Ford Taurus SHO & Fusion Hybrid Named 2010 Urban Autos of the Year  

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The Ford Taurus SHO America's smartest full-size sedan has been named '2010 Urban Car of the Year' by On Wheels Media and an independent panel of 15 automotive journalists The Ford Fusion Hybrid America's most fuel-efficient mid-size sedan has been named '2010 Urban Green Car of the Year' by On Wheels Media, the fifth award for Fusion in recent months The awards will be presented during the 14th Annual Urban Wheel Awards taking place in Detroit on January 12, 2010

Dearborn, Mich., Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- This week, editors of On Wheels Media announced that the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO has been voted "Urban Car of the Year" and the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid has been named "Urban Green Car of the Year," a category-first for the annual awards show.

"The all-new Ford Taurus not only squashes its competition in road dynamics and style, but it may very well bring formerly passionate customers back to a nameplate that was once all the rage, but in recent years had become the definition of dull." said Kelley Blue Book's Beth Lear VanderYacht, who was also one of the 15 judges.

With its athletic, upscale design, the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO combines class-leading technologies with confident, engaging driving dynamics. It features an impressive set of standard and available technologies that add convenience, connectivity, safety and value for customers, such as Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with Cross Traffic Alert, MyKey(TM) parental programmability, Ford SYNC® and Voice-Activated Navigation with SIRIUS Travel Link(TM).

According to Ford multicultural marketing manager Crystal Worthem, this award is continued evidence of the wide ranging appeal of this all-new vehicle from Ford.

"The Taurus SHO is creating a tremendous amount of buzz within the urban market," she said.

"Since the launch of Taurus in August, we saw it outshine the competition, including the imports and we continue to see evidence of its appeal when it comes to showroom traffic," said Worthem. "Not only have sales for Taurus been strong, up 54 percent in November alone, but 60 percent of Taurus SHO customers are new to the Ford brand creating a huge amount of buzz within the urban market."

Finalists for the 2010 "Urban Car of the Year" included the Buick LaCrosse and Suzuki Kizashi.

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid "Urban Green Car of the Year"

There's also good news for environmentally-conscious automotive consumers. In addition to the award presented to the 2010 Taurus, the panelists have named the Fusion Hybrid as the "Urban Green Car of the Year." 2010 represents the first year that the "Urban Green Car of the Year" award will be presented to a manufacturer. "All three of the nominees are great cars, but while two of them are slightly improved versions of what they've been all along, the Fusion carries the hybrid class forward with new innovations and a significant improvement in efficiency and operation," said freelance reviewer Chris Jackson.

Ford Hybrid Marketing Manager David Finnegan says winning the award demonstrates Ford's versatility as a hybrid manufacturer.

"We are continuing to expand our portfolio to offer consumers a wider range of alternatives," said Finnegan. "Not only do we have the most fuel-efficient SUV on the planet with the Ford Escape Hybrid but we also are committed to being a leader in the car segment. The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid provides 41 mpg in city driving and 36 mpg on the highway, making it North America's most fuel-efficient midsize sedan."

In addition to smart technology, the 2010 Fusion Hybrid offers a variety of advanced safety features. The vehicle received a "Top Safety Pick" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and delivers segment-exclusive safety and driver-aid technologies, such as Ford SYNC(TM) with 911 Assist and Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert.

Further enhancing its "green" image, the Fusion Hybrid features sustainable interior materials including seats that are made from eco-friendly fabric and filled with soy-based seat foam.

Randi Payton, president and publisher of On Wheels Media said, "The Urban Automobiles of the Year resonate with the majority of new car buyers who live in urban and suburban areas. The vehicles chosen are cost and fuel-efficient and have performance and safety characteristics relevant to consumers in metropolitan areas.

Awards will be presented at the Urban Wheel Awards event at the Sound Board Theater, located in the Motor City Hotel and Casino in Detroit on Tuesday, January 12, 2010.
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