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?