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Sneak Peek: 2010 Ford Taurus SHO

The SHO-off is back.

by on Feb.11, 2009

SHO-ing off all over again

SHO-ing off all over again

Who says performance is dead? Despite the “greening” of the automobile, there are plenty of folks who like a little muscle. The reborn, 2010 Ford Taurus SHO says you can have them both. Equipped with a twin-turbo version of the automaker’s new Ecoboost V-6, the new SHO promises to deliver high performance, and high mileage, as well.

Sadly, it’s been a decade since Ford abandoned the SHO, after selling more than 100,000 of them between 1989 and 1999. The original version was powered by a little Yamaha engine that owed a lot to that maker’s experience with high-revving motorcycle engines. The second-generation SHO, like the base Taurus, was a misguided effort, featuring a chunky V-8 that lost a lot of the original’s quirky appeal. And as Ford shifted gears, steering the Taurus away from retail buyers, into the fleet market, it abandoned the SHO version entirely.

Taurus SHO returns for 2010

Taurus SHO returns for 2010

Now, with an all-new Taurus being readied for launch, next year, the automaker is looking to revitalize its performance bona fides, as well. And what better way to do it than by bringing back the SHO, which makes its official debut during this month’s Chicago Auto Show.

SHO – shorthand for Super High Output – is especially appropriate here, since the new version is powered by a surprisingly diminutive, 3.5-liter Direct Injection V-6. Its twin-turbochargers help boost performance significantly over the Ecoboost engine that will make its way into more mundane models, like the Ford Flex. Under the hood of the Taurus SHO, the six-banger will deliver a solid 365 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed automatic gearbox with wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Twin turbos, 3.5-liters, and 365 hp

Twin turbos, 3.5-liters, and 365 hp

Better yet, the SHO’s all-wheel-drive system should ensure that all that power makes it to the pavement.

What’s surprising is that this performance sedan will be delivering fuel economy numbers in line with the base Taurus, and estimated 25 miles per gallon on the Highway, Ford estimates, though it will be months before the EPA issues an official designation.

To save you the time online, that means fuel economy in line with the smaller Acura TL SH-AWD, but performance akin to BMW’s big 550i.

Ford plans to offer a variety of performance upgrades for such components as shocks and springs, and company officials are heavily touting their new 12S Performance Package, which adds such niceties as performance brakes. And 20-inch painted alloy wheels.

Even more slick interior than the new Taurus

Even more slick interior than the new Taurus

With its minimalist badging, Ford marketing chief Jim Farley calls the SHO “a very stealth kind of a product.” But if it comes anywhere near the performance of the original, the new ’10 muscle car should generate quite a bit of buzz.

Look for a base price of $37,995, which comes in about $1,000 less than the current Chrysler 300C – thought that ailing maker is reportedly readying a new version of that big sedan, as well.

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One Response to “Sneak Peek: 2010 Ford Taurus SHO”

  1. Mike says:

    Call me a shill if you like, but I’m excited about this vehicle. I hope it’s closer to the original than the second iteration of the SHO.