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.

Related Gallery2008 Ford Taurus X

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