, Ford Taurus remained in production for 2006 and 2007 with the final year reserved for fleet sales. Deciding to replace the Five Hundred nameplate in 2008, Ford gave the Taurus a second life as the brands flagship sedan. The 2008 Taurus was propelled by a 263-horsepower engine connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. For 2010, the Ford Taurus underwent a complete restyling and resurrected the SHO moniker for a version of the sedan powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine generating 365 horsepower.