The Ford Taurus is an automobile manufactured by Ford in the United States. Now in its sixth generation, it was originally introduced in the 1986 model year, and has remained in near-continuous production for more than two decades. It has had a Mercury-branded twin the Sable (1986–2005; 2008–2009), as well as a performance variant, the Ford Taurus SHO (1989–1999 and 2010–); in addition, it served as the basis for the first-ever front-wheel drive Lincoln Continental (1988–2002). It was a front-wheel drive mid-size car until 2007, and has been a "global" full-size car (built on the Ford D3 platform) since 2008, and available in front- or all-wheel drive since 2008.
The original Taurus was a milestone for Ford and the entire American automotive industry, bearing an influential design that brought many new features and innovations to the marketplace. Since its launch in 1986, Ford had built 7,519,919 Tauruses through the 2007 model year, making it the fifth-best-selling North American nameplate in Ford's history; only the F-150, Escort, Model T, and Mustang have sold more units. However, between 1992 and 1996 the Taurus was the best-selling car in the United States, eventually losing the title to the Toyota Camry in 1997. The 1986–1995 Taurus was built on the DN-5 platform, and the 1996–1999 Taurus was built on the DN101 platform. The 2000–2007 Tauruses were built on the D186 which was a modified DN 101 platform.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, sales of the Taurus declined as it lost market share to Japanese midsize sedans and as Ford shifted resources towards developing SUVs. It was discontinued in 2006, with production initially ending on October 27, 2006, and 2007 being the last model year. Ford had decided to replace the Taurus with the fullsize Five Hundred and midsize Fusion sedans, as well as replacing the Taurus wagon with the Freestyle crossover SUV. However, Ford revived the Taurus name during the 2007 Chicago Auto Show a few months later by renaming two new models that had been intended to be updated versions of the Five Hundred and the Freestyle, the "2008 Taurus" and "2008 Taurus X", respectively. A new model of fullsize Taurus was then released for the 2010 model year, and the 2013 mid-generational refresh (minor model update) was unveiled at the New York Auto Show with minor exterior changes and interior technology options.