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What Says: Ford needs a homerun with this Taurus replacement to get it back on the map of mainstream car buyers.

What We Know: The Futura is aimed directly at midsize sedan stars such as Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima. An all-aluminum 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine will be standard with an optional 3.0-liter V6 available. Both power plants will drive the front wheels and there will be a choice of manual, automatic or continuously variable transmissions. The Futura will also be offered with a hybrid power plant. It's the same system that will power the Escape Hybrid -- a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a 65 kilowatt electric motor and a 28 kW generator to charge a 300-volt nickel-metal-hydride battery -- which has impressive initial fuel consumption figures of 35 to 40 mpg in city driving.
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