- Competes with: Acura TL, Dodge Charger, Pontiac G8
- Looks like: Ford is mining the past for marketing potential
- Drivetrain: 365-hp, 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 with six-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive
- Hits dealerships: Summer 2009
Last month in Detroit, Ford took the wraps off both the redesigned 2010 Taurus sedan and the automaker’s new twin-turbo V-6, dubbed EcoBoost. Today, the two meet in a high-performance model called the Taurus SHO. Super-High Output Taurus models originated way back in 1989 and had a 10-year run of brisk sales, generating a cult following in the enthusiast community. For some reason, Ford decided that just giving an EcoBoost engine to a Taurus — like it has with the Lincoln MKT, MKS and Ford Flex — wasn’t enough. It needed the SHO name, too.
Included with this high-output trim are some obvious performance parts, like the 365-hp twin-turbo engine, all-wheel drive and a sport-tuned suspension. That’s right in line with the competition, like the V-8-powered Dodge Charger R/T or Pontiac G8 GT, at 368 hp and 361 hp, respectively. However, with a starting price of $37,995, including destination, the SHO is priced against beefier versions of both cars: the Charger SRT8 and the G8 GXP, which have 425 hp and 415 hp, respectively.
Ford must be hoping the Taurus SHO’s standard all-wheel drive and better gas mileage will help shoppers stomach its price. However, Ford says the EcoBoost engine in the Lincoln MKS is expected to get 16/25 mpg city/highway, and that’s just one or two mpg above the Charger R/T and G8 GT.
Standard features like keyless entry and ignition, MyKey, ambient lighting and Sync all help with the value argument. MyKey may be the biggest benefit, as it means a teenager can borrow dad’s car without being able to test its upper limits.
We like performance-oriented sedans as much as the next gearhead, but with the price and performance tradeoffs, we’re not sure how the SHO will fare in an automotive climate that’s not too friendly to large, performance-oriented sedans.
More photos below.