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click above for more high-res images of the 2008 Ford Taurus X

After a quick consult with some tea leaves and a few supplier sources, Jalopnik's Auto Insider is calling it: the Taurus X will be dead after the 2009 model year. While not a revelation to make you run out and stock up on bottled water, this possible early demise of the Taurus X is the latest example of how far off the mark the original Five-Hundred sedan and Freestyle were with consumers, and how Ford was ultimately unable to correct its aim.

The original 2005 Five-Hundred and Freestyle debuted to a slow sales start and were around until 2007, when then virgin CEO Alan Mulally made the decision to resurrect the Taurus nameplate on the refreshened 2008 models. Along with their new names of Taurus and Taurus X, each got corporate faces with three-bar grilles as well as the automaker's new 3.5L V6. Ford must've thought sales would pick up in earnest as the 2008 models were both more interesting to look and more powerful than the vehicles they replaced. But sales didn't pick up and Mulally recently announced another major change for the Taurus: a completely new version for next year that he calls, "the one we should have made originally." According to Jalopnik's informed insider, the Taurus X model is apparently not included in those plans.

It may be sad to see a vehicle cancelled that was supremely competent in most respects, but Ford's CUV lineup is already overflowing with product that overlaps, and soon the seven-passenger Flex will muscle in and demand some marketshare. Ford, of course, has not officially commented on the fate of the Taurus X, but if the tea leaves turn out to be true, we say farewell to the four-year-old CUV from Ford.

[Source: Jalopnik, Photo by Scott Olson/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      You never really see many of them on the road. Hmmm, maybe it's the hidious two tone paint job. Odd, I thought this would be a winner with the 'burban set. In other news, I rented a 350Z convertible yesterday. Fast but flimsy is my three word review. Also, the six banger felt really coarse. Granted it was a rental with 19K on the clock, but I swear my four pot A4 has a smoother engine. Not on topic, but I gots to share. Odd driving position too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Actually this is my favorite Ford vehicle in this segment. It's not pretty, but it's extremely practical. I'd recommend it over an Edge any day.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have one of these and I like it. Sure, it doesn't have a lot of eye-catching pizazz but it does what it's supposed to, carry lots of people and their stuff. The bad part (and the problem with many Ford products) is no one knows it exists!

      Friends and family that have seen it think it's a good looking vehicle but don't know what it is! I have a loaded Limited and they really like the interior and the SYNC/nav system. Let them take it for a ride and they have all come back saying when did Ford start making this!

      If the current iteration was launched 3 years ago I think it would've done much better. Also, a little bit of marketing wouldn't have hurt.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I am NOT a Ford fan. I would probably never buy one. But I'm actually very surprised this model didn't catch on. The first model had its flaws, sure, but this new Freestyle isn't much worse of a car than the Acadia. It's just WAY uglier...maybe that's why no one wants it?
      I think the Taurus X has way better comfort *and* better handling than the Edge. Guess looks and shape are more important to most people.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I did get the chance to rent a Taurus X it and despite it being boring it was pretty nice. It had a ton of room for the four of us and a bunch of our stuff. It also came in handy when I took a group of 6 to the beach in Fort Lauderdale for the day. It my be boring but its a damn good vehicle and one I would have to look at if I had a family beacuse of the AWD, the room it offers, and it drives and rides well.

      All in all I liked it and I agree it would make a nice Mercury.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I dono. I see a lot of Foci aound here on the road. It's not Aztek ugly, but then again the new Accord, that thing's FUGLY!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Finally, someone that shares my view on the Accord. I tried really hare to warm up to this car.

        Oh this is about the Taurus X. Good Riddance.
      • 7 Years Ago
      While the axe is hot, why don't they kill the Focus as well. That thing is hideous. When did Ford become so disconnected from what the public wants? Why does Ford continue to make MUCH better models for the Europeans and Aussies?
        • 7 Years Ago
        It may be hideous but sales for the Focus are up.

        Plus, after Ford's past experiences bringing Euro products here, they are probably a little hesitant on doing it again. But Ford's current Euro lineup is amazing. Heck, retool our freakin plants over here (whether they are in the US, Mexico or Canada) and build those products here. I am sure the cost to refresh the Focus would have been the same amount to just retool everything.
        • 7 Years Ago
        i Agree about the focus, Ford should have given is the same grill as the other models too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well, what does this tell people about the "hot" crossover market? Automakers have to bring their A game the first time. There is no second chance. Crossovers are a little too on the "fad" side. Not the IDEA of crossovers, but what the market wants. Look back at the Pacifica. Came out in what, 2003? Wasn't really a bad design, just light on power. Just 4 years later sales had fallen so much it got lost in translation. The Lambda twins (quartet) are hot right now, but what happens in a couple years when someone else has the next big thing?

      Bottom Line:
      Automakers have to keep products fresh and desirable. 4 year life cycles are going to be about the max if they want to accomplish that. Fuel economy must be continually advanced and innovation maximized, otherwise someone else will take your piece of the market-share-pie.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "Why didnt they give the Pacificaa the same body/platform as the 300/ Charger."

        Because Herr Schrempp was hellbent on forcing Mercedes parts into every orifice of the Chrysler product line. That's why the Pacifica, despite being a platform of one, used a MB rear suspension, seats, switchgear and other pieces.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Why didnt they give the Pacificaa the same body/platform as the 300/ Charger.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Thank you Ford!

      Smart move, now bring good cars from overseas....like the European Focus and Australian Falcon!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Remember how sharp the Five Hundred concept was?

      A very short time later it debuts. The sharp edges and horizontal lines are gone. Instead we get what, well, looks like a Taurus. And no one loved the Taurus.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is news because????

      No one at AUtoblog was aware the Flex would cause the X to become redundant?
        • 7 Years Ago
        That's exactly what i said a couple months ago! It should come to no one's surprise that the X will be discontinued. the Flex should have been raised and called the new Explorer. If Ford took the flex design and made it into an SUV, it would look like a poor man's Ranger Rover, which would probably make it sell very well. (think of chrysler 300 and Bentley)

        I have a feeling that Ford will be discontinuing the Explorer, and putting all its eggs in one basket with the Flex and Edge CUVs. I hope not, because that'll be another memorable Ford product killed off by poor management.

        • 7 Years Ago
        Mark my words, the Flex will suffer the same fate. The Freestyle was a great vehicle as long as you could drive it blindfolded, they just made the mistake of thinking no one would mind that it looks exactly like a station wagon. With different sheet metal it could have been the next Explorer. It is truly shocking that Ford thought a design like this would sell - just as they think the Flex will sell. This kind of gross incompetence is what really makes me wonder whether Ford has it together yet or not. My guess is not but time will tell.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well, you left out part of the story--with the Explorer concept shown at Detroit tagged as a BFI vehicle, that's why the similarly-sized Taurus X is redundant.

      And, since someone already mentioned Mercury, is Jalopnik ready to 'call it'--eg, the death of Mercury? Mulally's comments on the new Taurus didn't bother to mention a new Sable, did they?
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