By on June 30, 2009

Not everything needs to come with a warning label. A bag of peanuts shouldn’t have “Warning: contains nuts” on it. You know what I’m talking about here. But when I shyly asked the infamous “Agent 001” of Autospies to be my co-driver for the next day’s 2010 Taurus SHO twisty-road press preview, perhaps I should have had excerpts from my “Maximum Street Speed” editorials stapled to the functional sleeves of my Gulf Blue Kiton linen jacket. Kind of a warning label, you see. It would have saved him more than a little worry the next day . . . to say nothing of the dry heaves. But don’t worry: Ford’s latest SHOmobile isn’t nausea-inducing. Unless, that is, you are sensitive to the odor of disc brakes when their pads catch on fire.

My time in the 2010 Taurus Limited had given me plenty of reason to hope that the twin-turbo “EcoBoost” variant would be a world-beater. The original 1989 SHO was a ass-kicking sedan that polished the big Ford’s faux-Audi-5000 demeanor to a razor’s edge. Applying the same treatment to the stock Taurus would create the perfect tool with which to humiliate Honda S2000 drivers on a back road or a particularly wide-open road course. A thirteen-second car with a family-friendly face and actual metal on the dashboard. What’s not to like?

Following an unusually comprehensive product presentation in the courtyard of Asheville’s brand-new Grand Bohemian hotel, we set off in our blood-red SHO—but not until the rest of the journalists were twenty minutes down the road. “Why are we waiting?” Agent 001 asked me.

“Cause we’re gonna catch ’em ten minutes into the backroad drive,” was the cocky response. Alas, it wasn’t cocky enough: the first of the poky journo-driven SHOs came into view after just five minutes of pedaling Ford’s stout-hearted turbomotor at full chat along North Carolina’s twisty lanes. This is one of the all-time great passenger-car engines. The standard Duratec 3.5 is a snoozer of the first order, but adding some beefier hardware and a pair of hairdryers pointed at the intake turns this Sleeping Beauty into a wicked witch.

Across North Carolina’s wandering countryside, the EcoBoost fired the big Ford past loitering traffic like the railgun in the new Transformers movie. Virtually no passing zone is too short for the fortified six-speed to snap down two gears and strain the four contact patches to their limit under acceleration. This is major-league thrust, enough to make a 335i owner feel slightly inadequate. Even better, the electric power steering is usable and efficient, allowing the inside tire to be placed within inches of the road’s edge time and time again.

Ford’s provided shifter paddles on the SEL, Limited, and SHO models. They are abysmal. I have never operated a worse manumatic shifter, period, point blank. Snapping a downshift requires placing one’s thumb on a tiny button above the steering spoke and pressing it hard enough to flex the plastic before the paddle actually rotates and makes the request. Everybody else I spoke to on the press drive gave up on them immediately, but I continued working with the wobbly paddles, just because the manual-selection mode works just as it’s supposed to, holding the EcoBoost at the limiter without an involuntary upshift.

You’ll want to hold those gears when you can, because after the first five corners you’ll want the engine-braking effect. Finally, someone has challenged BMW in the critical area of providing suck-tastic brakes on very fast cars. (They aren’t called the Bayerische Brake Werke, you know.) Ford’s aware of the problem and is offering an upgraded-pad “Performance Package.” But really, just unbolt the calipers and put something else on. A set of Boxster brakes. A set of Shelby GT500 brakes. A set of bicycle brakes. It doesn’t matter.

Had I been the only driver to smoke the calipers, I’d have put it down to my relentless and indefensible desire to use the road as my private racetrack. But I watched the other journos do it, and their pace, to a man (and woman), can only be described as “pathetic beyond reason.” This is a big problem and it spoils the usability of an otherwise outstanding performance sedan.

There’s that word: outstanding. This SHO truly is an outstanding car, but is it really a “SHO”? The answer, sadly, is “probably not.”

It’s fundamentally a Taurus Limited with the view through the windshield set to fast-forward. The iconic original SHO had a manual transmission, a suspension optimized for handling over comfort, and an aggressiveness that left no doubt in anyone’s mind as to its mission. This SHO goes but doesn’t stop, corners but doesn’t claw at the road, is fast but is never furious. It’s an engine in search of a chassis and a car in search of a mission. SHOgoers in search in a sequel to the 1989 original should read this warning label: “Should have been called Limited Ecoboost.”

[Ford provided Mr. Baruth’s travel, accommodation, meals, libations, the vehicle reviewed, gas and insurance.]

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62 Comments on “Review: 2010 Ford Taurus SHO...”

  • avatar

    granted development on the SHO was green-lighted in a different economic environment, but nevertheless the $$$$ spend on the SHO development should have been spent on dropping the EcoBoost into an AWD-MKZ (a la Audi) and upgrading Lincoln.

    It makes no sense having a $40k Ford sedan when Lincoln is rudderless.

  • avatar

    Sounds like another would-be great car that was consumer clinic-ed (sp?) to death.
    Sigh….those darn marketting guys! They’ve got to stop running those clinics down at the shopping mall.

  • avatar

    Lincoln’s gone, don’t worry about it. New Lincolns are those gigantic SUV’s with the toothy grilles reminiscent of the late 40’s Zephyrs. Maybe some of the Town Cars I see are new too; I wouldn’t know.

    So Ford’s new SHO is a beta version. Too bad.

  • avatar

    Unbelievably crappy brakes and small fires must be Ford’s way of being retro because that definitely harks back to the Fords of yore.

    Glad to hear that the interior and engine are great, too bad about the everything else.

    When you get a chance, I’d like to see your review of the SHO with the performance pack.

    Also, no mention of fuel economy or exhaust note? Were either any good?

  • avatar

    @ slateslate :

    “granted development on the SHO was green-lighted in a different economic environment,”

    You mean the one in which Ford was losing money hand over fist and was sitting on a farago of failed D3 variants?

  • avatar

    what a surprise

    ford couldn’t get a 400hp 4,400lb sedan to brake properly…

  • avatar

    I’d like to learn to drive like you. Really. No jokes here.

    Great review. Could you please make one on the first SHO?

    How many HP and lb/ft does that thing have? Turbos are addictive, the new cars should be specially sick. I guess what would happen just by playing a bit with the wastegate…

    Which other publications were along in the ride? Because, for what I’ve read on other magazines… god, they’re supposed to be da shit driving.

    I read your articles about speed on open roads. I even saved them, but I think you sometimes deviated from the main subject you presented. Also I think there are better techniques for the highway, altough I recognize, I haven’t driven on the high side of triple digit speeds. I’m not flaming your articles, I’m just saying you could have made a hell of an article disclosing more/organizing better the info ;).
    Had to say.

  • avatar

    I’m glad to hear the engine is great. That was a surprise.

    Too bad about the brakes. I suspect that’s probably easily fixed. Hopefully Ford will do the right thing there.

    Paddle shifters that suck….can’t say I’m surprised.

    Whether the SHO is needed is a good question. However, the Taurus is no longer the small/midsize sedan it was in 1990. This is a full size car, and as such, it really would probably flop with a manual trans and handling over comfort. This car will be perfect for those who want a bit of sport with their big comfy car….and I can’t think offhand any other competitor’s models that offer such power with AWD that the SHO does.

    If Ford does a SHO Fusion, that might make some sense. Maybe that is what the sport model is supposed to be, I don’t know. But the Fusion is the car the Taurus was 20 years ago.

  • avatar

    Funny you mention the smoking/flaming brakes- reminds me of road trips in the NC mountains in my dad’s first generation Taurus.

    It seems the current gen can just accomplish that more quickly due to a heavier car and more powerful engine. Sounds like they’ve come a long way in 20 years.

  • avatar

    The paddle shifters are worse than those on the Smart? I guess we have a new yardstick for craptacular paddle shifters.

  • avatar
    Ken Elias

    Perhaps it shouldn’t wear the SHO badge but simply marketed as a more powerful Taurus…maybe Taurus EcB? That would stop the “SHO” comparisons with the Yamaha marine V8 of yore…and properly place the vehicle in the minds of most consumers. The SHO badging might actually turn off some “family” and “executive” buyers…

  • avatar

    on the other hand, I would think this will create some aftermarket business for upgraded brakes, suspension, etc. Otherwise sounds like a nice car, although I hear that the price is a bit high, like many Ford’s are getting to be.

  • avatar

    There’s also the possibility that Ford tuned for comfort and left open the door for Ford Racing Performance Parts to offer some suspension and go-fast bits.

    It needs a manual, though. Was Ford unable to get a manual transmission that can handle the EcoBoost’s torque?

  • avatar

    Aren’t they supposed to be making an SVO Mustang with this engine? Sounds like it will kick ass if they do.

  • avatar

    Stingray…365hp/350 lb-ft of torque

    I doubt Ford was going for a repeat of the first Taurus SHO. If anything they can stick that motor in the Fusion and give the Camries(ys?) and Accords something to think about.

    Nah…with the beta version of the Taurus SHO, Ford is going for a more upscale crowd. Problem is, this suddenly makes the Lincoln MKS seem utterly forgettable. Were it my money, I’d gladly take the SHO over the MKS (and promptly do an aftermarket brake upgrade).

    Curiously, DUB already got their hands on one and DUBbed it out…

  • avatar

    Good to hear the engine is strong. Any more detail to offer on the handling? Does this car feel HUGE? Any hint of agility?

    This engine is offered in three other Fords so far: the Flex, MKS, and MKT. It adds from $3000 to $4500 to the price. All pricing for these 2010s is now in TrueDelta’s database, for quick, thorough comparisons with other models:

  • avatar

    See? That’s why you carry bottled water. I recently cured blazing pads with two of those ubiquitous bottles of water. In my case, the fire was caused by mechanical failure, not fun behind the wheel. Still, putting the fires out was an experience.

  • avatar

    So if the Taurus brakes are smoking, what happens when the EB Flex, with an additional 1000lbs of curb+cargo+passenger weight, raises the braking requirment another notch or two?

  • avatar
    Edward Niedermeyer

    There’s no way the paddle shifter is more pointless than the Honda Insight’s…

  • avatar

    Jack, if you’re going to buy this car to flog it, especially in the WNC mountains (I lived there for 12 years so I know all about brake fade), it’s reasonable to assume you’re going match hardware with intent by springing for the $1K upgraded wheel/tire/brake/steering/differential package. The Performance pack brakes are better–trust me–and the Michelins are much better tires than the Goodyears. The 20-inch wheels do transmit a good bit more road noise into the cabin than the 19’s, though. The change in handling and feel is about the same as it is between the SEL and the non-performance-pack SHO. I’m surprised they didn’t have any of those available for you to test–I assume you had MP1 builds.

    Agreed on the paddle shifters. They were even worse six months ago, though, so I’m hoping more of the flex will be gone by Job 1. Firmer, quicker shifting in manual mode would be nice, too.

  • avatar

    Hey, the jab at S2000’s wasn’t necessary, especially since they’ll be laughing back at you with your flaming brakes!

    But moreover, hopefully they’ll equip it with better brakes regardless, this shouldn’t be an option. You don’t see Mustangs with this problem.

    Which brings up Mr. Karesh’s question, in comparison to a 2010 Mustang even, how is the handling on this SHOboat?

  • avatar

    I love the car overall, but I can’t see how Ford can afford to NOT upgrade those brakes before full-on production begins… An optional “Adequate Brake Package” is unacceptable.

    Did any of the Ford reps that were present at the Intro/road test comment on this issue??

  • avatar

    You know, back in the day brakes couldn’t stop an overpowered car worth a damn, and you didn’t hear us complaining.

    This country is going to hell.

  • avatar

    But moreover, hopefully they’ll equip it with better brakes regardless, this shouldn’t be an option. You don’t see Mustangs with this problem.

    Unless you get a Shelby, Bullitt, or optional “Track Pack” car, the Mustang’s brakes last about as long in aggressive driving as the Chevy Chase Show did on TV.

  • avatar

    Brakes, shmakes.

    Doesn’t everyone feel the looming depression (seriously)?

    Buy a decade old Ford Escort, and hang a nice photo of a Porsche Carrera GT in your fat rendering/pickling shed.

    This was a very good review, smartly written, but I’d like to know more about the ride quality and handling, as well as NVH and interior impressions.

  • avatar

    I honestly wasn’t expecting much from the SHO.

    People can talk all they want about this V6 but I’d rather rely on a HemiC or SRT8 for this kind of money. People who can afford these cars don’t give a damn about gas prices. I was paying $4.89 for Premium in my S550 without batting an eye and I know plenty of people who didn’t mind either. v6 isn’t the new V8.

    As for the car itself, its nothing but a “lesser” MKS. I wasn’t too excited by the MKS after I got into one. Its smaller inside than the new E-class and until this new engine came out it was utterly shamed by the lowly Genesis. If the Taurus had HEMI power, then and only then would I be ga ga.

    But the brakes suck…


  • avatar

    Let’s see …. 40 large for a SHO, or 40 large for a G8/GXP. Being a fan of north/south engines with RWD — plus the availability of a 6-Speed manual — I think I’ll take the GXP. Even if it is from a dead brand walking.

    Plus, the damn brakes work.

  • avatar

    Hi everybody,

    For the most part, handling and NVH are similar to the Taurus in last week’s article.

    Sajeev will rise from his (metaphorical) grave and strike me down for saying this, but the D3-platform cars feel reasonably light on their feet to me. I have a Flex and I find myself occasionally hearing the “thump” of the inside rear wheel leaving the ground during enthusiastic driving. They’re all much easier to drive hard than the equivalent GM big FWD car.

    I did discuss the brake issue with Ford personnel during the drive, but I was told, “This isn’t a track car, and we aren’t selling it as such.” That’s fair, but the car still needs to stop better.

  • avatar

    Thanks for the prompt and specific responses to questions, Jack.

    This is a good example of why TTAC and maybe one other site that begins with J and ends with K are literally the only credible sources of automotive information left.

    Well, at least there are still two.

  • avatar

    I recently drove a Flex for 2,500 miles. Felt huge and loose to me, but grip was decent and comfort very good. I personally slightly prefer the handling of GM’s Lambdas. But the Flex rides better.

    I do not see the point of EcoBoost in the Flex, as I rarely needed to rev the base engine over 3k. Maybe the point would become clear with a test drive?

    Averaged about 24 MPG in mostly highway driving. Saw 32 MPG from my house to the airport, to return it. But suspect that the trip computer was on drugs for that tank.

  • avatar

    Jack and Michael –

    Were your respective Flexes (Flexi?) AWD or FWD?

  • avatar

    The one I rented was an SEL FWD. Torque steer if you floor it, but I was gentle with the throttle most of the time.

  • avatar


    $42 grand is a lot of mula for a would-be Legacy GT.

  • avatar

    TonyJZX :
    June 30th, 2009 at 11:48 am

    what a surprise

    ford couldn’t get a 400hp 4,400lb sedan to brake properly…

    If I remember correctly Lincoln Mark VIII had some of the worst brakes I ever used, terrible attribute in an otherwise really nice car.

    You would think at 40k you would get a proper manual transmission or at least something in league with VW’s DSG. I don’t see the Taurus SHO doing very well. Hell I don’t think I’ve seen any newer Tauruses that aren’t the Taurus X re badge (not a bad car, I was dissapointed to see the AWD car get stuck in the snow though).

  • avatar

    I have a Flex AWD Limited, with every option except 20″ wheels (we have the 19″ polished ones) and dual DVD (we have single DVD). 5500 miles so far, all happy.

  • avatar

    Every review says the brakes suck, I dunno what ford was thinking putting in the same setup as a standard Taurus. Perhaps to save money? The freaking thing already costs forty-grand.

  • avatar

    Flexes are the vehicles of choice at my dealership when one of us has to make an extended run on company business (going to an off-site training, picking someone up after a home delivery of a vehicle, going to a customers house to get something signed that got missed or to pick up stips, etc). I wouldn’t call them sporty, but they don’t drive like yachts either. We have sold a number of Flexes to customers coming out of Town Cars or Grand Marquis who value a quiet, comfortable ride, but wanted something with some more modern conveniences.

    I am sorry to hear the brakes weren’t up to your standards, but at the same time, Consumer Reports seems to pan a lot of Ford vehicles as having poor brakes, but I have never noticed it. They all stop fine in my experience, although I will admit I haven’t tried to drive them aggressively through the twisties. Hopefully the SHO will get an upgrade before units start shipping.

    As far as the point of the EB Flex – Ford is trying to position the Flex as a viable alternative to an Expedition for those who want better gas mileage. We have plenty of customers who turn their noses up at it ‘only’ having a V6 with around 265 horsepower. The Flex performs just fine with the NA 3.5, but Americans love their straight line performance and 0 – 60 bragging rights, so the EB version will get plenty of takers. Similarly, I think the SHO is going to get most of its sales from those looking for an image car, those in the cult of SHO from the original versions, and those who want the straight line performance. I’d be very surprised if any significant number of SHO buyers were avid auto-crossers looking for their next whip.

  • avatar

    While I would love to see this car with a manual, a car of this size and price would likely find few manual buyer. I guess this is more of a marketing disappointment than a hardware problem (brakes excepted)…no surprise considering Ford’s bizarre approach to marketing and positioning cars.

    All that said, I agree with Jerome10 in that a SHO Fusion would more closely align with the original Taurus SHO. Which really begs the question: Why did Ford really use the Taurus name on this car? The name had equity, to be sure. But that equity measured up to a decent mid size car that could be had mild to wild. Even taking the sad new car bloat into account, this new Taurus is more elephant than bull.

  • avatar


    There’s a 9 inch difference between the 1st and 3rd gen Tauruses. The current generation is 4 inches beyond that. I think the problem is that the iconic Taurus is still the original, which was mid-size, and it hasn’t really been quite in that class for a while. At some point it ended up in the “Buick class”, and so they made it a premium full-size to match that.

  • avatar

    Brakes shmakes… no, wait, someone said that already.

    That said, I find that two tons of BMW driven at breakneck pace for more than a few minutes will eat their brakes… even when equipped with optional performance upgrades like twin piston calipers and slotted discs. I don’t expect a stock Ford mule to do much better.

    Entertaining review. Probably not for your co-driver, though. But I agree that Ford is missing the point here… they really ought to be working on a Fusion SHO instead…

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    Test the car with the upgraded brakes then let us know what you think. For standard driving these brakes are probably comparable to an Avalon or said low-end BMW. To let journalists test a large sedan around a track without the best brakes offered is stupid of Ford. But to harp on this when there is an upgrade option available is just a bit yellow.

  • avatar

    90% of SHO owners aren’t gonna drive aggressively enough to cook the standard issue stoppers pulled from the regular models. And half of that 10% are most likely straight-line drag heroes who aren’t likely to autocross their way around curvy roads.

    But the press about the SHO’s poor brakes is what will set it back a bit. Then again, if it ain’t one thing (brakes), it’s another (the damn flappy paddle button things).

  • avatar

    @ racebeer:

    “Let’s see …. 40 large for a SHO, or 40 large for a G8/GXP. Being a fan of north/south engines with RWD — plus the availability of a 6-Speed manual — I think I’ll take the GXP.”

    I doubt that you will find one person among the B&B that would disagree with you, BUT….

    Your chances of finding a 6-speed GXP are the about the same as GM regaining it’s 50% market share.

    So, to “stay American” we’re down to one car. The 2010 SHO? Puh-leeeze. This is where my patriotism really gets tested.

  • avatar

    The new SHO will sell in like fashion as the old Edsel.

    And it will sell at deep discounts, too.

    40k+ for this car with no manual tran and no serious brake and handling kit?

    What is the point of this car at this price point?

  • avatar

    The car has a point, and a solid market, just not as a balls to the wall sports sedan. The SHO isn’t a budget M5, or even an AMG for less.

    This is a car bigger than an Audi A8 or Lexus LS, with similar power, all of the same toys plus some extras, interior quality that is within a hair if not equal to the Luxury marks, and all for over $25,000 less. Hyundai proved there was a market for a premium sedan from a mainstream brand with the Genesis, I see the SHO as a similar vehicle.

  • avatar

    Funny, I literally had the brakes smoking on my parents’ ’87 Ford Taurus when I was in high school. The more things change, the more they stay the same. I’m still shocked that Ford didn’t upgrade the brakes for the SHO.

  • avatar

    For a second I forgot that NulloModo sells Fords…

    Sorry, but the new Taurus’ back seat isn’t nearly as roomy as that in an A8 or LS, and the interior quality is head full of hair away from those cars. It’s a nice car, but not that nice.

  • avatar

    Michael – I don’t try to keep it a secret that I am a Ford salesman here. I don’t disclaim it in every post, but that would be a bit tiresome after a while.

    I haven’t been in the back seat of a current generation LS or A8, but according to Edmunds, the Taurus has more rear seat legroom than the A8 (front and rear) and more hip room than the LS (front and rear) but apparently Audi doesn’t publish hip room, and Lexus doesn’t publish leg room.

    As far as interior quality, thus far I have only been able to see in person two preproduction SEL models, and both were very, very nice. The Autoblog review noted that the quality was Audi level, and I would agree, though I haven’t yet seen a SHO in person.

  • avatar

    Didn’t mean to imply it was a secret. Just couldn’t make sense of your post before I realized this.

    I was able to sit in the new Taurus at NAIAS. It’s interior is pretty good for $30,000 car, but not a match for even Acura, which is itself no match for Lexus and Audi. The new Buick LaCrosse has a nicer interior, and sells for about the same price as the Taurus.

    Official specs are less precise than they appear–there are ways to cheat them. The subjective impression in the back of the new Taurus is that it isn’t nearly as roomy as the old Taurus / Five Hundred. It might be about even with the RWD Audi and Lexus.

  • avatar

    Michael – Thanks for bringing up the LaCrosse. I keep seeing it being compared to the Taurus, despite the fact it is closer in size to the Fusion. The Lucerne is the Taurus competitor.

    However, the question that really comes to mind is how does someone judge interior quality? There seem to be some hard rules, hard plastic is bad, leather is better than cloth which is better than vinyl, although convincing ‘leatherette’ might sometimes be better than cloth, real wood is better than fake wood, unless you can’t tell the difference, grained polymers are better than shiny, gaps should be kept to a minimum, and moving mechanisms should move with a certain weight. There are also a lot of things people just can’t come to a consensus on, such as lots of buttons vs few buttons, metal trim vs wood trim, shiny polished interior surfaces vs matte finish, individual displays for different functions vs a unified display, red vs blue vs green vs white for gauge backlighting, thumb vs index finger actuated shift levers, nav up high or shielded/shaded down below, and a whole host of others.

    Performance is fairly easy to quantify, 0 – 60 times are cut and dry as are skid pad numbers. Drag coefficeints and milers per gallon have standards which can be measured, and interior space, though as you note numbers can be fudged, can at least be measured. When it comes to overall interior ‘quality’ however, a lot comes down to person preference.

    The only niggles I have with the 2010 Taurus are that the trunk release button is for some reason located on the passenger side of the center console, the headliner is made of light fabric even in black interior cars, and the interior door panels aren’t as padded as those of the MKS. Aside from that the quality of the leather is excellent, the gauges are easy to read and well lit, the buttons are laid out in a sensible fashion with regard both to style and ergonomics, the fake wood doesn’t look fake, and the availible Nav system is universally regarded in all of the automotive press as the best example currently on the market.

    If you want to bring toys into the equation, heated and air-condintioned front seats, heated rear seats, massaging front seats, full up and down back and forth recline and lumbar are all power for the drivers seat, plus there is memory which includes the mirrors. You can choose an interior ambient lighting option from a variety of colors, and even have a rear sunshade that pops up to keep glare from coming in through the back window. Panel gaps are virtually non-existant as well.

    As an honest question, what makes an Acura, Lexus, or Buick LaCrosse interior superior?

  • avatar

    Kiton jacket? Nice name drop Jack, do you have one to match your S5 as well?

  • avatar

    The upcoming Buick Regal will go up against the Fusion. I suspect the LaCrosse and Taurus are closer in size than you realize. Check out the top table here:

    The Taurus is longeramd wider on the outside, and this pays off in a much larger trunk. But the interior dimensions are about the same–except the Buick ha 2.4 inches more rear legroom, a larger difference.

    Interior quality is a matter of the finishes and the precision with which the bits come together. To give you one example, in the new Taurus the pieces of the trim on the inner door panel do not fit precisely, by design. The diameters where they come together aren’t quite the same, and the edges that meet leave a gap between them.

    To give another, as in the MKS the center console trim has an overly flat and plastic look to it. They need to finesse the shape more, especially at the edges.

  • avatar
    Susan Waterwarrior

    The Taurus sounds like a decent car. I’d like to give up my Camry and buy American, but as long as
    Ford contradicts its environmental policy by partnering with Pan Am Railways in Mass. to unload Tauruses over wells that supply drinking water to 15,000 people, I won’t be buying a Ford anytime soon.

  • avatar

    I thought this car was an Audi on first glance but it’s a Ford.

    Oh please stop bad mouthing Ford again. Remember one of the great American cars that are still on the road or should I say an American company.

    Susan W. I am from Mass. Is that true? I know New Englanders hate having trees to be cut down and now contaminating the drinking water is more like to be a very big issue for the people of Massachusetts.

    Remember the movie by John Travolta, contaminated water in Woburn,Ma?
    Class action suit again will see

  • avatar
    Bruce from DC

    Well, let’s hope — for the company’s sake — that the car sells well. While enthusiasts drool (in retrospect) over the original Yamaha-powered SHO, the reality is that the car sold poorly and was heavily discounted. I know, I bought one in 1992. What I suspected was that Ford had a commitment to Yamaha to buy a certain number of engines (this would be reasonable to pay for the tooling, ensure a profit, etc.) and so had to keep building cars to put those engines in, even though they weren’t selling that well. IIRC, in 92 or the year after, a bored engine of slightly greater displacement (but equal rated HP) was offered with an autobox to help sales . . . but it didn’t.

    The reality was that the market for the original SHO just wasn’t there. (And the V-8 powered successor was pathetic — inferior in every performance spec. to the original and with a slushbox to boot.)

    This car looks like an effort to avoid the mistakes of the original. The engine may be extreme, but the rest of the car is not. The one weakness in the original SHO was the brakes — the discs would warp after an enthusiastic drive through the mountains.. I was fortunate to find a SHO-modifier who sold better quality metal discs and pads, although the brakes were still a little small. It was possible to fit larger discs but that required more work, including replacing spindles.

    I do not understand the attitude of Detroit in skimping on brakes for their cars. The Ford rep’s comment shows he’s still got old Detroit-think on the brain. How much can it cost to put in properly-sized brakes, with discs made of decent-quality metal? I realize that some foreign manufacturers cheap out on brakes, too (Honda/Acura comes to mind), but driving a car that stops reliably, predictably and quickly all of the time, under all conditions, is a real pleasure . . . and I’m no autocrosser or track jockey.

  • avatar

    The 99 SHO was 3440 curb weight so the performance and brake killer 2010 is weight.
    Don’t know if the 4400 lbs current model is the Ford curb or other estimate.
    What was Ford thinking? Or not thinking.

  • avatar

    Appears Ford USA is unable to get it together. Reminds me of the absolutely elegant two-seater T-bird redesign that they stuck with a slush box and sloppy suspension. Could have been a great sportscar. Could have been … seems to be Fords design ethic.

  • avatar

    It figures Ford would cheap out on something important…like brakes. It must be the way forward.

    Anyway, in NO WAY is this a *real* SHO.

    It is far too big.
    …far too heavy.
    It has no Yamaha engine.
    It has no manual transmission.

    Frankly, Ford couldn’t build a *real* SHO if they wanted to. They are too busy copying Toyota’s level of excitement…and Toyota’s are about as fun as having Swine Flu.

    Ford knows that this car is going to flop…it’s not even on sale yet and ALREADY the Ford X-Plan site is showing a $2000 rebate on ALL 2010 Taurus’. There’s a bold move for ya…

  • avatar

    Insideline is reporting that the fully loaded SHO is going to sell for….

    ….wait for it….

    $47,000.00 MSRP.

    They did a comparo between the SHO and the G37 Journey, in which case the Infinity, at $4k cheaper, trounced the expensive Taurus.

    Has FoMoCo lost its collective mind?

  • avatar

    Why bring back a piece of shit like the SHO! Come on Ford you can do better then that!

  • avatar

    Fords brakes have always felt soft in most of their product offerings over the past 3 decades. My 85 mustang gt had weakish brakes. My 91 SHO had fair but not fantastic brakes. My 2003 cobra mustang had decent brakes but over a short time they started feeling less firm and strong than brand new.
    Someone posted that Ford had some obligation to purchase engines from Yamaha. The story of the original SHO engine was told to me by ex CEO Donald Peterson. Originally a bank in Japan approached Ford on behalf of Yamaha to solicit business/projects. At the time of the orginal SHO development the initial plan was to take the Vulcan V6 and beef up the head based on engineering input from Yamaha. Yamaha took one look at the Vulcan V6 and offered to build a motor from a clean sheet of paper. The orignal engine had such excellent balance and construction that is could rotate at rpms much higher than any of the accesory components mounted to the front of the engine. At the time th 1989 SHO came out, the engine was one of the most advanced production engines in the world. Is the ecoboost an equal engineering advance from a relative standpoint? I am not certain. I do agree if you are going to unleash a bunch of psycho picky journalists testers the best suspension brake package is mandatory. Ford is not alone in this since Dodge and Chrysler often let their high performance sedans and coupes get tested with those miserable goodyear GA tires. Sadly these tests get carved in print with all the poor handling feedback and the true potential of these vehicles is not always appreciated.
    One thing I can say about the original SHO while it was FWD the suspnsion was tuned to create the impression the car was RWD even including a bit of lift throttle oversteer. The original SHO was an excellent handling car especially with the advent of the 16 inch tires in the 90 or 91 model? Further irony at the time of the original SHO, Ford had no automatic transmission to handle the SHOs power. The Chevrolet Lumina competitor had not manual transmission. I suspect the orignal SHO sold suboptimally because no decent automatic transmission was available. As usual these manufacturers work hard and can never win because someone will bleat there is no manual transmission but in terms of sales numbers few people are willing to buy that powertrain option.

  • avatar

    I’ve owned a new SHO for about 4 weeks and I have 3000 miles on it. It is NOT the old SHO, it is a new road car that compares nicely to the Audi’s and Beamers.
    The reviewer thaat didn’t like the paddle shifters must be ham-handed. They were great as far as I’m concerned. The reviewer complained about the brakes. I’ve had no problems and I regularly drive the mountains of WV.
    Fit and finish is great. The black paint isn’t black! In the sunlight it glitters with multi-color metal flake. Sounds tacky? Not when you actually see it. There is more room in the back than other similar sedans, but I’d still prefer the Lexus LS460L for long trips with four adults.
    I wanted a 4 wheel drive car with comfort and luxury. The only comparable vehicles were $15-25K more, and they werent American.

    One complaint. The cup holders are a disaster. You can’t get a big cup into them without fouling the shift lever. You also bash your knuckles on the decorative cover when you try to put a small cup into the holders. The rear cup holder on the center console has two places for cups. You can’t fit two cups in the space.

    The adaptive cruise control is outstanding. I drove over 150 miles without touching the gas or brake. You cannot believe how well it works! The blind spot indicators are excellent. Very few false hits.

    The NAV system with the weather map overlay on the route is neat and great in winter.

    The massage seats are cutsey. It feels like someone is poking you in the back where you don’t want to be poked.
    Like all new cars the owner’s manual is awful. All of the intformation is there but hard to find.

    This is a big, powerful road car with a ton of luxury features for a very good price.

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