Ford Motor Co. continues to insist the new flagship Ford Five Hundred sedan will not replace the storied Taurus.
But that's only half the story. The rest revolves around the smaller Ford Futura, coming in 2005 as an '06 model. Collectively, the Five Hundred and Futura will replace the Taurus.
“We are no longer trying to fill the (midsize-car) segment with just one vehicle (Taurus) and end up selling half of them to fleet,” says Steve Lyons, president-Ford Div.
When the Five Hundred and platform-mate Mercury Montego go on sale this fall, they will co-exist with the Taurus. The new sedans are not much bigger dimensionally (3 ins. longer than the Taurus), but they are a generation ahead in terms of interior and trunk space.
The new sedans complement the Taurus, says Poole. They will be priced higher and the Taurus fills the lower ground until the Futura arrives to fill in the smaller end of the midsize-car segment.