Ford introduced the 2010 Taurus at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit this January, and it was one of the surprise hits of the show. Ford had turned its run-of-the-mill full-size sedan into a sleek, sporty family car that would appeal to anyone, at any age. Today at the Chicago Auto Show, Ford showed an even sportier Taurus, the 2010 Taurus Super High Output, or SHO.
Ford last offered the Taurus SHO in 1999. That model used a Yamaha-sourced 235-horsepower 3.4-liter V8 engine. The centerpiece of the 2010 Taurus SHO will be Ford’s EcoBoost twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6, which Ford says will produce an estimated 365 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 350 lb-ft of torque at 3500 rpm. That’s ten more horses than in other applications of the EcoBoost technology.
Like the base engine, the EcoBoost V6 will send its power through a 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission with standard steering-wheel paddle shifters. The SHO transmission will hold manually selected gears longer and come with a "match-rev" feature, which blips the throttle on downshifts to match engine rpms and make for smoother shifts.
Also standard will be a torque-sensing all-wheel-drive system. The system is front-drive biased, but it contains internal electromechanical clutches that distribute torque to the wheels with optimum traction.
The suspension and steering will also be unique to the SHO. The electronic power-assisted steering system will be accompanied by firmer shock absorbers, springs, stabilizer bars and strut mount bushings all tuned to "deliver the highest level of road holding, cornering agility and steering responsiveness." At the rear, the SHO will use the multilink SR1 suspension design from the base Taurus, which allows the use of 19- and 20-inch wheels and tires.
For those who want even more performance, Ford will offer the SHO Performance Package, which will come with upgraded brake pads, recalibrated electric power steering, a "Sport Mode" setting for the electronic stability control system, summer performance 20-inch Goodyear Eagle F1 performance tires and a shorter 3.16:1 final drive ratio for faster acceleration.
From the outside, the Taurus will have some sporty cues, but will largely be a "sleeper" performance car. "Taurus SHO was always a stealth high-performance car," said Earl Lucas, SHO exterior design manager. "The new SHO builds on the expressive design of the 2010 Taurus, adding subtle cues that set it apart."
Exterior changes will consist of painted alloy wheels with either 19-inch Goodyear Eagle or optional 20-inch Michelin tires, a decklid spoiler, dual chrome exhaust tips and a special version of the Ford three-bar grille with parking-light bezels.
Inside, the SHO will get leather seats with Miko Suede inserts, a perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel, 10-way power adjustable front seats, aluminum pedals, SHO branding on the floor mats and the passenger side of the instrument panel, and SHO-specific aluminum appliqués on the center console, instrument panel and door panels. Other standard features will include keyless access with push-button starting, Ford’s MyKey system, Ford’s Sync entertainment and communications system, and ambient lighting. MyKey allows parents to restrict audio volume limits, sound chimes at 45, 55 or 65 mph and keep the electronic stability control active.
The 2010 Ford Taurus SHO will be introduced this summer, starting at $37,995.