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SHOtime! Taurus moniker returns with 365 hp

Posted by Clifford Atiyeh  February 11, 2009 10:25 AM

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Ford Taurus SHO(Ford)

After a 10-year absence, the Super High Output nameplate is back - this time, on a much larger car with far more power. Taurus fans - who knew? - have hung a "mission accomplished" banner on the website as the car was unveiled this morning in Chicago. Clearly, there's more than a few people willing to fork over $38,000 for this fully-loaded four-door.

Ford's 3.5 liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 makes a healthy 365 horsepower, 130 more than the last SHO's Yamaha V-8. Besides dual exhaust tips, a subtle rear decklid spoiler and wheels up to 20 inches, there's not much to differentiate the SHO from the standard Taurus, but according to Ford, that's the point of its "authentic sleeper sedan formula."

Unlike the first 1989 SHO, there won't be a manual transmission, but the six-speed paddle-shifter automatic will blip the throttle on downshifts. For a detailed history on all three prior SHOs, head over to or watch this commercial.

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22 comments so far...
  1. The SHO Taurus was my favorite car as a kid. I'm not sure how well this SHO is going to do in this economy. $38k for a Ford may and probably will be the reason that this car goes out of production in 2-3 years.

    Posted by Pluto Nash February 11, 09 04:44 PM
  1. No manual transmission?? :-(
    I like it though. Bring back the Super Coupe!!!

    Posted by Z February 12, 09 09:45 AM
  1. A '93 SHO was my first car and first love. Unfortunately, it was someone else's, too. It was stolen from the Solomon Pond Mall while my buddies and I were seeing The Waterboy. True story.

    Posted by MisterSHO February 12, 09 10:06 AM
  1. It's great to see them getting that much power from a V6. Maybe Toyota should put one of its truck engines in a camry and see what happens?

    Posted by yuppiescum February 12, 09 10:14 AM
  1. Is that what the new Taurus is going to look like?? Did Ford hire Chris Bangle or something? It looks like a 5-Series' and Chrysler Sebring's lovechild.

    Posted by Lex February 12, 09 11:31 AM
  1. I owned two of these when I was in my late-teens, early 20's. Since then, I have gone foreigh (Maxima) because of quality issues with domestic automakers in the 90's and early 2000's. However, this may just be the first domestic car I test drive in the past 15 years.

    Posted by SPM February 12, 09 11:48 AM
  1. how can anyone pay 38k for a ford taurus? they smoking crack. I give it 3 years.

    Posted by Anonymous February 12, 09 01:26 PM
  1. Love this new design . what a sleeper. I am calling a dealer now to get my order placed. Great job!!!

    Posted by Bill Thomas February 12, 09 01:41 PM
  1. OK, so 22,00 people have read this article and 1 is ready to place an order. This car won't have a chance unless the street price comes down to 25K.

    Posted by Phil_Bucking February 12, 09 02:57 PM
  1. Have you driven a Ford lately? I have as a rental a few months ago. I'll stick to my much better quality Toyota which at 270hp is more than I really need.

    Posted by toy cannon February 12, 09 06:45 PM

    Posted by jay crane February 12, 09 11:12 PM
  1. I don't care about 365HP, its still a Ford. Besides, are you willing to pay 38K for it while you can get many other high performance cars in that price range?

    Posted by nota fordsfan February 13, 09 10:24 AM
  1. I had an SHO in 1990. I bought it due to Car and Driver article. I was the worst car I ever owned. The engine supports broke, and the engine just luckily did not fell down. The car has a 20,000 Kilometers warranty, after that each visit to the Ford dealer was hundreds of dollars. This is when a car is designed by markting. I hope this SHO is designed entirely to be strong enough for the engine.

    I agree I would not pay 38K for this car , in fact I would never buy it, based on the bad experience from the past.

    Posted by my inner voice February 13, 09 02:39 PM
  1. This is a real Drivers Car it comes with AWD, 20" inch rim so more of the sticky stuff touches the road compare to 19", 18",17" or smaller rims found on other performance machines, and best of all its a light block a V6. . This car will go the distance. It will absolutely shredd the BMW 5 series a car that may have 500 HP but lacks the AWD the Taurus SHO has. So why you may laud other cars that are High Performance machines you may want to check to see if they have AWD first. If not on slick pavement your gonna pay the price. If you don't believe me Check out the GT-R its a performance minded sports-super car that absolute obliterates the Competition
    jACKIE sTEAWRD the com

    Posted by Jimmy D February 14, 09 03:12 AM
  1. Ford is going to lead by example, as we now hear that they are the only American car co. not asking the government for a hand out, doesn't that mean something to most of you in this country that bought foreign, and have helped to put the US auto industry and jobs at risk. No commitment to "buy American" through out the years by individuals that are self centered, could care less about their own country,
    and probably "sell their own mother up the street", as they are and have been, ignorant to the "big picture". I have known people through the years that owned
    Toyota's or Honda's and they have all had problems from bad brakes, bad paint,noisy transmissions,rust,squeaks, and not to mention major recallsrecalls(Toyota).part

    Posted by Anonymous February 16, 09 12:29 PM
  1. 1st/2nd Generation Taurus sho: One of the best engines ever produced, the best V6 you could find anywhere from 89-95.....but too bad it was put in the Taurus. They should have found a way to Jam this engine in to mustangs and super coupes as well.
    3rd generation Taurus sho: Overpriced, underpowered, only trans was fords AX4N (might have also been AX4S...I can't keep track of all the trans names anymore) and this was basically a pile of garbage, and most failures.......
    NEW SHO: Looks great, Engine sounds amazing, AWD/paddle shifting trans sounds promising (but knowing Ford they probably won't have all the kinks out till the 2nd/3rd model year).......but the price is too high. When the first sho's came out in 1989 I believe they started out at about $20k (correct me if I'm wrong)...they need to go back to this. One thing they could do is have the base SHO be FWD, have the ecoboost engine downgraded a bit, put in a limited slip diff (if they can..) and use every other trick in the book to limit torque steer, and have a more basic interior....but still make the AWD and more powerful engine available as options.

    Posted by Mac February 17, 09 07:59 AM
  1. The 2010 Lincoln MKS will have the same engine, more plush interior, and gadget cache extraordibnaire for about the same price.

    Posted by Jc February 17, 09 10:58 AM
  1. give me a pontiac G8 for a few thousand less and much better styling.

    Posted by mattyw February 17, 09 01:13 PM
  1. what an ugly piece of crap... it's uglier than a new bmw!!

    Posted by fuzz nudz February 17, 09 05:50 PM
  1. I as well am going to visit the Ford showroom to see when they expect to get a new sho...I had two of them in the past and they just got to old to keep so I got rid of them...Happy to see ford back int he race of sports sedans..

    Posted by Taylor February 18, 09 03:57 PM
  1. All who are commenting on Toyota Camry being a better quality car better check Consumer Reports. Ford has quietly overtaken Toyota to become the second rated automobile company in quality, just behind Honda.

    Ford has been doing the right things at the right time. They might not be in the greatest of health right now, but they will rebound, and they have not allowed their economic woes to push their quality down. Quite the opposite, they have been building a case over the last 10 years for people to come back to them.

    Now if they can bring their styling up and get Lincoln in line to actually compete with Cadillac and the EuroLux companies, they might actually make a come back.

    Posted by mixjuan February 19, 09 09:07 AM
  1. I had a 93 which was a blast to drive and as reliable as a car gets considering the beating. I absolutely love the new design and after seeing the real thing in Detroit expect that Ford should see the Taurus line back on top as it was in the 90's.
    Good job guys keep up the good work

    Posted by Rick Bourdon February 19, 09 04:26 PM

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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
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AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
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Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
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