Ford Taunus was a range of family cars sold by Ford in Germany and other countries. Models from 1970 onward were similar to the Ford Cortina in the United Kingdom.
The model line was named after the Taunus mountain range in Germany and was first made in 1939 and continued through several versions until 1994.
The original Taunus was a development of the Eifel and used the same 1172 cc four cylinder engine but in a longer chassis and a streamlined body. It was the first German Ford to have hydraulic brakes. Due to the war, production was interrupted from 1942 to 1948. 74,128 were made including estate cars and light vans.
From 1952 to 1968 all German Fords were called the Taunus, using the model names 12M, 15M, 17M, 20M, and 26M. The "M" is said to stand for "Meisterstück", in English "Masterpiece". Taunus was also sometimes adopted as the brand-name in export markets, particularly where British and North American Fords were also available.
The 12, 15 and 17M models had a straight-4, later ones a V4 engine. The 20 and 26M models had a V6 engine. The 12, 15, 17 etc. refer to the engine displacement; 1200, 1500, 1700 cc etc.
From 1962 to 1970, the smaller models 12M (P4) and 12M/15M (P6) had front wheel drive. All other models had rear wheel drive.
The following models were offered:
Smaller line: 12M, 15M
First generation 12M (G13) (1952-1959), 15M (1955–1959)
The first new German Ford after World War II. New pontoon body, similar in style to British Ford Zephyr. 12M maintains the old sidevalve engine of the Taunus, 15M uses a new and more powerful engine:
12M: 1172 cc, 38 hp (28 kW), 112 km/h (70 mph)
15M: 1498 cc, 55 hp (40 kW), 128 km/h (80 mph)
Body styles were two door sedan, two door station wagon and sedan delivery.
Second generation 12M (1959–1962)
Not a new car, but a rework of the 1952 model. All cars are called 12M, though both engines are continued (the car with the bigger engine is called "Taunus 12M 1.5 litre").