A decade ago, the Ford Taurus was a controversial car and a big gamble for its builder. Its aerodynamic exterior was a total departure from anything else being built in Detroit at the time. By today's standards, that same shape looks conservative and familiar. And so once again, Ford is taking a big chance in a high-stakes game with the 1996 Taurus, which is generating every bit as much controversy as its 1986 forebear. Though similar in concept and packaging to other current midsize sedans, it has once again been sent down a new and radical styling path. Will competitors--and customers--follow once again? Whatever the outcome, Ford gets high marks for taking design risks in an arena filled with ho-hum shapes that are frequently hard to tell apart.
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