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, 1700cc 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), 112km/h (70mph)
- 15M: 1498 cc, 55 hp (40 kW), 128km/h (80mph)
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").
Body styles were the same as in the 1952 model.
Third generation 12M (P4) (1962–1966)
Same size, but a completely new car. New body, new V4 engine, front wheel drive. The first Ford car with front wheel drive (second is Ford Corcel, third is Ford Fiesta). Engines:
- 1.2 litre: 1183 cc, 40 hp (29 kW), 123km/h (77mph)
- 1.5 litre: 1498 cc, 50, 55 or 65 hp (37, 40 or 48 kW), 135, 139 or 144km/h (84, 87 or 90mph)
Body styles were two door sedan, four door sedan, two door coupé, two door station wagon and sedan delivery.