The current Ford Taurus may only be two years old, but the Blue Oval folks haven't wasted any time enhancing its design, powertrains and levels of content. The 2013 model year mid-cycle refresh encompasses more aggressive styling tweaks for both the base Taurus and high-end SHO, and Ford's executives aren't afraid to admit that they've used the Audi A6 as the benchmark car in the Taurus' segment.

Under the hood, a new 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline-four is available in the non-SHO Taurus, and the powertrain is estimated to achieve up to 31 miles per gallon on the highway. The standard 3.5-liter V6 now has bigger stones as well, ringing up at 290 hp (+27). The disappointing news in all of this, however, is that the SHO's 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 has not been enhanced in any way – it still produces 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Sorry, folks – no 400-horsepower SHO for now.

Ford says it has fitted an upsized master cylinder to the brake system for improved response and feel, and the brake pads are new as well. From our vantage point, the SHO's brakes have been its weak link, so we're hoping these alterations result in a meaningful bump in performance.

The updated 2013 Taurus range is making its official debut here at the New York Auto Show, and we've just returned from seeing the cars live in the metal.

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