A facelifting redesign for the 2008 model year debuted during the 2007 North American International Auto Show, but the Five Hundred was rebranded as the 2008 Ford Taurus, which returns that name to the Ford retail lineup after a one-year absence. The facelifted model newly entered the Middle East market as the Ford Five Hundred, starting from the 2008 model year. The previous Taurus -- which used a different chassis and was a smaller vehicle size -- was available in the 2007 model year for private fleet sale and in Canada, with no significant changes from the 2006 model year.
Available powertrains consist of a 3.0 L Duratec 30 V6 engine, and the choice of a continuously variable transmission or six-speed automatic transmission. Five Hundred models were equipped with either Continental 17" tires in the SE and SEL trims; the Limited trim featured 18" Pirelli sports tires. The AWD (All Wheel Drive) system is taken from the Volvo XC90. It is not a “full time” system; when as power is needed in the rear the AWD system activates.
The car was based on the Ford D3 platform (also known as the Volvo P2 platform), which also supports the Volvo S60, S80, XC70, and XC90 SUVs. This platform was used on the similar (and also soon to be out of production) Mercury Montego (which is not available in Canada), and is also the basis for the Ford Freestyle crossover SUV.
The Five Hundred was designed to match the large car interior volume, but at the same time still have manageable outside dimensions, while delivering a lower than average fuel use. Its design is also notably tall for a sedan, giving drivers a high H-point and an SUV or minivan-like command of the road. The Five Hundred's trunk was also larger than those of its competitors, so it can hold 8 full-sized loaded golf bags. Just like the Crown Victoria's, the trunk is 21 cubic feet. This is the largest trunk on any sedan sold in North America, and four cubic feet larger than the Taurus. Befitting its Volvo roots, the Five Hundred garnered class leading results in crash tests conducted by the IIHS as well as NHTSA.
Three trim lines were offered: SE, SEL, and Limited. An all wheel drive system was available across the range. Base prices start at US$22,795 (AU$28,883) (for a front-wheel drive SE) and range to US$28,495 (AUD$36,106) (for an all-wheel drive Limited).
The 2007 Five Hundred remained basically unchanged. There were no substantial styling changes and no new powertrain options, but the SE model was discontinued because of the development of the new ford taurus in 2008.
There is a new Chrome Package available, which includes 18-inch eight-spoke chrome wheels (Chromed over plastic spokes) and a chrome mesh grille. Also new for 2007 is a 5-year / 60,000–mile powertrain warranty, and arriving late 2007 are standard front-seat-mounted side air bags, as well as Ford's innovative Safety Canopy side air curtain system.It is claimed to go about a top speed of (110 mph) if the traction control is off.
The restyled Five Hundred sedan, which was first shown at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show has been renamed as the Taurus for the 2008 model year. The rebadging announcement was made at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show, and Ford employees hastily removed the badging from a Five Hundred on a rotating stand, and replaced it with Taurus badging. The Ford Freestyle will also be discontinued, in favor of the 2008 Ford Taurus X, which is similar in size to the Freestyle. The updated Five Hundred / Taurus includes an upgraded 260 hp 3.5 L V6, replacing the 203 hp 3.0 L V6 for the 2008 model year, along with new front and rear styling. The CVT transmission, used with the AWD powertrain, is replaced by the standard 6-speed. The Mercury Montego was renamed as the Sable as well.
The facelifted "Taurus" model continues to be sold in the Middle East market as the Ford Five Hundred, starting from the 2008 model year.