By on September 21, 2009

If you go on advertising alone, it’s easy to think every 2010 Ford Taurus is an EcoBoosted, twin-turbo wonder. And while the SHO dominates public perception of the new Taurus, its $37,170 base price is a good reminder that SHO-boaters will be paying halo model money to get what the TV ads are dangling in America’s face. But as new Tauruses once again become part of the automotive landscape, another reality is bound to hit intrigued observers: it’s damn hard to tell a $37k+ SHO from a $25k+ SE model. Car and Driver claims that’s because Ford’s clinics revealed “there was no consensus on the level of pizazz the SHO should wield,” so they went with a sleeper. Or, “the cautious side of conservative,” to borrow a phrase.  And then they changed their minds.

According to C&D’s “inside sources,”

But Ford is definitely considering making the SHO’s look  more distinct in the future. When we suggested adding simple but immediately evident things like smoked lamp lenses,  we were told they would be doing something more significant than that, although our source wouldn’t be more specific than to say the car would get new wheels.

Ford is worried about changing too much too quickly, for fear of looking like they’re “fixing a mistake” rather than “evolving the look.” As a result, these undetermined changes will be taking place no sooner than 2012. And though it makes a certain amount of sense to visually differentiate the SHO  from the pedestrian volume trims, Ford’s record with this kind of differentiation is spotty; Lincoln and Mercury are exhibits A and B. In fact, why isn’t the SHO a Lincoln/Mercury model?

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52 Comments on “Taurus EcoBoost: All Go, No SHO?...”


  • avatar
    threeer

    Why isn’t the SHO a Lincoln/Mercury product only? The better question is why is Lincoln/Mercury even still around? A properly identified SHO is perfectly fine carrying the Ford oval around…it shouldn’t need the Lincoln/Mercury moniker (such as it is). Agree that the SHO should be visually distinct from the more pedestrian Taurii, without being over-the-top tacky.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Take the Fusion Sport AWD.

    Add the 3.5L Ecoboost, suspension tweaks, Recaro front seats, Brembo brakes, an aluminum hood and trunk, at least an optional manual transmission, and aluminum “slicer” design wheels like on the older SHO. Remove all superfluous luxury options.

    Call it the Fusion SHO. Sell it for around $30K.
    —–
    Rename the current SHO to “Taurus Limited AWD with Ecoboost”.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    The spoiler, special wheels, and of course SHO badging are all unique, and differentiation enough IMO. Previous SHOs were never flashy.

    The Mercury variant (Sable) is dead, and the Lincoln MKS is visually distinct enough that no one will confuse the two cars even in profile.

  • avatar

    It’s not the looks, it’s the fact that Ford is asking $37k+ for a Taurus. That’s heady territory.

    The new SHO should have been a Fusion with a twin-turbo V6, AWD and a manual. That would have been the right recipe to revive the model.

  • avatar
    TZ

    The commercial specifically states that they are talking about the SHO. More than once.

    Ford certainly isn’t alone in using the top of the line model in their ads. They all do it. At least they’re upfront about it.

  • avatar
    50merc

    “Ford is worried about changing too much too quickly”

    God yes, that would be awful. Just look at the Crown Vic, Grand Marquis or Town Car. No continuity there at all, not a bit! Every year they look completely different.

  • avatar
    carguy

    There is little to be gained by speculating about the future sales of a new model. Let’s review after its been on sale for at least three months and then decide if consumers like it or not.

  • avatar
    holydonut

    I don’t think most people could tell the difference between a SHO and regular LX Taurus back in the day – and the same thing went with the SVO/SVT Mustangs and Contours.

    Regarding the price, everybody thinks cars are overpriced. You might as well complain that Lexus is dumb for having a starting MSRP on their base RX of $38K (before delivery) or why a CRV EX-L can cost over $34K when fully optioned.

    That’s why you have people talking about how smart they are for only buying used.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Ford is worried about changing too much too quickly, for fear of looking like they’re “fixing a mistake” rather than “evolving the look.”

    What, you mean like how they renamed the Zephyr to MKZ in under a year? Or how they shamelessly rebadged the Five Hundred? Or pretty much Lincoln’s entire marketing effort?

    Good to see they’re admitting this is a problem.

    The new SHO should have been a Fusion with a twin-turbo V6, AWD and a manual. That would have been the right recipe to revive the model.

    The problem with that car is that Mazda tried more or less the same thing (albeit with a turbo four) and it didn’t sell well despite good reviews. I don’t think a Fusion would have done better; I think it would have sold poorly.

    That said, I don’t think the Taurus SHO will sell all that well. It kisses the low end of the Lexus GS and ends up just below the Infiniti M35. Admittedly both have less power, but it’s not so much as to make a difference. And then there’s the Hyundai Genesis…

    Were this priced about where the Impala SS was, I think they’d have more luck. But when you can get a new GS350 for the same price as a Taurus, well, that’s not easy.

    And yes, the base GS isn’t a dynamic wonder. That’s not the point: Ford is pushing it’s credibility with this car. It’s a really nice Taurus, sure, but it’s in a space where Lincoln would be stretching itself, let alone Ford.

  • avatar
    mpresley

    A little understatement and moderation is always welcome, and always in good taste. But this is an American car after all, so maybe they’ll revert to form and only offer it in a gaudy color scheme, maybe add some phony baloney hood scoops, and then there’s the always popular oversize decal on the side or hood.

  • avatar
    kamiller42

    Keep Lincoln. Kill Mercury. Taurus SHO as a Ford vehicle is fine. Make one with luxury touches for Lincoln.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    psarhjinian :
    September 21st, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Were this priced about where the Impala SS was, I think they’d have more luck. But when you can get a new GS350 for the same price as a Taurus, well, that’s not easy.

    Well, Lexus buyers probably won’t be cross-shopping Ford, but if they were to, they’d find the Taurus offers all the features the ES does, and radically better performance, for basically the same money.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    According to C&D’s “inside sources,”

    But Ford is definitely considering making the SHO’s look more distinct in the future. When we suggested adding simple but immediately evident things like smoked lamp lenses, we were told they would be doing something more significant than that, although our source wouldn’t be more specific than to say the car would get new wheels.

    Sounds like they’re adding some details. I doubt there will be a screaming chicken on the hood. :)

  • avatar
    carve

    Oh man…if they could do an AWD manual ecoboost V6 fusion for under $30k, they’d have a real champ. Make mine a wagon.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Ford’s done a nice job making what appears to be a good car. We’ll soon see if it’s a great car. My guess is no.

    This will be a nice Camry competitor, but a competitor to a Lexus? Nah. Will it steal sales from Avalon? Maybe a few.

    The most aspirational part of the S-H-O is the price tag. Yet another example of a car WWWAAAAYYYY out of its league on pricing. Let’s just track how much Ford has to put on the hood of these things after it’s been out for 6 months.

  • avatar
    Tosh

    They’re actually pronouncing it as “show” and not S.H.O.? I’m so embarrassed for them!

    It doesn’t really matter anyway, as the damage was done when they called what should have been the “Taurus” the “Fusion.” Now all people think is “I’m paying HOW MUCH for a Taurus?!”

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    psarhjinian –

    Yes, the SHO fully loaded does kiss the base prices of the GS and the M, but if you option out those cars the same as a $45K SHO, you are looking at $53K, and you still have considerably less power. True, brand snobbery will still play a part and some people will turn their noses up at buying a Ford, but the SHO is the halo model, not designed or intended to be the volume seller, enough will sell to make it work. What Ford (and Lincoln) need to push in their advertising is that even though the prices might be right up there with import brands with arguably better reputations, the standard equipment on all of these new FoMoCo vehicles is class leading, you get a lot more for your money.

    We have actually had a good number of Lexus, Infiniti, BMW, Acura, and other luxury brand owners coming in to test out various Fords and Lincolns to replace their terminating lease, or just to trade out to something new. We don’t win them all over, but we do win over a solid majority.

  • avatar
    Joe ShpoilShport

    Having owned a 93 SHO (I always called it a Show), the fact it was understated was a good thing in my book. Stealth, as it were. The front and rear were different but you had to know, or really study it to tell the difference in visual cues. And, while I didn’t buy it new, I did have the original sticker from the original owner. It listed for a few cents under $30k. So, $37k for a 2010, seems in line to me. I don’t know what the original owner of mine paid but most Taurii were pretty heavily discounted. If I am to ever own one of the new ones, the same depreciation would have to apply

  • avatar

    I agree. Ford is getting way ahead of themselves with pricing viz competitors.

    They really should grassroots actual real individual + awesome products across their lines, so that Ford can be the VW analog, Mercury can be the Audi analog, and Lincoln can be the Lexus analog.

    Unfortunately, this pricing puts the Taurus/SHO in at least the Mercury-as-Audi tranche.

  • avatar

    4400 pounds.
    Forty-four hundred. Can you say morbidly obese?
    And it doesn’t have any brakes.

    -Jeff (former *real* SHO owner)
    DrivingEnthusiast.net

  • avatar
    h82w8

    I bought a new black SHO right off the dealer lot in early 1989. One of the best, funnest cars I’ve ever owned.

    Besides that magnificent rev-happy Yamaha DOHC V-6, the whole sleeper motif of a BMW-killer, practical hot-rod Ford was my primary motivation for buying, and the car’s raison d’etre.

    As for the “why isn’t the SHO a Lincoln/Mercury model only?” question… Huh? Surely you must be smokin’ something illegal.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    the new Taurus is sure unnecessarily obese and not intelligently designed, as its large exterior dimensions do not translate in a large interior room. The smaller and much lighter (and $4k cheaper!) Accord, not an exciting car itself, has more room and had beat the taurus in a recent head to head test.

    FOrd is not ambitious about the new Taurus anyway, they will only make 100,000 (assuming there are 100,000 buyers out there), a far cry from the 400,000 and 450,000 Accords and Camrys respectively every year.

    Also, there is little resemblance between the original Taurus, its ugly frog -catfish grilled successor the oval failure, the Ford 500 renamed Taurus passat on steroids 3rd gen, and the current obese but stylish 4th.

    And to think that GM and chrysler are doing much worse than FOrd!

  • avatar
    joeveto3

    The original Taurii SHO’s (pre ovoid mistake) were very cool. I don’t know why, but they made sense.

    This new SHO is too heavy and waaaaayyyy too expensive. Holy cow. I actually like and purchase and “get” Fords. But there is no way in hell I’d dish out that kind of cash for that car.

  • avatar

    Price-wise, the SHO is about the same as the original SHO, on an inflation-adjusted basis. While the original had credible performance, it didn’t sell all that well, in large part because it was awfully pricey.

    My question about the SHO at this particular juncture in history is, “What’s the point?” Halo models generally only really work if they effectively build on the product’s core image or values. For example, BMW pitches the 3-Series and 5-Series as sporty executive cars, so the M3 and M5 are extensions of that. The Corvette is a sports car, so the Z06 and ZR1 are reasonable image builders for the basic car. What is Ford selling the Taurus as, again?

    I think psarhjinian makes a strong point about the failure of the Mazdaspeed 6. It wasn’t that it was a bad car, or even a bad value, it’s that the appeal of the AWD turbo package was primarily to the WRX/Evo crowd, who apparently decided it was too big and not fast enough for their tastes. It was the answer to a question nobody had asked. If Toyota were to bring out a hot Avalon GTS with AWD and a screaming turbocharged engine, I would expect about the same thing, even if it was a real scorcher.

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    I am not a “Ford hater.” Honestly.

    Usually a preface like that can be interpreted contrarily.

    But you just have to trust me on this one.

    To be fair, I’m not a huge fan of Ford, either.

    I resent the way they’re now re-marketing old motors, platforms and technology as if they’re new.

    The “new” Taurus has the same 3.5 liter, chassis and drivetrain as the “old” one. It sacrifices interior room and functionality for smaller windows, a lower roofline and wedgier look, and it gets pricey damn pricey with an average list of options tacked on, IMO (emphasis added).

    The 3.5 liter motor in the Taurus has been around a while, was used in last gen Taurus, Taurus X, and Flex, and is not particularly refined, yet Ford treats it as if it’s new and fuel efficient (when its neither) in its marketing.

    Now, I can’t blame Ford for puffery, as that’s the crux of all sales’ pitches, but I sure can call them out on it, much the same way I can call out Lexus for dressing up some Toyotas and charging a 30% to 35% premium for them.

    By the way, with the pricing and features in the Taurus, there is no purpose for being re the Lincoln counterpart, and the ‘new’ Taurus may have unfortunate timing in this new market, where many crossovers get better fuel economy, and many Camcorders have nearly as much interior space but much better fuel economy.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    Autosavant –

    The interior is actually very well designed, but unfortunately the methods used to measure interior space don’t accurately convey how much room there is in the 2010 Taurus. While the Accord has more interior room on paper, and perhaps feels a bit airier inside, the Taurus has standard ‘stadium’ or raised seating platforms that offer a more natural seating position while also making it easier to step in and out. Unfortunately, those raised seats, along with the wide and aggressively sloped center console, make it measure out as if it were smaller inside than it really is. Having sat inside of a 2009 Accord, 2010 Taurus, 2008 Avalon, and plenty of other midsize to large sedans, the Taurus is every bit as roomy as the others where it counts, but trades airiness for a more cockpit feel.

    I will agree it weighs a lot, but the platform it is based on is known to produce heavy cars. At the same time though, they are always class leading in safety, and very stiff and solid feeling, so, it’s a trade-off.

    Your point about Ford not being ambitious about the car is completely off though – This isn’t the mainstream volume sedan. The Fusion is the Camry/Accord/Malibu/Sonata fighter. The Taurus slots in the lineup as both the large sedan and as the premium offering for those who want more than just the basic midsize.

    You can get a very well equipped Taurus SEL with leather and lots of standard equipment for around $28K-$29K MSRP. Yes, that is more than a Fusion or Camcord, but it offers more space, more refinement, and more presence as well. The SHO sits at the top to give a more premium feel to the entire line.

    ohsnapback –

    The 3.5 V6 used in the Taurus debuted in 2007 with the Edge, and was a clean sheet design. Yes, it’s not brand new for 2010, but it’s hardly been around forever. It’s also a very refined engine, worlds better than the old 3.0 V6 that you may be thinking of.

    Also, as far as fuel economy goes, the 3.5 liter FWD Taurus comes in at 18/27, vs a 3.5 liter Camry at 19/29 and a 3.5 liter Accord at 19/28, so, yes, they have an edge in fuel economy, but a very slight one.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “Your point about Ford not being ambitious about the car is completely off though – This isn’t the mainstream volume sedan.”

    it certainly is not. FOrd is inconsistent with ITSELF, since the Taurus was its bread and butter sedan in the 80s, it sold 400,000 a year in the early 90s, and then Ford proceeded to

    1. Royally screw the Valuable Taurus image with the frog-catfish grilled Oval Horror Story design, one of the ugliest cars ever.

    2. Then decided to further dilute the Taurus name by re-naming the BIG, Really roomy, and actually not baqd looking, Passat on Steroids Ford 500, also a Taurus.

    3. And then after barely a year or two, they chose to name Taurus a still different sedan, a heavy stylish job with poor MPG in an era of $4 gas and 35 MPG cafe coming…Good luck!

    I see it as an uttger failure to go from the 400,000 Taurus mid-sized, elegant 80s-90s 1st gen, to the obese, 100,000 a year Taurus 4.

    As for your dated designs, the fusion and esp. the focus, none of them comes close to the volumes that the Accord-Camry-Civic-Corolla have been consistently getting the last 5 -10 years. I will not bother to include the Nissans and the Sonata since the Nissans are poorly made and closer to the domestics in price and quality, and the Sonata, even now that Hyundai does great, is still a long way from the 400,000 units that arer NEEDED for SERIOUS PROFITS in mqass made cars

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    And the new TAurus offers more… refinement than the Accord? Are you serious? have you ever owned an Accord? Its exterior stylign may not be that exciting, but its interior will beat any Taurus hands down, both in Quality of materials, wise arrangement and ergonomics, and sheer pleasure of the driving position. No comparison. You may have better luck against the Camry, though. ASSUMING the Taurus and the Camry will be equally reliable, which, historically, is highg unlikely, and with already the disadvantage of much worse MPG than the Camry!

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    The best thing that FOrd has done recently is it has, unlike GM and Chrysler, admitted that its management sucked, and replaced its heir Bill Ford whatever with a total OUTSIDER, Mullaly, who may not be an exciting leader at all, but sure proved quite prudent, and made Ford the ONLY of the doemstics that is not a 50 billion Welfare Queen at our expense.

    In that respect, and as a taxpayer that has paid well over $1 million total in taxes the last quarter century, I sure am A Ford Fan.

  • avatar

    Just like the public perception of EVERY CHRYSLER 300 is that all of them have a HEMI.

    I find myself actually explaining to people the difference between the 5.4 HEMI and the 6.3 SRT8.
    Considering how much shit people add to their 300’s you can’t be too sure which one is which anyhow.

    so rest assured people are gonna try to soup up their Taurus to make it look like a SHO. Unless you get in and personally floor it, you’d never know from the outside.

  • avatar

    I personally think FORD isn’t very ambitious about the Taurus SHO. Get inside one. All I saw was a lesser Lincoln MKS that had slightly more HP.

    The interior looks like Ford’s from 2002.

    Ford needs to take a look at what Hyundai and GM are doing.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    So this – http://www.chicagotribune.com/media/photo/2009-02/45008814.jpg is no better than this – http://www.samarins.com/reviews/taurus01_interior.jpg ?

    While the quality of the leather isn’t the same as the MKS and the wood isn’t real, everything else is very good, and certainly better than you get in any Hyundai save perhaps the Genesis.

    Autosavant –

    Yes, Ford screwed up the original Taurus, no doubt. However, the current Taurus was never intended to be the volume seller that the old Taurus was. The original Taurus was the mainstream midsize sedan, that is now the Fusion. The new Taurus isn’t aimed at the midsize mainstream market, it’s an upmarket premium large sedan. Just because it shares the name with the original car doesn’t mean it is being aimed at the same spot in the market.

    The fuel economy of the Taurus is by no means poor. As stated above in FWD trim it is basically tied with the Camry, Accord, Avalon, and Buick Lacrosse. In SHO AWD form it is better than any similarly powered AWD sedan, and better than quite a few similarly powered RWD sedans.

    As far as refined as an Accord, yes, I can say that. On a daily basis I drive more different vehicles than the majority of posters here. I have driven multiple Accords, Camrys, Malibus, Sonatas, Altimas, Azeras, Lucernes, Avalons, etc. I have also driven the 2010 Taurus and it drives incredibly well – solid, quiet, and comfortable. The Accord might be a bit sportier, but the Taurus feels like a more premium automobile, both in terms of interior materials and driving experience. As far as reliability goes – you can’t compare reliability from the 2006 and before Taurus to the new one, as they share nothing but a name. If the new Taurus is put together as well as the Fusion, Edge, MKS, and other recent FoMoCo products, the track record is that reliability will be excellent.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    Nullo Modo,

    One big reason that the domestics are not profitable, and GM in particular, is that they have too many models chasing too few buyers. While Ford sure is far more “streamlined” than GM, even Ford, due to the ever dwindling number of buyers that prefer domestics, is in a position that even its largest volume models (that execrable Focus, facelifted instead of 2nd Gen as the excellent Euro offering), and the Fusion), are well below the 400,000 units a year the Camry, Accord, Civic and Corolla each achieve (plus or minus 50k units). The Fusion and the Focus each sell half that number.

    I am not sure who the new Taurus is supposed to compete with, but who cares? FOrd only hopes to sell 100,000 of them, less than even several Huyndais and Nissans, let alone the cash cows from TOyota and Honda. Will it even make a profit from the Taurus at that volume or, moist likely, a lesser one?

    I am a doubting Thomas, I will have to drive it to believe it that the new Taurus is really upscale, and higher quality inside than the Accord.

    And “comfortable” does not cut it any more. The Camry is just as comfortable for much less. But the Accord’s precision handling is not just a matter of “more sporty”, but a matter of control and safety over one’s car. Those that appreciated Buick-like barge handling are dying or in nursing homes, you can see it in Buick sales: even though new buicks are better than the unacceptable and not inexpensive buicks of the past, their sales are off the cliff.

  • avatar

    The only thing I care about is, Does it have a transmission that won’t break?

    Because ye gods, the Classic Taurus Transmissions are god awful.

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    NullModo,

    Thanks for that info on the Edge. I didn’t know that.

    As proof I’m not a “hater,” my wife and I are considering a used Taurus X or Flex now (if I don’t buy a certain used Infinity Q45 first), once the market worsens again, and prices decline, which I’m confident they will. I analyze such things for a living, in part, and think the future will vindicate my call.

    We like the Flex for our needs now that we have a 10 month old and find ourselves inundated with “stuff” we have to haul everywhere, and desire much easier ingress/egress and shelter from the sun for our baby.

    It’s not a perfect vehicle, but it’s unique in a good way and class competitive if one can be found in good shape at a good price. We like the ride, configuration and the overall packaging.

    I never thought I’d own a vehicle such as the Flex/Taurus X, but with our first now here, everything changed rapidly.

    My last experience with Ford ‘customer care,’ some 14 years ago, was a very frustrating and even enraging experience. I’m hoping they really improved their customer service and dealer training. If we buy a used, but still warrantied Flex or Taurus X, I’m going to call on you if we have any major issues. ;)

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    I say a new Taurus on the road the other day…it was so bland it was almost embarrassing.

    It just blends in…like a polar bear in a snow storm. There is nothing polarizing/striking about the design. It’s like Ford put effort into making it NOT stand out.

    The funny part is, as I was waiting to turn and say it coming…I thought it was a Camry!

    ———

    As for the SHOW…Ford missed the mark again. We all know that $38K for a Taurus is outrageous. It does NOT matter how many gimmicks Ford bolts to the car…it’s still a lowly Taurus with a Lincoln price tag.

    The car is too BIG! And with that stupid black cladding on the bottom of the car, it looks as if the car is some sort of off-road machine.

    There is no Yamaha engine…and no wild intake manifold. Just an acre of cheap black plastic covering the engine. Way to be innovate Ford…

    The interior is not bad…but it’s not great. Again…it’s like Ford tried to make it bland and cold.

    The brakes suck. Shouldn’t the performance version have upgraded brakes?

    The name is wrong. Ford absolutely murdered the Taurus brand starting in 1996. Then from 1996 to 2009 ANY car that wore the Taurus name was a turd. Why would you continue that? Ford,in one of their only bright moves, ditched the Taurus name in 2005…because it was damaged.

    FWD based AWD. FAIL!

    V6 that drinks like a V8. FAIL.

    Jeremy Clarkson on “Eco”boost:

    Technically, then, the Flex is completely backward, and don’t be fooled by the badge on the back that says “EcoBoost”. That suggests it’s a hybrid of some kind or that it runs on soil. But no. What it signifies is that instead of the V8 iron lung you might expect, it’s propelled by a 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 that produces 355bhp and will get you and your passengers from rest to 60mph in 7sec. [b]“EcoBoost”, then, is a badge on the back. Nothing more…..

    Just like the SHO badge…

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    I do tend to agree that Ford made the 2010 Taurus about 500 to 600 pounds heavier than they had to, and they really didn’t show a good effort paring the weight given that the interior is smaller than the last gen (the backseat leg room is considerably less).

    I’d also think the price they’re asking is deserving of a more refined motor.

    As far as the EcoBoost is concerned, it’s competitive on paper, but front wheel drive, weak brakes and a portly weight really defeat its purpose.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    Autosavant – I agree that overall there are too many models in most automakers lineups, but Ford’s glut is in the CUV segment more so than cars. As the new Taurus shares a platform and factory with the Lincoln MKS there is some economy of scale there. I don’t believe for a second than you have to have 400,000 sales per year to be profitable however. Toyota and Honda do put up huge numbers with the Camry/Accord/Corolla/Civic, but if you look at their other offerings, even vehicles that are considered very successful such as the CR-V, Rav-4, Prius, Highlander, etc, sales are a lot closer to 100K per year.

    If you haven’t driven one, you really need to. The ride isn’t anything like old boat Buicks or the Town Car, it is a modern unibody sedan with fully independent suspension. The ride has comfort in terms of being able to absorb imperfections in the road without making you feel like you are floating on top of it.

    The biggest telling statement though is your comment on fighting for the few buyers that prefer domestics. Trying to squabble over those who will just buy domestic is a losing proposition – the only way forward is to attract buyers looking for quality cars period, not just better domestic cars. Yes, it might take some time to win back people who jumped ship and have been happy with Toyonda, but by consistently building cars that aren’t just good for domestics, but good cars period, it can be done.

    ohsnapback –

    I didn’t think you were a hater, but that old ‘perception gap’ does exist to an extent, and can rear its ugly head from time to time. I will fully admit that Ford, GM, and Chrysler put out a good deal of crap in the past. I fully remember the ovoid Tauri and how gobsmackingly awful they were. Too many people remember those awful cars, and without giving the new ones a chance by driving them and seeing them in flesh and bone, associate those bad feelings from the previous models with them.

    I’m not saying that is what you are doing, but it is a real problem, and one that will only be solved by year upon year of consistent excellence in product reliability and quality such as what is coming out now with the 2010 Fusion, Taurus, Flex, Mustang, etc. Customer care at the dealer level of course has to be top of class as well, and, while I don’t know what it was like 14 years ago, I can say that now if one of my customers ever has a legitimate issue with the car, I make sure it gets resolved right away. In fact, at my dealership, if you have a customer with a problem, you don’t take on a new customer until you have done everything in your power to resolve whatever the issue is.

    P71 –

    In the midst of your stream of bile you do have one good point – the Taurus name should have been left to rest in peace. I agree completely. The Five Hundred didn’t sell poorly because of the name, it sold poorly because it was underpowered and unimaginatively styled. All the Taurus name does is confuse customers who remember the size of their old Taurus and its place in the market, and assume the new one fills the same role. Whether they’d have stuck with Five Hundred, or gone with Galaxy or even made it the new Crown Victoria, anything but Taurus could have saved a lot of confusion.

    I will say though that if you mistook a 2010 Taurus for a Camry on the road, I’m glad I don’t live up near the Twin Cities, as the DMV up there must not take their eye exams very seriously.

  • avatar
    sixspeed

    BAD MARKETING:
    I see Ford trying to reinvent itself as a company, but they’re doing a bad job. I mean, they’re bad at it, and their marketing department doesn’t help matters either, and if anything, they’re making matters worse.

    Ford is probably the only major North American vehicle manufacturer that will survive. When they started to put out new products, the first thing they should have done was to change their company logo. Not a dramatic change, but maybe modernize it a little bit. I know that it has allot to do with tradition, and market recognition, but when a company dramatically reinvents itself, it’s one of the things that they are supposed to do. I can give you guys an example from the IT industry that has worked miracles for Intel. At the beginning of 2006 Intel changed their logo. It wasn’t a dramatic change, but they modernized it, and it worked. They even hired a company to design a new font just for their logo. Why did they do that, you might ask? Because since the launch of the Pentium 4 processor, Intel has put out a crappy CPU after another, and their competitor, AMD was slowly overtaking them. Finally, when they where getting ready to launch their new flagship CPU, the Intel Core 2, they also changed their logo, to signal their customers that they are changing for the better. Ford should do the same thing.

    The other issue with Ford is that they have this sort of nice vehicle, the S-H-O Taurus, but they are clearly marketing it wrong. If it’s a performance vehicle, aimed to compete with the likes of the Audi RS4, then they should do a better job at naming and differentiating it. They don’t need to look to far, but look for example at Mazda, because Mazda has their Mazdaspeed lineup. Well, currently they only have one vehicle in that lineup, but I think that it makes a good example. The customer that buys into the whole performance mantra wants to be recognized on the road, and by his peers, he wants others to know that his Ford is special.

    The golden rule in marketing today is KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). Keep it simple for people to easily understand what your product is all about, because everyone of us has a busy and active lifestyle. The name of the vehicle should relay a message to the audience that the product is aimed at. Call it something like the Ford Taurus Racing Edition … or maybe not, but it should be simple enough for people to identify that specific product by its name. Maybe Ford should be more careful about who they hire in their marketing department, because at the end of the day, no matter how good and well executed a product is, if it’s not marketed right, it won’t sell.

    Just my 2 cents. And by the way, ya’ll know what they say about opinions: everyone has one, so this was just my humble opinion, nothing more, and nothing less.

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    NullModo,

    There are more things I like, numerically speaking, than dislike, about the 2010 Taurus.

    These include exterior appearance, interior materials, useful tech features like Synch (which I like) and Blind Spout System (have it on my wife’s new Mazda 6 and really like it), trunk space, ride quality, interior quietness…

    The things I don’t like include smaller interior space versus last gen, too much weight, a motor that can become raucous at high rpm, and what I perceive as a higher price stilted option structure.

    I don’t know why you persist in thinking I’m less than objective because I find faults with the car.

  • avatar
    oldyak

    Regardless of what most have to say,I am pleased that Ford chose the name S.H.O.for their premium Taurus offering!!I am an owner of a Gen-1(1989) S.H.O.and I think that reviving the name was a great move by Ford!The last generation S.H.O.`s were so stealth I still have to look twice!
    And by that time the Yamaha motor had its fair share of problems.I think Ford will find buyers for the new S.H.O. even if its only a whisper of its past glory…
    How many converts will be made with a little “after dinner ride”
    I personally hope a LOT!!

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    Isn’t the SHO supposed to be a sleeper, like M BMWs and AMG Mercs used to be before they went all F&F?

    I see a problem with the curb weight, the plastic engine cover, the sheer size and the mandatory slushbox. All those factors make is obvious that the SHO is as sporty as Churchill.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    ohsnapback – I wasn’t trying to imply that you personally were less than objective, sorry if that is how it came across. You are correct in that yes, interior space did decrease some since the last version and the curb weight is high for its size.

    What I wonder is if in the grand scheme of things if plastic engine covers, higher curb weight, and the restyling that somewhat shrunk interior space will help or hurt the car in the marketplace. Looking at it from the 95% of the market who are not car enthusiasts, the higher curb weight (if they even know about it) implies increased solidity and safety, as does the higher beltline and smaller windows, and the plastic engine cover somehow shows refinement vs a bare engine. I don’t know why plastic engine covers have become an industry standard, and I’d be just as happy to see them go.

    The 2008-2009 Taurus was huge inside, with a huge easily accessibly trunk, had decent pep, great safety ratings, and sold like crap. It, like the Taurus X, was an incredibly practical car, but it appears that mass market doesn’t want practicality at the expense of style. The original Scion xB had more interior space, was lighter, and had better fuel economy than the redone version, yet sales skyrocketed for the model after the refresh.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    I will say though that if you mistook a 2010 Taurus for a Camry on the road, I’m glad I don’t live up near the Twin Cities, as the DMV up there must not take their eye exams very seriously.

    My vision is 20/13. No glasses and no contacts.

    That is what an unbiased opinion can get you…honest answers. And, to be honest, the 2010 Taurus looks like the Camry.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    The 2008-2009 Taurus was huge inside, with a huge easily accessibly trunk, had decent pep, great safety ratings, and sold like crap. It, like the Taurus X, was an incredibly practical car, but it appears that mass market doesn’t want practicality at the expense of style.

    No…wrong.

    Ford didn’t advertise them. Think of all the money Ford could have saved if they just advertised the T-X…but instead, they re-skin the T-X into an ugly box, spend tons of money on advertising…and it STILL doesn’t sell any better than the T-X.

    Ford should have just stuck with the T-X and advertised it. But, this is Ford we are talking about…when have they made a good decision lately?

  • avatar
    Corey

    Just a quick defense of my beloved Mazdaspeed6, which has been (rather fairly) cited as another example why the Taurus SHO was / is failing. The MS6 isn’t a WRX/Evo competitor – those cars absolutely destroy my car. It was envisioned as a Subaru Legacy GT and Audi A4 competitor – a car for people who wanted quick, AWD sedans, but also didn’t want to scream “boy racer” at every stoplight. People don’t even look at me twice out on the road, which is just fine with me.

    Back to the topic at hand: dear lord the new SHO is a big car. You need 365 hp to move around a car that heavy.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    P71 – I’ll concede that the Five Hundred and it’s direct Taurus successor didn’t have a decent marketing campaign, which is one reason I am very glad to see Ford putting a lot of money behind the new Taurus, the buzz has been great so far.

    The Flex is steadily climbing over Taurus X sales numbers, but perhaps more importantly the demographic of people buying the Flex is very different from the Taurus X. The vast majority of Taurus X buyers were already Ford customers, and most of them were older – upper middle age to senior citizens. The Flex has brought in much younger buyers, late 20s, 30s, and early middle age customers, and a lot of them are first timers for Ford, or returning to the Ford fold after being import customers for years. While not giving up loyal customers is important, bringing in conquest sales is vital to improving market share and being more profitable in the future.

  • avatar
    Campisi

    My vision is 20/13. No glasses and no contacts.

    That is what an unbiased opinion can get you…honest answers. And, to be honest, the 2010 Taurus looks like the Camry.

    Have you ever noticed that everyone on the internet is over six feet tall?

    The problem with objectivity is that everyone thinks that their particular view is the objective one. As someone that openly flaunts their admittedly-irrational dislike of Ford, even I will tell you that the Taurus and the Camry don’t look alike.

    The Taurus: http://www.casanovacars.com/2007/03/15/Ford%20Mondeo%2020081.jpg

    The Camry: http://pictures.topspeed.com/IMG/crop/200902/2010-toyota-camry-pr_460x0w.jpg

    There is a faint familiarity there, but they look as similar to each other as a Crown Victoria and a Caprice appear similar.

  • avatar
    pauldun170

    If they were to release a Fusion “SVT” with this power train it would likely run in the low 30’s and people would complain about paying 30+ for a Fusion.

    If they were to bring the Focus RS over…a brilliant 300hp car, folks would complain about paying 30K for a Focus.

    The issue is that no matter how competent the car, no one wants to pay over 30K for a car with a Ford badge on it.

    Ford could put a manual transmission in the SHO, put proper brakes on it and up the HP to 400 and it still will not sell. It could lay golden eggs that hatch slutty supermodels and it still wouldn’t sell. People will still complain about paying over 30K for a Ford sedan.

    Up the price 20G and put an Audi badge on it and it’ll sell like hot cakes.

  • avatar

    P71_CrownVic :
    September 21st, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    The funny part is, as I was waiting to turn and say it coming…I thought it was a Camry!

    Just how does the new Taurus look like a Camry? Yes, both cars have the currently fashionable high belt line and a slightly wedged shaped. However, the Taurus has a higher belt line, with the gun slit windows of the Interceptor concept. Both cars have a long hood and short rear deck, but then that would make the Taurus ‘look like’ a Camaro and Challenger too. The Camry has a protruding proboscis and a Bangle butt. The Taurus has much cleaner front and rear fascias.

    In general, the Taurus has a much more muscular stance than the Camry. I’m not saying that people couldn’t confuse the two, but I don’t see it. Perhaps if you explained why you see a similarity I’d understand your POV.

    The other day I saw a Jaguar XF pulling out of a business driveway. I’ve seen the XF before, up close at the shows, but from the particular perspective, a near rear 3/4 view, the XF looked rather generic, I first thought it was a Malibu.

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    The Taurus & Camry look nothing alike, but then again, you can get 4 banger, fuel miserly, soft riding Camrys for 17.5 to 18.5k all day long.

    It’s just about as big inside, and is a nice daily driver for the driver not needing to race or track their car from red light to red light, even if I’m not a particular fan of Toyawnda.

    At at discount of 8k to the base Taurus, that’s not exactly chump change, and the resale value on the Toyawnda will be fairly high, also.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    The problem with objectivity is that everyone thinks that their particular view is the objective one. As someone that openly flaunts their admittedly-irrational dislike of Ford, even I will tell you that the Taurus and the Camry don’t look alike.

    The Taurus: http://www.casanovacars.com/2007/03/15/Ford%20Mondeo%2020081.jpg

    The Camry: http://pictures.topspeed.com/IMG/crop/200902/2010-toyota-camry-pr_460×0w.jpg

    That ‘Taurus’…is actually a Mondeo.

    And from the front quarter panel view…the Taurus looks like the Camry…which isn’t a bad thing…look at how many Camry’s Toyota sells. You Ford cheerleaders should be very happy they look alike.


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