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Ford Taurus SHO Testing Time

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[source: Inside Line]

Ford's Taurus Recovery Plan Gets Some Teeth

By Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing Email

Date posted: 06-17-2009

10.ford.taurus.sho.act-f341.500.jpg

First Impressions:

The Ford Taurus SHO returns with an impressive twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, faithfully following the same formula for a sleeper performance sedan that gave the original SHO its cult status.

  • Twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6
  • 365 horsepower; 350 lb-ft of torque
  • 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters
  • All-wheel drive
The 1990 Ford Taurus SHO was never really in Ford's plan. Instead, Ford had things lined up for a two-seat sports car, but the project died and the company found itself with a bunch of snarling Yamaha V6 engines on its hands.

Unable to send them back, Ford did what any hot-rodder with a pulse would do. It wedged the V6 into its mainstream four-door sedan, tweaked the suspension and beefed up the tires, and thereby created a factory-built sleeper, a high-performance car in civilian clothes.

Of course it worked. Sales of the 1990 Taurus SHO were surprisingly strong and the SHO variant earned a regular place in the Taurus lineup.

But an undercurrent of hot-rod cool is an essential part of the sleeper formula, and Ford broke the spell when the third-generation 1996 Taurus came out looking like a Dr. Seuss contraption from Whoville. Annual SHO sales slumped to 3,000 units by the time it all ended in 1999.

It's Ba-ack

But now there's a new 2010 Ford Taurus, with fresh sheet metal and a new interior designed to resuscitate the cool factor. And this time the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO has been part of the Taurus recovery plan from Day One.

SHO stands for super high output, of course, and the debate over whether it's cooler to pronounce it "S-H-O" or "show" will no doubt begin anew. Either way, the standard-issue, 263-horsepower 3.5-liter Duratec V6 found in the regular 2010 Taurus doesn't have sufficient sauce for such a car.

Enter the first production application of Ford's EcoBoost V6 engine. "EcoBoost" is Ford-speak for the use of smaller turbocharged engines instead of thirstier, normally aspirated ones of a larger displacement; a turbo-4 in place of a V6 or, in the case of the Taurus SHO, a twin-turbo, direct-injection V6 in place of a V8.

It's by no means a new idea, as one staffer we know well purchased a Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe with a turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-4 back in 1983.

New and Vastly Improved

But this time around the concept benefits greatly from two decades of engine control advancement and turbocharger development.

Each bank of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 gets its own Honeywell GT15 water-cooled turbocharger and electronically controlled wastegate. They're set to pressurize the intake charge up to 12 psi above atmospheric before handing it off to an air-to-air intercooler for additional densification. Meanwhile, a direct fuel-injection system squirts a fine mist of unleaded into the combustion chambers at the most opportune moment, further cooling the intake charge and allowing a healthy 10:1 compression ratio.

The result is 365 hp — just over 104 hp per liter — on 93 octane. Ford claims the system isn't running on the ragged edge, so even those of us in deprived 91-octane states should hit this number. The EcoBoost mill will run on 87 octane regular, too, but the output will fall off a bit.

You could argue that the EcoBoost V6's torque curve is an even bigger deal, as the peak of 350 pound-feet arrives way down at 1,500 revs and holds steady all the way up to 5,250 rpm. Turbo lag? What lag?

Lest we forget the "Eco" side of the balance sheet, we should point out that the new engine is claimed to use fuel at 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway — the same mpg rating as a standard AWD Taurus with the 3.5-liter Duratec that makes 102 fewer horses.

Power to the Pavement

No previous SHO could have put this much power and torque to the ground without wrenching the steering wheel out of the driver's hands. (In fact, the previous iterations of the SHO accomplished this feat with more than 100 horsepower less.)

But here the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO gains an advantage from the dowdy Ford Five Hundred on which its chassis is based, and that's because the new SHO has all-wheel drive. The Haldex system is nominally set to a torque split of 55 percent front/45 percent rear, but it can shift 100 percent to the front or rear wheels as necessary.

It also has a new six-speed "select-shift" 6F55 automatic transmission with shift paddles on the steering wheel. The standard SHO final-drive ratio is 2.77:1, but a shorter 3.16:1 gear is available with the optional SHO Performance package.

Our first taste comes in the rain on narrow, wet roads, but this only serves to highlight how well it all works. Acceleration is impressive, whether launching from a standstill or booting the throttle out of slippery corners. The SHO simply hooks up and goes, pressing our backsides deeper into the seatbacks than any previous SHO could.

Another IL staffer has driven the EcoBoost V6 in a Lincoln MKS on a drag strip, and the combination produced a quarter-mile run of 14.1 seconds at 103 mph. This makes us believe the SHO might be good for high 13s and a 0-60-mph run in the range of 5.5 seconds. Time will tell, of course, but the SHO might prove quicker than a BMW 535i xDrive, another all-wheel-drive machine with a twin-turbo, six-cylinder engine.

Bigger and Heavier

At the same time, the sheer size and weight of the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO flies in the face of the "Eco" part of this car's equation. At 202.9 inches long and 76.2 inches wide, the 2010 SHO is a true full-size sedan wearing size 14 double-wide shoes. It also weighs 4,368 pounds, between 100 and 400 pounds more than its AWD competition.

We were plagued by wet weather during our drive, making it difficult to judge the SHO's limits. It seems to follow commands obediently and remains bang-on the desired line. There's a hint of understeer and we get an occasional sense of the SHO's substantial mass, but the picture gains no further clarity from the electric power steering (EPS), an SHO exclusive. The EPS generates an appropriate level of steering effort in corners, but the buildup feels somewhat artificial.

Nevertheless, the body doesn't roll very much and cornering stays pleasingly flat thanks to springs that are 15 percent firmer, new damper tuning and a front antiroll bar that's 1mm thicker, but none of this makes rough roads tiresome, even though our test car wears the optional 245/45R20 summer tires instead of the standard 19-inch all-season rubber.

A SHO with the Performance package was unavailable, but its even firmer rear springs, even firmer dampers and larger rear antiroll bar should make the rear end more cooperative when you toss this car into a corner.

Every 2010 Taurus gets upgraded brakes, with larger front rotors, complemented by bigger calipers and a more powerful master cylinder. Measurements of the SHO's stopping distance will have to wait until we get a test car, but the pedal feels firm and sure in hard stops, while the enhanced antidive front suspension geometry keeps the SHO's nose from sniffing the pavement.

Equipment to Match

The 2010 Ford Taurus has an extensive list of available goodies, and the SHO's standard equipment list includes everything found on the top-level Taurus Limited, plus more. You'll find Sync, 10-way-adjustable leather seats with suede inserts, dual-zone automatic climate control, HID headlamps, dual exhaust, push-button start and more. It takes $37,995 to get in the door.

Of course you can get a navigation system for $1,995, and a moonroof, Sony surround-sound stereo upgrade and heated and cooled front seats are packaged for $2,000. Plunk down $1,700 more to get rain-sensing wipers, auto high-beams, a back-up camera, a power sunshade and a radar-based blind-spot monitoring system. Adaptive cruise control and massaging seats are also available.

The SHO Performance package arrives later in the year, but the price is tentatively set at $995. For that you get the aforementioned rear suspension tweaks, shorter 3.16 final-drive ratio and the 20-inch tires, plus tighter EPS tuning, aggressive front brake pads and a full-defeat mode for the standard stability control system. The 20-inch tires are available without the rest of it for $695.

What It All Means

Like the 2010 Ford Taurus itself, the Taurus SHO has grown into a larger, more substantial car with an options list that would flatter any German executive sedan. The EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 engine seems to be the real deal, too, both in terms of horsepower, drivability and thriftiness.

But there's no denying that the 2010 Ford Taurus is large and hefty at precisely the wrong moment. Whether that holds it back or not is a determination that'll have to wait until we test one on home soil in typical conditions.

Still, what we've seen so far makes us certain that the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO is by far the best SHO to date, and it seems to be yet another sign that Ford has its act together.

And that's no happy accident. Let's hope the current economic reality gives the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO the boost it needs.

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[source: Motor Trend]

First Test: 2010 Ford Taurus SHO

Adult Entertainment: The Taurus SHO turns 21, grows up.

June 05, 2009

By Frank Markus

In 1989, Detroit's sexiest and best-selling family sedan got a potency "enhancement" far more effective than the ones clogging your spam filters these days. So smitten were we by the performance-envelope enlargement a rev-happy twin-cam Yamaha V-6 engine and starchy suspenders provided that we actually described the Taurus SHO as "America's BMW." That may sound like the sort of hyperbolic overstatement one came to expect from a Craigslist erotic-services listing, but indeed most SHO track-test numbers approximated the BMW 535i's for well under half the price. While the SHO's restrained Q-ship exterior drew praise, the rest of the car was boy-racer brash-all snarling engine, harsh impacts, and wiggling torque steer. Over 10 years of development and 106,465 sales, the refinement improved steadily, but even the final V-8 variants still treated their BMW-taunting drivers to a cacophony of enthusiastic noises and vibrations.

Those original SHOwners are all at least 10 years older now, and Ford reckons they've outgrown wild-'n'-crazy sport sedans, so the new-millennial SHO is a suave sophisticate. As we noted last month, the entire Taurus lineup now sports almost a third again the length, girth, and mass of the aero-sleek original. Fortunately, the new SHO is nearly two-thirds again as powerful, producing 365 well-mannered horses and 350 pound-feet of twist (the first-gen made 220 and 200).

The 21st-century SHO's EcoBoost engine is just as cutting-edge as the 1989 original was, sporting twin-turbochargers and direct-injection (just like BMW's latest), and it's the first SHO motor designed and built right here in America. Modern materials allow the turbos to run safely at 1740 degrees, permitting the engine to operate on the ideal air-fuel ratio over much of its operating range instead of dumping extra fuel in to cool the turbos. Water cooling with a natural thermal-siphoning effect lets the blowers to cool themselves after the engine is switched off, so you can charge up the driveway at full boost and key off in the garage with impunity. Two small Honeywell GT15 turbos quickly spool up 12 pounds of boost without pricey variable-turbine geometry. That's the same pressure the EcoBoosted 355-horse Lincoln MKS and MKT make, but more aggressive management of the spark and wastegate help earn the SHO 10 surplus ponies-on premium fuel.

The engine runs safely and reliably on regular unleaded, but peak horsepower drops a bit. Torque does not drop on regular fuel-or on Pemex, or at altitudes of 10,000 feet, or during incredible heat and humidity, or if Mercury's retrograde (which it must be-there's no more Sable). That's because this over-testosteroned beast desperately wants to make way more than 350 pound-feet, but the powertrain controller reins it in as early as 1500 rpm to protect the driveline and maintains 350 to 5000 rpm (that peak rev range narrows under extreme conditions). Ford claims that this butte-eous torque curve gives the SHO a big real-world advantage over its V-8 rivals in the 1000-3000-rpm range where so much real-world driving takes place. Goose the gas and EcoBoost can often clamp the wastegates shut and build sufficient torque to deliver the desired acceleration without a noisy downshift, so it seems more relaxed. The 6F55 transmission gets stronger friction elements to handle the torque, and (hallelujah!) steering-wheel shift paddles. Pull either one for an upshift; push to simulate your best heel-'n'-toe matched-rev downshift.

A standard Haldex system routes that bodacious torque to all four wheels with great efficiency and nary a whiff of wheelspin. The tuning of this electronically controlled system is unique to the SHO, but because it uses a coupling, not a center differential, it can't send more than half the torque to the rear in dry conditions, so BMW-like driving dynamics aren't really in the cards. Torque steer is largely exorcised, though hard, full-throttle upshifts occasionally provoke a minor tug at the wheel.

Naturally the SHO gets its own unique spring and damping rates, anti-roll bars, strut mount bushings, electric-power-steering calibration, and big 19- or 20-inch tires. Standard SHO tuning provides a nice, grown-up ride/handling compromise and reasonable all-weather performance. For those still harboring some wild-child hormones, the "12S-SHO Performance Package" ($995) buys 20-inch Eagle F1 Supercar summer rubber, performance brake pads (clamping identical discs), 20-percent-stiffer damping, nine-percent-stiffer rear springs, and a bigger rear anti-roll bar plus a shorter final-drive ratio (3.17:1 versus 2.77:1), and performance tuning of the power steering and AdvanceTrac stability control systems.

So equipped, our SHO car felt far nimbler and more agile than its Rubenesque dimensions would suggest. The summer Goodyears stifle cornering squeal more effectively than a ball-gag, but their aggressive tread pattern generates copious road noise on the straights. Body motions are well controlled, and careful trail-braking can induce gentle slides at the rear with AdvanceTrac in its sportiest setting. The suspension cushions potholes admirably given the car's mission, but impact noise comes through pretty clearly, making the car sound like it rides worse than it does. The helm is nicely weighted, but with the front tires shouldering 60 percent of the load, little of the information they gather about how much of the available friction is being used at the moment finds its way to the wheel rim. In terms of numbers, the new SHO crushes all previous versions: 0.87 g on the skidpad; 60-0 braking in just 112 feet. Compare that with 0.83 g for the 1989 and '91 models, and 128 feet for the 1996 SHO. Relative to the cooking-grade 2010 Taurus, that's 0.06 g stickier and 17-feet shorter, and the SHO outruns it on the figure-eight by 0.8 second and that same 0.06 g.

The story's the same at the dragstrip, where the new Taurus whooshes quietly off to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, hitting the quarter in 13.7 seconds at 103 mph, besting the 1992 five-speed manual by a second and a half and 9 mph, and the base 2010 by almost two seconds and 12 mph. America's BMW? Well, it's about four-tenths off the 550i's pace, but that $61,225 V-8 sled'll be stopping for gas a whole lot more often, given its 15/22-mpg EPA ratings. The SHO is rated at 17/25 mpg, and a week's worth of our lead-footing yielded 18.9. Among the more likely competitive set, the SHO's performance is about a half-second and 5 mph slower than the similarly priced 400-plus-horse Pontiac G8 GXP and Dodge Charger SRT-8, about even with the G8 GT, and a bit ahead of the Charger R/T. Fuel economy greatly outpaces that of all those V-8s, as does the general level of refinement, fit/finish, and interior noise. Ford's flagship feels like a more mature, expensive car, with its piano-black console, aluminum dash trim and pedals, ambient lighting, and high-spec feature content. Its exterior is also probably the most restrained, with only wheels, exhaust tips, a subtle lip spoiler on the deck, and some grille and fascia details to distinguish it.

Probably our biggest remaining complaint is with the SHO's transmission, which needs sportshift logic in drive mode to keep it from jumping to the highest possible gear when lifting for a corner, charging up a hill, etc. The paddles don't work unless you shift to "M," and even then if you floor the throttle you'll get an automatic downshift, but yet the system won't upshift at the 6250-rpm fuel cut-off point (which sneaks up on you because there's no redline on the tach). C'mon, either be totally manual or allow overrides for both situations. Those are easy software fixes.

Bottom line: This adults-only SHO is bigger, comfier, and more laid back, yet better performing in every way than those sexier, rowdier 20th-century SHOs. The $37,995 base price-just $200 more than the last one, accounting for inflation-seems reasonable. And if you need to channel your inner wild-child, just grab your honey, crank up Nirvana on the 12-speaker Sony system, park somewhere remote, and adjourn to the queen-size rear bench.

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Worthy, prideful top of Ford's line. Amazing this is from the same company that just a few short years ago was peddling the comatose 500 as their Next Big Thing. A fantastic car, this.
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[source: Car and Driver]

2010 Ford Taurus SHO - Road Test

SHO got big: At a gathering of Taurus owners, the new SHO impresses with its prodigiousness.

BY TONY QUIROGA, PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFFREY G. RUSSELL

September 2009

Owners of the original Ford Taurus SHO, gathered at a Taurus Car Club of America track day at GingerMan Raceway in South Haven, Michigan, were slightly startled as they approached the massively high greenhouse and roofline of the latest 2010 Taurus SHO. "It's big, seems bigger than the last," one of them says while closely examining the VIN of our early-build test car.

The reaction seems about right to us as the new Taurus is a massive, 8/7ths-scale car that's more than half a foot taller than Ford's first super-high-output version of its Taurus family sedan. This latest SHO, which returns after a 10-year hiatus, has the same awkward proportions of the weird Outback sport-utility/sedan model that Subaru used to make, except that Ford's tasteful design tries to hide the SUV-like size and succeeds.

It's a new world out there, SHO faithful, but we imagine you already know that. Twenty years ago, your 220-hp SHO was the third-quickest sedan in the country, outrun only by the BMW M5 and 750iL. But today, most family sedans equipped with V-6 engines make more than 250 horsepower and are quicker than that first SHO. We almost feel bad for first-gen SHO owners because watching a V-6 Camry—with an Elmo sun blocker and a baby seat—pull away from what was once the American sports sedan must play hell on memories of what used to pass for speed.

What happened to the SHO? Arguably, the disarmament campaign began in '92, just four years after its debut. That second SHO suspiciously offered, for the first time, an automatic transmission. The 1996 Taurus SHO that followed was yet another attempt to capture more sales in the calmer waters of the mainstream. Speaking of water, that SHO was the one that looked like an automotive tribute to the noble lungfish. Weak, heavy, bulge-eyed, and—in that iteration—sold only with an automatic transmission, that last SHO before the hiatus seemed like little more than a cynical attempt to mine the scrap of credibility the letters S-H-O had acquired.

Even true believers have to admit the third generation didn't quite live up: "I bought one of the last '99 SHO models, thinking it might be a collector's item one day," a Taurus clubber recalls. "I kept it until I was beaten by a Pontiac Grand Am GT in a drag race."

Now, more than a decade later, a new Taurus SHO has arrived, and it's large, but is it in charge? And why is this new SHO so big? Possible explanation: After the Fusion came along to compete with the Taurus's previous rivals, the Camry and the Accord, the pressure was off the Taurus to compete for mainstream family-sedan sales, and as a result, it bloated into obesity. And racked by the news that its big brother, the Crown Victoria, had become fleet-sales only, the Taurus continued to expand, to its current length of 202.9 inches. What we now have is a Taurus SHO that weighs 4346 pounds—998 pounds more than the original.

Fortunately, Ford has added some super-high output to mitigate the super-high mass. For the first time, a Yamaha-built engine is not under the hood of a SHO. Not to worry: Ford's 3.5-liter "EcoBoost" V-6 makes 365 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 350 pound-feet of torque at 3500 rpm. The engine features direct fuel injection, variable intake-valve timing, and two small turbochargers that put out a maximum of 12 psi of boost. Power delivery is impressively immediate and like a small-block V-8's; a high static compression ratio of 10.0:1 helps eliminate any feeling of turbo lag. The engine gives no hints that it's turbocharged—there's no whistling, no waiting, no signs that intake-air molecules are being forced together like veal calves except perhaps our as-tested fuel economy of 16 mpg. Even at a steady 80 mph, our Taurus had trouble topping 20 mpg.

Throughout the day at GingerMan, we repeatedly hear "Do a burnout!" and "Light 'em up!" yelled at us. But the standard all-wheel-drive system of the SHO allows only a brief shriek of the front wheels before the power is sent rearward. The Performance package on our test car includes a shorter final-drive ratio, which helps the SHO surge forward with more authority from a stop. Launching it is easy: Hold your foot on the brake, raise the revs, and release the brake. It rips to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, 0.2 second quicker than the V-10–powered Audi S6. From U.S. highway speeds, the SHO accelerates into triple digits as if it were raised in Germany. But the 133-mph governed top speed—that's 10 mph lower than the 1989 original's—is a major clue that this car wasn't designed with the autobahn in mind.

While the engine's ability to move the SHO through space is hard to fault, the intake and exhaust tracts seem to have taken the credo, "silence is golden," too seriously. Even when revved toward the 6200-rpm redline, the intake and exhaust systems emit only the briefest of snarls. Few noises of any kind permeate the SHO's double-pane front glass and acoustically treated windshield glass. If it weren't for the constantly changing scenery, you'd almost never know the SHO was in motion. Suspension noise is almost nonexistent, and the sturdy structure is imperturbable. The measured 70 decibels at 70 mph was a surprise, as the SHO seems dead silent. Trust us, there isn't enough ambient noise to hide even the daintiest flatulence.

Directed in a straight line, the mighty turbocharged V-6 does help one forget about the car's two-ton weight. A turn of the power-assisted electric steering reveals a safe and obedient chassis. Steering effort is high (and is recalibrated in Performance-package cars) and the feel is one of numbness. Grip from the 20-inch Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires (part of the Performance package) is reasonably respectable at 0.84 g, and the SHO is willing to put up with track-inspired shenanigans until the smallish brakes start pouring out enough white smoke for Catholics to take notice. Though the SHO has 102 more horses than the family model, it gets the same brakes (Performance-package models get heavier-duty pads, but they can't overcome the overtaxed regular-Taurus-size rotors). The 174-foot braking distance from 70 mph can be credited to the aggressive summer tires on the Performance-package SHO.

With 59.5 percent of the weight over the front wheels, the SHO has the balance and stress-free understeer of a front-driver but powers out of corners with all-wheel-drive ease. No one would call this a playful chassis but, considering the curb weight, it doesn't have any egregious faults. Body roll is well controlled, and the suspension strikes an excellent ride-and-handling compromise.

"Since I can't drive it, can I push down on the body?" asks one of the Taurus club members, wanting to see how stiffly the SHO is sprung, "I couldn't shake it at the auto show. Wow. It's pretty stiff."

For those who get a kick out of removing chunks of rubber from their tires, the stability control has a sport mode that backs off the point of intervention; Performance-package models allow the stability control to be shut off completely, and that makes for even quicker tire destruction.

If you're interested in being in the right gear for a corner, the automatic transmission does have steering-wheel paddle shifters. Ford's system isn't our preferred right-hand upshift/left-hand downshift setup. Instead, both paddles can perform upshifts and downshifts. We can't imagine owners will have much use for this, but at least Ford salesmen will have some way to show off the SHO's sporty nature.

The SHO's interior is differentiated from the standard Taurus's via black trim along the center console, metallic-looking trim instead of wood, leather-trimmed seats with fake-suede inserts, and a steering wheel wrapped in perforated leather. The SHO has easy-to-use controls, Ford's voice-command Sync system, and an excellent navigation system (a $1995 option). Our complaints involve a restricted view out back, annoying headrests, and the lack of turn signals that give three clicks when tapped. The faithful have no complaints: "Looks as nice as the [Lincoln] MKS in there." We'd have to agree, which makes us wonder who would buy the pricier MKS.

On the outside, the SHO looks almost exactly like its lesser brethren. Subtle SHO badges appear on the trunklid and C-pillars, and the LEDs in the front bumper have a silver bezel instead of a black one. "Why couldn't they black out that chrome and maybe add some cladding with SHO on it?" we're asked.

Riding on base 19-inch wheels, the SHO is nearly indistinguishable from the SEL trim level. We like stealthy performance cars, but we have to agree with the Taurus clubbers who would like the SHO to have something special to set it apart from the herd. And cladding is never the solution.

Judging by the car's looks, SHO owners won't be showing off much, and that's okay. The letters S-H-O are still about power, but this one is mature enough not to advertise its speedy nature. Our office, sometimes referred to as an island of lost boys, is filled with editors who are psychologically 17 years old. Crippled by an unwillingness to mature, many of us liked the SHO but just couldn't shake the feeling that we were driving dad's car. Its performance and especially the excellent twin-turbo V-6 command respect, but its size, quiet character, overall refinement—and its $37,995 base price—put the SHO firmly in the adult world. That first SHO was a youthful car, slightly uncouth but fun in a way that appealed to enthusiasts both young and old and to buyers who had never considered a Ford.

The Ford loyalists we talked to were smitten with the latest SHO, but we wonder how interested the rest of the car-buying public will be. It seems unlikely that this SHO has the cachet to steal sales from the import brands, although it could find a place in the hearts of domestic car shoppers, especially with 300C owners looking to move away from Chrysler.

How about this, Ford? Give the Fusion the SHO's drivetrain. A Fusion SHO might just become the must-have performance sedan for less than $30,000. A Fusion SHO would likely be a bit less serious, more fun, and more like the original SHO.

DAVE VANDERWERP

Ford's effective advertising for EcoBoost is leading some to believe that its turbocharging strategy is practically liberating the planet one car at a time. I heard a fellow recently suggest that the much stricter fuel-economy regulations will be a breeze for Ford, largely because of EcoBoost. Sure, this twin-turbo V-6 is impressively responsive and whips up a meaty shove. But there's simply nothing "eco" about endowing a two-ton Taurus with V-8 Mustang performance. We averaged 16 mpg.

DAVID GLUCKMAN

Few will take their SHO to a track day, but that didn't stop us. It drove smaller than its 4346 pounds would suggest, and there's plenty of passing power, which I tested on GingerMan's back straight before dive-bombing a 2005 Taurus SEL into a corner (Quiroga made me do it). That excitement aside, the all-wheel-drive system kept things drama-free, with the only non-track-ready items being the brakes. They were given ample time to cool when we were black-flagged for our on-track transgressions.

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c/d writeup was cold. 5.2 seconds? awd? not enough apparently. jesus, what do people want?

the car with all options is too pricey. the car is too heavy.

mt got 18.9 mpg. why did the idiots at c/d only get 16? real world the mpg will surpass 20 hwy with normal driving. you won't get that mpg from the gxp.

so the car won't surpass the gxp, but is a match for the GT with awd to boot. oh yeah, the g8 won't be here much longer.

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c/d writeup was cold. 5.2 seconds? awd? not enough apparently. jesus, what do people want?

the car with all options is too pricey. the car is too heavy.

mt got 18.9 mpg. why did the idiots at c/d only get 16? real world the mpg will surpass 20 hwy with normal driving. you won't get that mpg from the gxp.

so the car won't surpass the gxp, but is a match for the GT with awd to boot. oh yeah, the g8 won't be here much longer.

I don't see why the GXP won't get over 20 mpg. I get that in my GTO in mixed driving, and I drive more like m/t and C&D do than a normal driver does.

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Probably an amazing car, but far too expensive - 50% increase in MSRP for an engine?

The normal Taurus is the car to get; even the old one with the base 3.5 did 0-60 in 6.8 secs.

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They were testing a few down Michigan Ave heading toward dearborn...they looked pretty good...

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I don't see why the GXP won't get over 20 mpg. I get that in my GTO in mixed driving, and I drive more like m/t and C&D do than a normal driver does.

Your car's lighter and has a smaller engine...

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Your car's lighter and has a smaller engine...

By 100lbs and .3L? I don't think that's enough to drop the fuel economy from the 22mpg I get to below 20mpg. If that were the case, the 5.7L GTO would be getting 24-25mpg in combined driving, which I doubt.

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I don't see why the GXP won't get over 20 mpg. I get that in my GTO in mixed driving, and I drive more like m/t and C&D do than a normal driver does.

all i know is the epa ratings for the sho are 16/25 and the gxp is (correct me if am wrong) is either 13/18 or 13/20.

so, utilizing the same testing procedures, the SHO gets like what 25% better mileage, all despite being heavy and having friction robbing all wheel drive.

the two vehicles were subject to the same testing procedure.

you saying your GXP can get even better, early prelim tests i have read already report MKS and MKT models with the same powertrain (but heavier) doing 26 mpg loops.

I would not be surprised to see a GXP with normal use get about 18 consistently. But the only time i would expect the GXP to surpass 20 would be a long flat highway trip.

i love the g8, but the SHO's all wheel drive and better mpg are major pulls for me. better winter traction and less money spent on gas. would prob tip the scales that way for me. Just don't show me the heavily discounted GT g8 that is 10-15 grand cheaper than the SHO. I could buy an extra G3 to have around for winter at those prices.

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Probably an amazing car, but far too expensive - 50% increase in MSRP for an engine?

The normal Taurus is the car to get; even the old one with the base 3.5 did 0-60 in 6.8 secs.

simple. wait till June 010 and get one before the model year change at 8-10 grand off list.

restrain from getting the fluffy options like nav, adaptive cruise control and summer tires (the freaking track pack is not even bigger brakes just different pads).

so maybe a 41k list subtract 9 grand = 32 grand for an AWD sport sedan with paddle shifter and a twin turbo 350+ hp motor and massaging heated and cooled seats. Even with a 7k discount that is 34k for a pretty awesome car. People spend more for far worse.

its pretty easy to predict the discounts on the taurus if you can wait. just see what the MKs discounts are right now.

it does disturb me that taurus starts at 26k and the loaded SHO is like 47. WAY too much price spread top to bottom.

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By 100lbs and .3L? I don't think that's enough to drop the fuel economy from the 22mpg I get to below 20mpg. If that were the case, the 5.7L GTO would be getting 24-25mpg in combined driving, which I doubt.

Um, at least 300 lbs and (since you've said that you have the 5.7) half a liter. The GXP uses the LS3 which is the 6.2L mill.

The G8 GT uses the 6.0L L76.

Edited by Lamar
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>>"...the gxp is (correct me if am wrong) is either 13/18 or 13/20."<<

Saw the window sticker today; it's 13/18. $1700 in gas guzzler tax, too.

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Worthy, prideful top of Ford's line. Amazing this is from the same company that just a few short years ago was peddling the comatose 500 as their Next Big Thing. A fantastic car, this.

+1

I like this car!

Chris :convertible:

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Um, at least 300 lbs and (since you've said that you have the 5.7) half a liter. The GXP uses the LS3 which is the 6.2L mill.

The G8 GT uses the 6.0L L76.

No I have the 6.0L. I was just using the 5.7L as an example, because it doesn't get any better gas mileage than the 6.0L. My car is rated at 16mpg, and the GXP is rated at 15mpg. I see no reason why it can't come within 1 of my GTO which would still put it at 21mpg in real world driving.

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No I have the 6.0L. I was just using the 5.7L as an example, because it doesn't get any better gas mileage than the 6.0L. My car is rated at 16mpg, and the GXP is rated at 15mpg. I see no reason why it can't come within 1 of my GTO which would still put it at 21mpg in real world driving.

Interestingly enough, the EPA has rated your car at 15/23 (18 combined). I couldn't find the official G8 GXP ratings, but I think they are what Reg said above.

You'd have to hypermile the crap out of a GXP to get a mixed driving result higher than the highway mileage... but if you're going to hypermile, why buy a GXP? :P

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Neat car, way to pricey... I could have a Charger R/T or G8 GT/GXP or even a nice CTS. Sorry if you get a Taurus base is the way to go.

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my vote is for an ecoboost fusion. a 2.5 litre 250hp turbocharged ecoboost with FWD only and 6 speed manual. sport suspension and steering and big kick ass brakes.

bolstered seats mostly cloth with a couple leather strips on the sides to make them fancy schmancy, a sunroof, nice leather steering wheel and shift knob. 18" wheels. JBL stereo with Sync. LOW price tag.

good mpg.

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local dealer had free food and a showing of the new taurus tonight. went over to check it out.

a white limited with tan leather interior. there was actually a large crowd checking it out.

this car is FANTASTIC. the interior of this car is unlike anything else. its not 100% lexus like, but its among the most desirable interior environments on the market at any price and quite honestly you can make a case for wanting to buy this car over a CTS.

my only complaint was the rear seat cushion felt insubstantial and soft and a little low and the leg room was sacrificed a bit over the 500. otherwise, seats are tremendously comfortable.

there is so much detail in this interior design and the shapes and forms are all cohesive and amazing. its like a big giant comfort cocoon. the trunk is still freaking huge too!

this car is an absolute transformation over the previous model and if it drives as well as the presentation and features are, should have no problem becoming a 10best for C/D as far as family sedans go. It will depend which group of sedans they want to bunch it up with.

the exterior as well has great presence and makes you wonder why the MKs was sitting across the show floor at the same time.

it will be funny to see how the LaCrosse compares with this. Yeah, chevy sells the IMPALA against this taurus.

LMAO!!!!!!!

Actually the interior of this new Taurus makes the G8 interior seem kinda junky............kinda makes the maxima seem junky and tinny.........

the heft and solidity of the parts of this car are awesome....wish hyundai could say the same thing......

Edited by regfootball
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