By on June 13, 2009

We’ve been quite vocal in our opinion of “Car of the Year” awards such as those sold handed out every year by Motor Trend. Even worse are those awards bestowed by non-automotive rags where a COTY announcement ranks right up there with their pronouncements of the years trendiest sunglasses or the best place for killer mojitos. Yet, for whatever reason, Esquire has decided the world needs yet another of these useless (to everyone but their advertising department) awards.

At least “the magazine for men” is up front about their selection criteria and admits “picking a car of the year is not a scientific business.” They have their “own set of priorities.” They explain a Car of the Year “should be able to stir the ol’ loins . . . it should also be attainable for most men . . . be sharp enough to impress a date and restrained enough to park next to your boss . . . [be] thrilling but not profligate, handsome but not faddish . . . [and] fulfill the mundane, practical needs of year-round transportation but also pack enough beans under the hood to give you a queasy feeling when you realize the guy in the Porsche is instigating a race.”

So their selection criteria are totally arbitrary yet are things to which a pistonhead can relate. Fair ’nuff. However, the one criterion that you’d think essential is missing: that you can actually buy one. Their “first ever” COTY? The 2010 Ford Taurus SHO. That’s right. They gave an award for the best car you can buy to a car that isn’t even for sale yet. The 2010 Taurus won’t be seen in the showrooms (SHOrooms?) until some time next month. But hey! Once it’s there, it’ll have a ready-made advertising campaign; a state of affairs that I suspect also applies to Esquire. Whatta deal!

[TTAC welcomes former Managing Editor Frank Williams back to the autoblogosphere.]

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62 Comments on “Just What the World Needs—Another COTY Award...”


  • avatar
    jnik

    I understand it just edged out the Buick LaCrosse and the Chevy Volt.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    It’s a nice looking car with decent power and AWD, so I’d take it any day of the week over 300, Allure, Lucern, DTS, STS, Avalon, RL or whatever else at that class (upcoming 5-Series excluded).

  • avatar
    tooling designer

    That is one fine looking Ford

  • avatar
    educatordan

    Yeah the Ford Taurus SHO is still a better choice than when (hmmmmmmm….. was it Car and Driver or Motor Trend) made the Caprice LTZ COTY.

    A few years later the Impala SS would have been at least worthy of consideration but Caprice LTZ?

  • avatar
    jybt

    I have seen two 2010 LaCrosses driving around here in my Detroit vacation…plus one CTS Wagon and one 2010 Equinox.

  • avatar

    The Chrysler 300C has more power and more interior space. Despite the dull interior and the outdated exterior, if you just wanted a car that gave you maximum space and comfort, the 300 is the way to go.

    Depending how big the new Buick is, I’d consider that too.

  • avatar

    this is thrilling news.

  • avatar

    @jnik

    +1

    Lol

  • avatar
    long126mike

    I like the look of the new Taurus. I don’t even understand why the current one doesn’t sell well – it’s a nice car.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    So they gave the award to a bloated, over-powered, underselling car? Are people really going to buy this thing? The only good thing I see here is it looks like Ford FINALLY is headed a new direction with their front ends.

    I smell a Ford sponsored magazine award……

  • avatar
    dolo54

    well I hate esquire, the magazine for men who want to stay in the closet or something, but that’s kind of a cool pick. I wish it wasn’t quite so dull looking myself, but appreciate what they’ve done there. by their stated criteria, that seems the perfect choice in cars.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    There are far better cars out there for far less money. The G8 GT comes to mind. Same power, proper engine, proper drive wheels, and could be had NEW for $32K.

    Ford, for some reason, is charging outrageous prices for their products, and this Taurus is no different. The SHO will START at $38K, and can be optioned up to a whopping $45K…for a V6, FWD-based drive system, Sony stereo, looks like a Camry, and so-so fuel mileage.

    For that kind of money, you could buy a G8 GXP…and still have cash left over for some performance mods…or, you could spend an additional $1,325 and get a GT500.

    I don’t even understand why the current one doesn’t sell well – it’s a nice car.

    Three reasons:

    1. It has the D3 curse…nothing on that platform sells worth a damn…and it’s a money pit for Ford.

    2. It’s name. When people hear Taurus, they think if that unrefined POS that they rented at the airport. Brilliant Big Al…brilliant.

    3. At that time, Ford forgot what ‘advertising’ was.

  • avatar
    kovachian

    Flashpoint: if maximum space and comfort were all that mattered, that’s a compelling reason to just buy an old conversion van and be done with it. Otherwise you may be missing the SHO’s point, because a shopper who’s intrigued by an all-wheel-drive twin-turbo sedan likely won’t see much merit in a 300.

  • avatar
    long126mike

    @P71_CrownVic

    You’re right, of course.

    I just think if more people drove it, they’d like it. Plenty of power, extremely spacious, very comfortable. Calling it the “Five Hundred” obviously didn’t work, so I’m not clear what they should have renamed it.

    It’s funny you mention the G8, because Pontiac has the same issues with that and the GTO which preceded it. The latter had the right name, but Accord Coupe-like packaging. Ugh. The former has a lame name and it looks like a fat Grand Am.

    You’re also right about the SHO’s price – way too high. Base Taurus is low 20s for a decent, if uninspiring, package.

  • avatar

    long126mike : You’re also right about the SHO’s price – way too high. Base Taurus is low 20s for a decent, if uninspiring, package.

    The 2010 model starts at around 25k, IIRC. Which is one way to make a car sell better: add more quality parts, raise the price and hope for the best.

    I never thought I’d hear the words Taurus + Esquire magazine go hand-in-hand. Then again if Conan kept his SHO and gets some laughs by driving it around in Hollywood, anything is possible.

  • avatar
    long126mike

    The original SHO was cool in its day. A Yamaha engine? 220 hp? That was pretty rockin’ for a full-size family sedan at the time.

    The formula seems to have had appeal, as every modern V6 Accord, Camry, and Altima all have performance numbers quite similar to first gen SHOs.

  • avatar
    CarPerson

    Yes I know, we can all fix Ford’s problems better and faster than Ford, but…

    Ford needs to send a whole bunch of people somewhere to learn what Brand Management is. They are beyond totally clueless on this and it is the cornerstone of product sales.

    Calling the full-size car the “500” was close, but alas, a miss. It should have had “Galaxy 500” on the trunk deck.

    Ford needs to disband that all-powerful committee that apparently is tasked by the BOD, CEO, and CFO to take $200 (Ford’s cost) out of a new car with the objective of inflicting $2,000 damage to the fit, finish, NVH, and other refinement.

    The 500 was just killed by what happened to it. It could have been one of Ford’s top successes but it was murdered in the crib. Had an “update” put back in what was taken out, Ford would now own Detroit’s offerings in that segment.

    If the new Tarsus gets whacked like its predecessor, it will suffer the same fate.

  • avatar
    jamie1

    P71_CrownVic :
    June 13th, 2009 at 12:22 pm
    There are far better cars out there for far less money

    So, You have obviously driven the SHO in order to make such a pronouncement – what is it like? Fascinated to hear your insight on the car.

    Maybe people would rather but a Ford Taurus SHO as it is an outstanding car (yes, I have actualy driven it) from a company that is neither bankrupt or asking for bail-out money. In addition, Ford haven’t killed the entire brand as has happended with Pontiac.

    No brainer!!

  • avatar
    BDB

    Hell of a lot better than picking the 1997 Chevy Malibu like Motor Trend did one year!

    Good looking car, regardless.

    P_71–

    The Malibu brand name was damaged 100x more than the Taurus was, yet Chevy kept it for their new (and good) mid-size car. Part of the problem with Detroit is that they keep changing brand names. They need to find one for compact, one for mid-size, etc., and stick with it!

    That said they’re using the wrong name here for another reason. This car should be called the Crown Victoria, and the Fusion should be the Taurus.

    The Focus should be the Tempo (ducks flames) and the new Fiesta should be the Escort.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    BDB :

    Oh you mean actually ride a model name for decades, through thick and thin, through good times and bad, when you put out a turkey you try to correct it the next year? WHAT A CONCEPT!

    Like Cadillac Sedan DeVille? Oldsmobile Cutlass? Chevy Caprice and Impala? Taurus, Crown Victoria, Mustang? New Yorker, Imperial? The mind reels, imagining the possibility of knowing when you see the manufactures badge + the size of the auto = 90% chance of guessing the model name the first time!

  • avatar
    commando1

    I priced one out based on estimated pricing. That suckuh is way up in Beemer territory and without a manual tranny.

    Say goodbye to the SHO in 2011.

  • avatar
    Stu Sidoti

    Quote Esqire’s ‘reasons’….” “should be able to stir the ol’ loins . . . it should also be attainable for most men . . . be sharp enough to impress a date and restrained enough to park next to your boss . . . [be] thrilling but not profligate, handsome but not faddish . . . [and] fulfill the mundane, practical needs of year-round transportation but also pack enough beans under the hood to give you a queasy feeling when you realize the guy in the Porsche is instigating a race.”

    Sounds like a new Camaro SS to me.

    Stir the loins? Check.
    Attainable? Check. At $33K, it’s less than the SHO.
    Sharp looking? Check.
    Restrained? Maybe not.
    Handsome? Hell yeah.
    Faddish? Maybe…maybe not-only time will tell.
    Practical? If it holds two golf bags, that should be practical enough for Esquire.
    Beans? Lots of Beans…400+ beans.

    Taurus?!?! Really Esquire? Really?

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m one of the few people that doesn’t like how the Taurus SHO looks. I find the chrome accents encircling everything on that front end to be off-putting. I was also hoping for a more aggressive Audi RS6-type stance instead of that narrower look with a minimal fender flare.

    However, I think the worse part is that black rim around the bottom of the car. It makes the SHO looks like it has 7.5 inches of ground clearance.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    Esquire’s COTY?

    What’s next, a Cosmo COTY?
    Categories could include: vanity mirror size, steering lightness, comfort factor in leaning your head over the center console to the next seat cushion for 10 minutes.

    Heck, I’d read it.

  • avatar
    jamie1

    Commando1: I priced one out based on estimated pricing. That suckuh is way up in Beemer territory and without a manual tranny.

    Say goodbye to the SHO in 2011.

    In fact, if you check, the only thing the Beemer has is a manual tranny (and the SHO gets Paddle Shift in lieu of that – hardly much of a sacrifice)

    In order to get the standard kit that you get on the SHO on to a Beemer, you would need to remortgage the house and sell your kids to slavery. The list of standard kit the SHO has is so long, I can’t even be bothered to list it all, but here are some to keep you going:
    EcoBoost 365hp engine
    Paddle Shift
    All Wheel Drive
    8-way Massaging seats
    Ambient Lighting
    Blind Spot Monitoring
    Cross Traffic Alert
    Easy Fuel Capless Fuelling
    Power Rear Sunshade
    Rear View Camera

    I would love to see the price of a 5-serie Beemer with that lot (even if they don’t even offer half these options anyway)

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Calling it the “Five Hundred” obviously didn’t work

    Ford never gave it a chance. They never advertised it…and then after two model years…changed the name to Taurus…which has hurt the car more than if they would have just kept it Five Hundred. The Five Hundred had much better sales numbers than the Taurus did. ‘Taurus’ is a damaged brand…that is why Ford came out with the Fusion…the Taurus name was too damaged.

    ——————–

    Jamie…

    I do not care if GM is bankrupt or not…it is really a non-issue.

    For me, the “new” SHO boils down like this:

    1. No V8…just a thirsty V6.
    2. No RWD…just a FWD-based AWD system.
    3. Styling…it’s not offensive…but then, it does not stand out. It could be a Passat or a Camry. For that kind of money…it shouldn’t look like a car you would see outside a senior center.
    4. Price…average of $42K for a Ford Taurus…that won’t perform nearly as good as the ~$40K CTS…and that’s a Cadillac. The Lincoln Taurus SHO is even worse…starting at $48K…for the same car.
    5. Ford has had a lot of issues in the past with basic sparkplugs…I have high doubts that Ford will be able to get DI and Turbos right.

  • avatar
    BDB

    Stu Sidoti–

    Good luck with the Camaro SS if you have two kids, can only afford two cars, and your wife wants you to be able to fit the kids in the second (non-minivan) one.

  • avatar
    jamie1

    I do not care if GM is bankrupt or not…it is really a non-issue.

    For me, the “new” SHO boils down like this:

    1. No V8…just a thirsty V6.
    2. No RWD…just a FWD-based AWD system.
    3. Styling…it’s not offensive…but then, it does not stand out. It could be a Passat or a Camry. For that kind of money…it shouldn’t look like a car you would see outside a senior center.
    4. Price…average of $42K for a Ford Taurus…that won’t perform nearly as good as the ~$40K CTS…and that’s a Cadillac. The Lincoln Taurus SHO is even worse…starting at $48K…for the same car.
    5. Ford has had a lot of issues in the past with basic sparkplugs…I have high doubts that Ford will be able to get DI and Turbos right.

    OK – one by one.

    You might not care that GM is bankrupt – I do – a lot. And, recent surveys show that a majority of Americans feel the same way as I do, so it IS an issue – you simply cannot reject bankrupcy as a ‘non-issue’

    No V8, just a thirsty V6. IS this the same one that gives you more power than a V8 but with fuel economy that is up to 25% better than the V8 competition. How can Ford do anythign right by you. Provide a V8 and they get shot for lack of investment in powertrain and ‘old-school’ Ford thinking. Produce a genuinely world-class engine, and you shoot them for no V8 – seems unduly harsh to me.

    No RWD – oh come on now – who cares. The vast majority of drivers out there don’t even know what they are driving. Those that care (including SHO customers) want power delivery in the right place at the right time. AWD has very little against it unless you are:
    a. A racing driver
    b. Spend most of your days on a track
    Given that that equates to around 100 people in America, I don’t see this as an issue

    Styling – that is a question of style. I have lots of that and think SHO looks hot – case closed.

    Pricing – already covered in an answer to a pervious post – SHO is great value with the standard kit it has and the performance as well.

    Spark Plugs – welcome to the 21st century. Think Ford might have sorted that.

  • avatar
    BDB

    How can Ford do anythign right by you.

    They can’t.

    P_71 has been traumatized by something Ford-related–I’m not sure what. Maybe an exploding Pinto. Maybe his 1997 Explorer had Firestone tires on it. We can only guess.

  • avatar
    ajla

    @jamie1:

    IS this the same one that gives you more power than a V8 but with fuel economy that is up to 25% better than the V8 competition.

    The 2010 Ford Taurus mini-site says that the SHO is going to get mileage ratings of about 15/25. It makes 365hp, 350ft-lbs of torque, and recommends the use of premium fuel for optimal performance.

    A Dodge Charger R/T has mileage ratings of 16/25 for RWD and 16/23 for AWD, and it’s V8 is rated at 368hp, 395ft-lbs of torque and takes regular fuel to make those numbers.

    The G8 GT gets fuel economy of 15/25, and makes 355hp and 385ft-lbs of torque if you run it on regular.

    An A6 4.2 Quattro gets 16/23 while making 350hp and 325ft-lbs of torque, but requires premium fuel.

    A Genesis 4.6 gets 17/25 and makes 368hp and 325ft-lbs of torque on regular.

    With these numbers, I don’t see how the Ecoboost V6 either makes the more power or gets considerably better fuel economy than its V8 competition to back up Ford’s big talk. The SHO makes V8 power, but gets V8 fuel economy.

    Just for a historical perspective: in 1995, a Mitsubishi 3000GT Vr4 had AWD, a turbo’d 320hp V6, and got the same combined MPG score as a ’95 Corvette. Basically, the same as comparing the SHO to the Charger R/T today.

    However, Mitsubishi never made “V8 power with V6 economy” claims and they also never put some disingenuous green-washing leafy branch graphic and the prefix “eco-” under the VR4 badge.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    I had no idea that Esquire magazine was still with us. Hadn’t seen one of those since the 70s. Or 60s maybe.
    P.S.- The Taurus (Gen 1- the only one that I owned) was a very good car. It should have remained the simple, competent, car that it was. It could have evolved yet remained true to the first Taurus, instead of trying to move upscale without leaving a successor.
    Teh Taurus pictured looks like it is in drag.

  • avatar
    jamie1

    Ajla,

    So, the Taurus SHO beats the Charger AWD for f/e, beats the G8 (which gets 24 by the way, not 25 and car has no AWD – check their website and do it quickly before they cancel the site as they are cancelling the brand), beats the Audi A6 4.2 and has much more torque than the Genesis.
    While we are on the competition, it also beats the Infiniti M45X, Lexus GS430 and the BMW.
    Looks pretty convincing to me.
    Numbers don’t lie!

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    The Chrysler 300C has more power and more interior space. Power probably; definitely not interior space.

    that won’t perform nearly as good as the ~$40K CTS
    Perhaps. But it can carry your family of 5.

    the new Fiesta should be the Escort
    Had one of the ’80 originals. Awesome little car. The Escort, however (or at least until Mazda donated their platform in ’90?) sucked.

    I have high doubts that Ford will be able to get DI and Turbos right. Have you seen their competence in these areas in Europe? Amazing.

    And as far as a comparison to the G8, totally useless. The G8 is going away, and essentially because of low sales will be hard to find support for. I am saddened by the loss, but as the driver of two orphans I think those thoughts creep into the equation.

  • avatar
    derm81

    Two days ago I checked out a brand new SHO in a driving range parking lot near Hazel Park Race Course, which is a long way from Dearborn. It didnt have any special plates or “testing” features. About 15 people were staring at it and everyone was pleased with it. The hood has this sort of “thickness” effect to it. The model I looked at had an ecoboost badge as well.

  • avatar
    ajla

    @jamie1:

    I guess we interpret the numbers a different way. If you only told me the SHO’s output, driven wheels, and MPG ratings, I would not say “Wow, that’s V8 power with V6 fuel economy.” Like I said in my last post it’s like the 3000GT VR4 (AWD) versus a LT1 Corvette (RWD). V8 power with V8 economy.

    The SHO is probably going to end up with 1MPG combined better than the Charger R/T AWD, which makes considerably more torque than the Ford. That just does not impress me much. Heck, there is a slim chance that the combined MPG scores will be the same.

    What would people think if Fiatsler started to claim that the 300C and Charger R/T had a V8 that offered V6 fuel economy? I bet they would get crucified for a claim like that. However, the Charger R/T RWD does get the same MPG combined score as the front-drive MKS, M35, Kia Amanti, E350, Galant, and a few others. All the while offering a bunch more power. So, why is Ford able to get away with its claim when it isn’t any more credible than if Chrysler said it?

    For me to accept Ford’s big boasts about the Ecoboost, I think the SHO would need to have about a 22MPG combined rating. In my book, that is where the fuel economy on an AWD 350hp V6 becomes brag-worthy. Maybe that is expecting too much.

    PS-You’re right about the G8 GT. It’s 15/24. My mistake.

  • avatar
    jamie1

    Ajla,

    At the end of the day, the claim holds water. All the other cars listed are conventional, old V8′s. The 3.5 liter V6 EcoBoost offers the same or more power and torque (peak torque arrives at 1,500rpm and is linear by the way) whilst offering fuel economy that is anything up to 25% better (that number is compared to the Infiniti M45X).
    I think we should applaud Ford for making a break from tradition in the case of EcoBoost – after all, we have all been content to kick them in the past for not moving with the times.
    Let’s see where EcoBoost goes. I suspect the I4 version that is coming will really shake things up. Ford have already said that EcoBoost will be in 90% of their line-up by 2012 so they are obviously committed to the technology.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    The interesting thing about the EcoBoost engine is that even though it is only rated 15/25 in the Taurus SHO, it is going to get very close to that in the upcoming much larger Lincoln MKT. The D3 platform on which both are based is heavy. It is incredibly solid, incredibly safe, capable of being sporty at the same time as luxurious, and makes for very roomy vehicles with great seating positions, but it is heavy, and yes, that hurts the MPG numbers. In fact, if you look at the current (2009) Taurus AWD with the NA 3.5 V6, it gets 17/24, so, the EcoBoost engine with a lot more HP actually manages to improve highway fuel economy. I have a feeling when the inevitable Fusion SHO debuts in a year or two, or when the EcoBoost V6 finds a home in the Mustang we will really see what kind of economy it can squeeze out, not to mention with the smaller ecoboost engines start to roll out.

    Another important point is that while some of those V8s listed might have higher peak torque numbers, the EcoBoost V6 makes all 350 lb/ft from about 1500rpm steady through the redline. The reviews so far have said it pulls like a diesel. having your torque curve being easily accessible is just as, if not more, important than peak numbers.

  • avatar
    Matt51

    This car will bomb just like the Lincoln LS. Ford doesn’t get it. They are bankrupt, they just haven’t filed yet. I doubt 10% of the Ford cheer leaders posting here actually buy one. 15/25 ain’t gonna cut in in the world we now live in.
    I avoid all wheel drive anyway. Prefer rear wheel drive for long term reliability/durability for a muscle car. Which is what Consumer Reports also recommends. With stability control and snow tires, most of us don’t need/want all wheel drive.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    It won’t bomb, it will sell every single limited production unit. Keep in mind that the SHO is not intended as a high volume model, but rather as a headline grabber and halo for the rest of the Taurus trims. Also, the LS didn’t bomb either, while it didn’t top the sales charts, it did sell respectably, and was phased out more for being on a unique platform than being a slow seller.

  • avatar
    ajla

    @jamie1:

    I actually don’t mind Ford giving it a shot with a turbo V6. One of my cars is a forced induction V6 and I like it a lot so I don’t have any “V8 or no sale” attitude going on.

    What does bother me is how Ford is marketing the motor by focusing so much on minimal gains to fuel economy. I also think calling this engine “EcoBoost”, and putting a leafy branch on the logo is borderline insulting.

    If Ford came out and said “The new Taurus SHO will have a powerful direct-injected turbo V6 because we’ve had success with our turbo diesel V8 program and think that customers will enjoy some of the unique performance characteristics that a turbo motor provides”, then I would have no big problems with this engine.

    @NulloModo:
    The 350lb/ft @ 1500 RPM is an impressive stat. However, it isn’t like the Chrysler, Ford, and GM V8s don’t have pretty flat torque curves themselves. By the time you get to 2000RPM they are all cooking.

    I would love it if Edmunds or one of the car rags put a Camaro SS, Charger R/T, Mustang GT, and Taurus SHO on a dyno so I could see the difference in how they deliver their power. I probably won’t ever see that happen though.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    The G8 GT makes 361 HP…so it is statistically even with the SHO.

    Ecoboost is a joke…a fallacy. Nothing “ECO” about it. It is a 3.5 V6 that gets virtually the same mileage as a 6.0 V8. How is that efficient? Now, if the EPA comes out and says that the SHO gets (at a minimum) 20 MPG city and (at a minimum) 28 highway, then you could call it “ecoboost”…because then it would have some merit. As it stands…Ford is lying when they call it “eco”

    The G8 is just a better car…from a pricing perspective, driving perspective (AWD is unnecessary), and overall perspective. The G8 does not look like a Camry or Sonata…it looks like a proper, broad shouldered performance sedan.

    And, yes, the SHO is overpriced priced. Comparing it to the “last” SHOs is stupid. Why? Because they didn’t sell either. Between 1996 and 1999, Ford only sold about 20K SHOs. They were overpriced then and they are now. When you can buy a Cadillac for less money than a Ford…we have problems. The SHO wouldn’t be priced all wrong if it said “Ecoboost MKS” on the back.

    Spark Plugs – welcome to the 21st century. Think Ford might have sorted that.

    Well, talk to the ’05-’09 Mustang owners that have had all of their spark plugs broken off in the head (by Ford techs) because they were cemented into the head.

    Remember, the last time Ford F’ed around with a SHO engine, the cam sprockets would slide all around the cam shaft causing extensive engine failure. Ford denied there was ever a problem.

    Ford also F’ed around with the 6.0 PSD…causing many, many engines to fail. Funny that Navistar didn’t have NEAR the problems with the 6.0 that Ford did.

    And then remember the modular blowing spark plugs right out of the head. Happened on the 4.6/5.4/and 6.8. Ford denies there was ever a problem.

    So, yes, I am quite skeptical of this silly ecoboost nonsense. Too much for Ford to screw up.

  • avatar
    Stu Sidoti

    Quote BDB : “Stu Sidoti–Good luck with the Camaro SS if you have two kids, can only afford two cars, and your wife wants you to be able to fit the kids in the second (non-minivan) one.”

    BDB….did you happen to notice the little part in the Esquire requirements about “be sharp enough to impress a date…” ?!?!? Esquire obviously aligned their expectations with those of a single person on a date. Thus, I don’t think your two kids and a wife issue ever came up in their discussions. Maybe that’s what you need in the BDB COTY, but based upon Esquire’s somewhat dubious requirements, I think something a lot more sporty would have been in order…a Camaro SS perhaps.

  • avatar
    Matt51

    All wheel drive is a tiny niche market. Middle price range owned by Subaru, maybe upper price range owned by Audi? So Ford is seeking to slice a niche out of a niche market with an overpowered, overcomplicated, overpriced gas hog. Ford has nothing to compete car wise with the new Buick LaCrosse. Meaning Ford is still relegated to living or dying with trucks, the F150 and whatever sales are left for the Explorer. Ranger doesn’t hack it any more. So Ford is Found on Road Dead, they just won’t admit it quite yet, but just wait until fall.

  • avatar
    Matt51

    Just for laughs, go to Edmunds and build a comparison. Base 2010 Taurus is 31K TMV, base 2010 LaCrosse is 27K (and it looks a hell of a lot better styling wise). Honda 2009 V6 EX is 24K. All three cars have the same interior dimensions. Oh yeah, like I would pay 31K for a Taurus, when I can get a Honda for 24K.

  • avatar
    jamie1

    Matt51 :
    June 14th, 2009 at 6:50 am

    Just for laughs, go to Edmunds and build a comparison. Base 2010 Taurus is 31K TMV, base 2010 LaCrosse is 27K (and it looks a hell of a lot better styling wise). Honda 2009 V6 EX is 24K. All three cars have the same interior dimensions. Oh yeah, like I would pay 31K for a Taurus, when I can get a Honda for 24K.

    The Taurus starts at $25,995 for the SE. SEL is $27,005 and Limited is $31,995.

    Don’t know about you, but the choice is between a stunningly boring ‘applicance’ with no standard features or a great looking, modern, spacious sedan.
    Lacrosse is a styling mess from a bankrupt company.

    Ford is fine. That is why their stock price (remember, you can buy stock in one American car manufacturer) has rocketed over the last few months.

  • avatar
    Matt51

    You are correct Jamie, I blew the price comparison by plugging in the wrong model. My bad. To me, the new Taurus looks too much like the current Camry.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Must agree…the new LaCrosse is a WORLDS better car…despite FWD/AWD. Does ANY iteration of the Lincoln Taurus have an active suspension…like a true luxury car should have?

    Ford is fine.

    That one was hysterical. Who far down were their sales last month? What was their cash burn in the first quarter.

    Ford is IN NO POSSIBLE WAY ‘fine’. They are screwed if the market does not take a HUGE upswing here in the next couple weeks. If Ford were ‘fine’, they would have not been in congress begging for money. Yes they haven’t TAKEN it yet…but they did secure $9 BILLION of the same tax payer dollars GM and Chrysler did…you know…just in case.

    Just because Big Al spits out some kool-aid that he thinks the market will recover does not mean it will. In-fact, based on Ford’s previous false statements, the market will NOT recover this year.

  • avatar
    BDB

    Stu Sidoti–

    If they’re targeting it a single men then that is just stupid. The SHO, to me, is something that a 30 something upper-middle class businessman with one or two kids wants to drive as his second family car, something that is exciting, powerful, and fun to drive while still having an actual back seat and trunk. Also, it shouldn’t make you look like a jackass having a mid-life crisis if you show up in it for a business meeting (like showing up in a bright red Camaro SS would). A Camaro SS is a good third car in that demographic. But you need a minivan and a four-door sedan first, and given how boring minivans are the SHO would be a good choice for the sedan.

    The new LaCrosse could fill this role, too, but nobody under 65 outside of mainland China wants to be caught dead in a Buick, no matter how good the car is. That brand is screwed.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    The SHO, to me, is something that a 30 something upper-middle class businessman with one or two kids wants to drive as his second family car, something that is exciting, powerful, and fun to drive while still having an actual back seat and trunk.

    Hmm…just like the original SHO.

    But here’s the thing…business men really do not want a Ford Taurus.

    My grandpa had two SHOs…a 1989 and a 1994. He work in the industry all of his life and actually met a lot of the original SHO designers. He adored the car.

    HOWEVER, he bought his 1989 around 1991-1992…for $14,500. It was a demo car with very few miles. The dealer was asking $20K for it. He put down his offer, they laughed at him, he walked out and said call me if you change your mind. A week later, the car was his.

    By the time he hit 120K trouble free miles, it was time to replace it, it was 1995-1996, and he hated the look of the 3rd gen SHOs. He found a mint 1994 with about 25-30K on the clock. It was a lease return and he paid $14,540 for it. Didn’t drive that car as much and it was sold a few years ago with $80K on the clock…for a steal at $1950.

    The trend here is that the original SHO (Gen 1-3) was too overpriced and rotted on the lot…thus the heavy discounts. Ford thought it was the lack of an Auto…but even the 1993+ cars did not sell any better than the previous years.

    As for Buick…I am well under 65 and would buy a loaded 2010 Lacrosse in a heart beat. Beautiful, striking that does not blend in and a great price too. I also would have ZERO problem driving an Enclave, V8 Lucerne, or V8 Rainier (used obviously).

  • avatar
    BDB

    As for Buick…I am well under 65 and would buy a loaded 2010 Lacrosse in a heart beat.

    Yes well, judging by the average age of Buick buyers, you’re in a small minority. If you’re going to say “Taurus” is a damaged brand name, then “Buick” is, too.

    I mean, if you want to go back to the early 90s I can bring up the craptastic Century and Skylark that rotted on lots and in rental fleets.

  • avatar
    paradigm_shift

    Pot…Kettle…Black…Still

    TTAC has done the TWAT awards for a couple of years now, and while funny, it’s still a yearly award just like any other. RF even mentioned traffic goes up on this site when the “awards” are handed out…

  • avatar
    noreserve

    “scarey” :
    June 13th, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    I had no idea that Esquire magazine was still with us. Hadn’t seen one of those since the 70s. Or 60s maybe.

    You’re missing out on some of the best writing around. Tom Junod, Scott Raab and Tom Chiarella are worth the read on their own. Incredible stuff. The “What I’ve Learned” feature also always delivers. It’s no Maxim or GQ, thank God. At least check it out online. Now, that said, do they have any business with a COTY? Probably not. At least they get credit for tapping Ezra Dyer for most of the auto stuff.

    On to the SHO…

    I agree that the SHO’s claim of V8 with V6 fuel economy is a joke. A Corvette with a 430HP/424TQ V8 gets 16/26 MPG. I’m also not all that crazy about the looks of the SHO – a bit too much chunky Ford appliance and questionable trim for me. I’ll withhold further comment until seeing one in person.

    I’m also not crazy at all about the weight – around 4,300 lbs from one source. Of course, Ford doesn’t seem to want to let that spec out of the bag very easily. I mean, come on, how much fun can 4,300 lbs be to sling around with 350 HP? I have driven Audi’s A8 with similar numbers and can report that you simply can’t get it to perform handling miracles when it tips the scales like that and has AWD. At least the A8 had an air suspension. I could have a lightly used one plus a fist full of cash left over instead of the SHO.

    At the end of the day, it’s still a very expensive Taurus with some questionable option choices in that class of vehicle. Who in the hell needs massaging seats in a SHO? Put some attention into reducing weight by several hundred pounds at a minimum and add a stick as an option.

  • avatar
    dgduris

    $36k – $45k for an AWD 4-door sports sedan?! You’re kidding, right?

    Three words:

    Legacy Spec. B

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    dgduris:

    No, not kidding. That info is from Ford insiders.

    It is $38K to $45K. Starts at like $37,995.

    FAR too much money for a Taurus…or any current Ford.

  • avatar

    paradigm_shift

    Pot…Kettle…Black…Still

    TTAC has done the TWAT awards for a couple of years now, and while funny, it’s still a yearly award just like any other. RF even mentioned traffic goes up on this site when the “awards” are handed out…

    There are a few differences here. First, we’re an automotive site, not a “lifestyle” magazine. Their award means about as much as if we handed out awards for men’s fashion or best web browser– or anything out else of our core area of expertise.

    Second, our “Ten Worst” awards are decided by our readers, not by a panel of editors who don’t know a tie rod from a tappet. I’d put the collective expertise of our readers up against anyone Esquire magazine could trot out when it comes to selecting the best (or worst) of anything automotive.

    Finally, nothing we do on TTAC – including the “Ten Worst” awards – is influenced by the need to keep advertisers happy. With that always looming in the background, there’s no way you can convince me it’s not a key factor in the selection of any COTY winner by any magazine.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Finally, nothing we do on TTAC – including the “Ten Worst” awards – is influenced by the need to keep advertisers happy.

    For which I commend you guys.

  • avatar
    dkulmacz

    Don’t judge the nature or intent of EcoBoost based on the first two applications. It can be used for either fuel economy or power, and these two applications are obviously the latter. Once the technology is rolled out fully — available on sub-2.0L I4s all the way up to large V8s — you’ll see plenty of impressive fuel misers as well as performance. As with many other technologies, there’s a learning curve for using EcoBoost effectively, and I’m sure that as Ford PD becomes more familiar with it, the applications will also continue to improve.

    Also remember that simple numeric comparisons don’t always tell the whole story. The EcoBoost engines have wicked wide flat torque curves, with close-to-max torque available at very low RPMs . . . driveability on EcoBoost cars is superb.

    Finally, there’s the significant cost savings Ford will realize by packaging two similar engines in each line . . . packaging a standard and a TCDI variant of a single V6 (or I4) is much more efficient than two totally unique packages for a V6/V8 (or I4/V6) lineup. EcoBoost is smart, value-driven engineering which is what Ford needs right now.

  • avatar
    Matt51

    Ecoboost is bullshit. Direct injection is also being adapted by all the other manufacturers, see the Camaro V6. So nothing special. They combine it with turbocharging, which is what Iacocca was selling on 4 cylinder K cars when he didn’t have any V6′s. The life of turbo-ed car engines is much less than non-turbo-ed car engines. The plumbing is a mess inside the engine compartment (supercharging is a much cleaner installation).
    I am not gonna buy any turbo, even if it is horribly labeled as “ecoboost”.

  • avatar
    jamie1

    P71_CrownVic That one was hysterical. Who far down were their sales last month? What was their cash burn in the first quarter.

    I am sorry, but your Ford prejudice is getting the better of your rational thinking. Ford sales were down year over year, but they were significantly up over the past month. In addition, market share was up for the 7th month out of 8th. Their cash burn was a lot less than Toyota and clearly somewhat better than GM and Chrysler. It was also significantly down on last year and remains at a level that is totally sustainable.
    Mulally attended Congress in November to show support for the Auto industry as a whole (suppliers and dealers included). He did not, has not and will not take any government bail-out and for that he should be commended. It appears the American public (yourself excluded) feels the same way which is gratifying.
    I am still waiting to see your list of Mulally’s false statements. Please deal in facts if you are going to denigrate the only domestic manufacturer not bankrupt or suckling from the Government teats.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    jamie1,
    right on! 100% agree with your argument that Ford is the only domestic manufacturer worth considering when shopping for a vehicle. And P71 Government Motors bias in every single post and putting down Ford (w/o facts).
    P.S. Neither Ford or BMW asked for any bailout money, so I’m not paying as a taxpayer for their mismanagement and producing (trying to produce) non snooze vehicles, that’s few of many reasons why I respect them.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    I am sorry, but your Ford prejudice is getting the better of your rational thinking. Ford sales were down year over year, but they were significantly up over the past month. In addition, market share was up for the 7th month out of 8th. Their cash burn was a lot less than Toyota and clearly somewhat better than GM and Chrysler. It was also significantly down on last year and remains at a level that is totally sustainable.

    How is losing almost $2 BILLION dollars in one quarter sustainable?

    Mulally attended Congress in November to show support for the Auto industry as a whole (suppliers and dealers included). He did not, has not and will not take any government bail-out and for that he should be commended.

    Wow…you can tell the future?

    He DID accept money from the Swedish government for Volvo (see the TTAC article)…and he did SECURE $9 BILLION from our Government…he just hasn’t made the call for it…yet. But the time is coming. Ford will either take money or be heavily considering taking money by the end of the year.

    I am still waiting to see your list of Mulally’s false statements.

    I have already listed them…numerous times…but here they are again:

    He SAID Ford would turn a profit in 2009. Oops.

    He SAID that Volvo was not going to be sold. Oops.

    He SAID that Ford’s stake in Mazda was not for sale. Oops.

    The level of blindness people have towards Ford is uncanny. They foolishly believe that they are a healthy company. Saying Ford is the healthiest of the big three (which, now, they are not), is like saying you only have SARS, Bird Flu, and rabies. Ford is as healthy as a horse with a broken leg. They are quickly using uo the last of the money they borrowed and soon will find themselves in the bailout boat with GM and Chrysler. Nothing short of a miracle can save them. This economy is not going to recover any time soon…and as gas prices keep inching up, auto sales will drop.

    And let me tell you something. A silly, overpriced hybrid that Ford loses money on, a overpriced large sedan, a overpriced truck, and an overpriced, supersized Scion xB are not going to save them.

    And by the time the goofy looking Fiesta gets here (it really is Ford’s Camaro), it too will be outclassed by just about everything on the market. They have overhyped it and it will be old and tired when people have a chance to buy it.

  • avatar
    Matt51

    “And let me tell you something. A silly, overpriced hybrid that Ford loses money on, a overpriced large sedan, a overpriced truck, and an overpriced, supersized Scion xB are not going to save them.”

    You speak the truth.


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