* The 2013 Ford Taurus ad campaign television spots debut this week, aiming to surprise car buyers in the same way participating engineers were surprised

* The spots center around Taurus engineers sharing hot laps on a curvy, hilly California racetrack with NASCAR driver Carl Edwards

* The series of commercials aims to demonstrate Taurus capability under extreme closed-course conditions, showing how the car has evolved from practical transportation to an authentic, athletic sport sedan

Nine Ford engineers received the surprise of a lifetime when they arrived at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., in January to shoot what they thought was a straightforward television commercial for the 2013 Ford Taurus. Instead, they got a rare opportunity to experience firsthand how Ford’s flagship sedan performs under very extreme driving conditions with none other than famed NASCAR driver Carl Edwards behind the wheel.

All of the action and excitement was captured on tape and will air in the form of 30-second national television commercials beginning April 2. Longer digital versions of the spots and additional content will be featured at www.ford.com/Taurus.

Edwards was gunning a 2013 Taurus SHO — equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine — to speeds up to 120 mph, smoking the tires around tight curves and tearing up the straightaway. All of the engineers arrived thinking they would be asked to talk about Taurus technologies, but instead took hot lap turns in the passenger’s seat.