Long the favored sedan of government fleets and giant-haired late-night talk show hosts, the Ford Taurus doesn’t exactly evoke images of tire-smoking performance. But back in the ‘90s, the Taurus had a turbocharged SHO option available, and that wicked-fast trim is coming back for the 2010 model year, but with a far more eco-friendly footprint. Better buckle up, Fish & Wildlife Service bureaucrat—your company car’s grown a pair.
Before delving into the details of the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO, it’s time for a quick history lesson on the evolution of this Ford fireball. Back in the late ‘80s, Ford was trying to develop a sporty 2-seater to steal some market share from the Pontiac Fiero (yup, the Fiero was once a prized ride). Before the Fiero-fighter was fully developed, Ford scrapped the project, but not before receiving a grip of engines from Yamaha. Instead of giving the high-powered motors out as bonuses to the execs, Ford popped them under the hoods of a select group of 1989 Ford Tauruses and christened them SHO (aka, Super High Output). Thus, the legend was born.
Now, those original Ford Taurus SHO models had guts to spare. Armed with a 3.0L SHO V6 engine (and, later, a 3.2L SHO V6) they could run a quarter-mile in around 15.2 seconds and gallup from 0-60 in 6.6 Mississippis. And, their performance would only improve over the trim’s 10-year run. Unfortunately, the Taurus SHO fell out of favor during the 1999 Ford Taurus model year, and flagging sales led Ford to ditch the beloved sleeper trim from the Taurus lineup.
But just as chicken pox can return in the form of shingles, the SHO is once again showing up as a trim option for the newly restyled 2010 Ford Taurus. Yes, this latest variation of the SHO is fully loaded with enough performance to whiten the knuckles of even the most jaded speedsters. Under the hood of this beast lies a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 powerplant churning out 365hp and 350 ft-lbs of tire-twisting torque. The beauty behind this beastly motor is how it blends high-performance with green-friendliness. Its fuel consumption is rated at 17 city/25 highway, which is surprisingly high for a twin turbocharged V6. And, it spews fewer CO2 emissions than comparable 5-passenger sedans in its class.
If ever there was a car that Conan O’Brien could feel comfortable upgrading to, it’s the new 2010 Ford Taurus SHO.