Facelifted version of Australian-developed front-drive sedan debuts in the Middle Kingdom with design revisions and a luxe new Vignale trim level.
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Ford has revealed a revisedversion of the car that could have been the new Falcon. The Chinese-market Ford Taurus has had its first facelift since going on sale in 2015.

Despite being exclusive to China, the Ford Taurus produced for the Middle Kingdom received significant input from Ford Australia during the design and development process, based on the local arm's know-how from nearly six decades of Falcon production.

While sales of sedans have shown significant decline globally – to the point where Ford USA has killed all its passenger models bar the Mustang sports car – such vehicles continue to sell well in China, where sedans maintain prestige, particularly long wheelbase limousine versions.

Compared to the recently axed Taurus previously on sale in North America, which rode on the company's ageing 'D3' front-wheel drive architecture, the Chinese-market Taurus is based on a stretched version of the 'CD4' platform that underpins the Fusion and Mondeo.

Key changes for the 2020 model year include revised body work to give the front-wheel drive sedan a sleeker and more upmarket aesthetic, including a new grille with chrome elements, new headlights with LED internals that incorporate 'dynamic' indicators, and a set of new LED tail-lights that are joined through the bootlid by a chrome strip.

The new rear lighting clusters also have a new signature compared to the outgoing model, while there's new alloy wheel designs to choose from.

Ford has introduced a top-spec Vignale version (pictured in blue) for the first time, too. Unique features include a special grille at the front, more chrome, a black-painted roof, and bi-colour 19-inch alloys that are exclusive to this variant.

At this stage there aren't any interior images, so it's unclear whether any major changes have been made in the cabin.

It's believed the Chinese model will be offered with a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine in two states of tune, with the more powerful unit developing around 245bhp (182kW).

The updated Ford Taurus is set to go on sale in the Middle Kingdom later this year, and will be manufactured exclusively by the Changan-Ford joint venture in China.

As for global markets, it's unlikely we'll see the Taurus exported from China to regions like the US and Australia.

Down Under, sales of medium and large sedans continue to drop, with Ford's own Mondeo struggling to make 100 registrations a month.

Ford specifically has committed to investing in its SUVs and pickups, particularly in markets like the US, leaving a cloud of doubt over larger passenger models like the Fusion and Mondeo – though Ford has said the latter will remain on sale in Europe and Australia for the "foreseeable future".

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