IIHS hearts Ford Taurus X, Top Safety Pick awarded

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With Ford's new safety-centric campaign for the Taurus underway, it's looking like we should probably get ready for the Oval to stay on-message regarding erstwhile Freestyle as well. After all, the Ford Taurus X wagon crossover equaled its sedan brother's five-star ratings in NHTSA crash testing, and today comes word from the automaker that the Taurus X has received a sloppy, wet smooch from the IIHS as well after the car earned the organization's Top Safety Pick label. The Taurus X scored a "Good" rating (that's the highest one it can receive) in the IIHS's crash test regimen, something that the automaker's sure to tout when it advertises the refreshed and renamed family truckster.

Ford's PR is pasted after the jump.

[Sources: Ford, IIHS]

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* The 2008 Ford Taurus X crossover earns a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for achieving the highest available individual ratings in front-, side- and rear-impact crash protection.
* Taurus X is rated the safest 7-passenger crossover in America, having earned both a Top Safety Pick from IIHS and the highest five-star crash test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
* Ford and Volvo engineers worked together to create this vehicle's innovative structure, featuring crush zones that transfer energy around the passenger compartment.
* Outstanding value and safety combine to make Taurus X, Taurus and Sable three of the best choices for safety-conscious consumers looking for full-size family vehicles.

DEARBORN, Mich., June 25, 2007 – The 2008 Ford Taurus X crossover will arrive in showrooms this summer bearing both a Top Safety Pick rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the government's highest five-star rash test ratings.

The IIHS Top Safety Pick rating can only be earned by vehicles that achieve the best-available safety performance in front, side and rear collisions and offer electronic stability control. In addition to its Top Safety Pick designation, Taurus X is among a small group of vehicles in the mid-size SUV category to also earn five-star crash test performance from NHTSA.

"It's a true testament to the safety engineering of the Taurus X crossover and the Taurus and Sable family cars that they achieved top crash test ratings from both IIHS and NHTSA," said Sue Cischke, senior vice president of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering, Ford Motor Company. "Ford and Volvo worked together to leverage our technical and intellectual resources to create an outstanding vehicle architecture. Now all three vehicles are better than ever. They offer it all: safety, power, spaciousness and comfort at a great value."

The Insurance Institute gave all three Chicago-built vehicles its highest rear impact rating for offering effective protection against neck injuries, as well as its highest front and side impact ratings for withstanding intrusion into the occupant compartment.

The structure of the Taurus X, Taurus and Sable family cars are engineered with crush zones designed to direct excess energy around the passenger compartment into a high-strength safety cage. An innovative cross-car beam "SPACETM Architecture" under the front seats reinforces the structure between the B-pillars, which helps direct energy away from passengers.

All three vehicles offer an industry-first, two-row Safety Canopy™ side air bag system that not only enhances protection in side-impact collisions, but also deploys in rollover accidents. Side-impact protection comes from a combination of air bag technology and structural features that help safeguard occupants by channeling crash energy away from the passenger compartment.

An advanced air bag controller uses front passenger classification sensing to determine if the seat is occupied, and if so, whether the passenger is a large or small person. Air bag deployment is tailored – or altogether suppressed – to help provide an appropriate level of protection. The lower anchors and tethers for children, or LATCH system, provide mounting points for compatible child seats in the second row.

Taurus X comes with standard AdvanceTrac® electronic stability control and available all-wheel drive to provide drivers with a more confident ride and better handling in all weather conditions. All Ford, Lincoln and Mercury retail cars and trucks will have standard electronic stability control by the end of 2009. It is currently standard on nearly all Ford sport utility and crossover vehicles.

Ford Motor Company and its global brands have built more than 4 million vehicles globally with electronic stability control systems.

"We believe our electronic stability control systems enhance vehicle safety by helping the driver prevent many accidents in the first place," Cischke said. "Making families safer is a key part of our pledge to drive safety innovation."

The 2008 Ford Taurus X pricing starts at $27, 365 including $750 destination and delivery (MSRP).

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 260,000 employees and about 100 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.fordvehicles.com.

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