Daily Archives: September 12, 2012

2013 Ford Taurus SHO

The dawn of ever-rising fuel costs and imposed vehicle safety emissions controls and regulations had resulted in the tragic cease of muscle-car development during the 1970′s.  Only about a decade later did Ford finally pull off the blankets and resurrected their muscle car development team.   The department was entitled “Special Vehicle Operations Department” and was purely focused on delivering limited-edition high performance and street legal muscle cars to compete with entry level European cars in 1982.  The hugely successful campaign led to the Ford Tuarus SHO series model in 1989 and would go into production for the next 10 years before its popularity faded away.

Although the initial exciting coke bottle fizz effect had died off after ten years, Ford decided to re-claim automotive appraisal by re-designing the 2010 Taurus SHO and made sure its guts had what it took to deserve its badge with Ford’s 3.5 litre twin-turbo direct fuel-injected ecoboost engine.

The 2013 Ford Taurus SHO shares most of the same interior and exterior characteristics as its old per-predecessors between 2010 – 2012, but much else has changed.  At a first glance, it’s hard to ignore the mean and aggressive looks.  The front nose is aggressive complemented by a massive mesh patterned front grill.  The front horizontal LED strips hints the technology and blend of form and factor engraved into the vehicle.  It’s also difficult to ignore the 19″ wheels, giving any bystanders confidence to suggest the car’s got power.  Run around back and you’ll notice the rear LED tail lights follow the aggressive contours on the sides with a standard spoiler.

Sitting in the driver’s seat reminds the driver that it is indeed a serious machine.  Once seated, you are submerged with all vehicle controls, making you feel very integrated, depicting the man and machine statement and mimicking the feel of sitting in a cockpit of a fighter pilot.  The seats are very adjustable and even has a massaging feature for the driver and front passenger.  The infotainment system is very thorough and comprehensive in terms of features.  It is a pleasant surprise to see that Ford used Sony’s audio and climate control interface module rather than relying solely on Ford MyTouch Sync system, which is very sluggish, and in some cases, frustrating to use, mostly due to the slow response time on their touch screen and steering wheel tactile button controls.

The handling and performance is where the Taurus excels.  The twin-turbo 3.5 litre twin-turbo direct fuel injected engine propels the car from 0- 60 in just under 5.5 seconds.  The engine is mated to Ford’s 6-speed automatic select-shift transmission and its power is delivered to all 4 wheels via standard AWD system.  Ford’s onboard “Curve Control” and “Torque Vectoring Control” actively compensates the power delivered to each wheel ensuring the car never dives into a corner too fast by either slowing the overall vehicle down, or dynamically applying brakes onto individual wheels to optimize vehicle trajectory through a turn.

Regardless of the power and handling capability, the added weight and size of the vehicle is not a car that you can just throw in a corner and expect awesome handling – buy a Ford Fiesta for that.  There is also the lack of positive steering feedback, keeping the driver oblivious of the road surface, which declines the overall driving experience.  But the sports-calibrated steering wheel does help in steering precision and accuracy.

It’s exciting to see Ford has brought back a piece of its collective antique and modernized it.  We love the aggressive looks and the plethora of  technology and safety features incorporated into the Taurus SHO, but with an MSRP of our tested model at 54,000$, it’s difficult to ignore other competitors such as the 3.6 litre Subaru Legacy, or Infiniti G37 series.  The Ford Taurus was once a reign of supreme back in the 90′s, but with so much advancement and technology built into cars and put onto the road every year, we feel that the Ford Taurus SHO may be in a highly competitive arena with other automotive manufacturers.