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2010 Ford Taurus SHO Preview

2010 Ford Taurus SHO Preview

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2009

Critical Knowledge:
  • SHO stands for Super High Output
  • Equipped with twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 engine making 365 horsepower
  • Broad torque band running from 1500 rpm to 5500 rpm
  • Six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission with paddle shifters and rev-matching function
  • Standard torque-sensing all-wheel drive (AWD)
  • SHO Performance package includes 20-inch wheels with summer performance tires, upgraded brakes, retuned steering, shorter final drive ratio, Sport Mode setting for stability control system
  • Unique wheel designs, rear lip spoiler, chrome exhaust tips,modified grille
  • Leather seats with Miko Suede inserts, aluminum trim
  • Optional Reverse Camera System is not offered on other Taurusmodels
  • Built in Chicago, IL
  • On sale in summer of 2009 for $37,995

For more information:

Introduction
When the original Ford Taurus SHO debuted in 1989, it adhered to the traditional European sport sedan philosophy, which emphasized performance capability over drawing attention with visual go-fast cues like spoilers and scoops and wings. It was a stealthy sedan for the family man in need of four doors, room for the kids and driving enjoyment, and Fordsold more than 100,000 Taurus SHOs before it was discontinued after the 1999 model year. Fans of the car remain strong and loyal to this day, and Ford went to them for guidance when it decided that the SHO must go on. Thus, the new 2010 Ford Taurus SHO adheres to the spirit and philosophy of the original car, emphasizing performance and practicality in a deceptively mild-mannered package.

br>Design
Exterior modifications to distinguish the 2010 SHO from other Taurus models are minimal. Ford calls its new Taurus "athletic and upscale more sculpted and powerful," with tightened exterior panel margins "comparable to costly German luxury sedans." Given this, theSHO receives a modified grille, unique 19- and 20-inch wheel designs, a rear lip spoiler and chrome exhaust tips to set it apart from otherTaurus models. The SHO is also the only Taurus offered in AtlanticGreen Metallic, a color intended to remind the faithful of the oldSHO's available Deep Emerald Green paint.

Inside, the SHO is set apart with a perforated leather-wrapped steering-wheel, liberal use of real aluminum trim, and leather buckets that haveMiko Suede inserts. Interestingly, the seat inserts are made from recycled plastic soft drink bottles. Optional multi-contour seats are available for the driver and front passenger, complete with 6-way power lumbar support and a rolling pattern massage feature. The bottom cushions of these industry-exclusive seats include Active Motion, which provides subtle continuous movement to help the driver avoid back pain,Ford says.


Hardware
The 2010 Ford Taurus SHO is powered by a twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter,EcoBoost V-6 engine driving all four wheels through a torque-sensingAWD system. The engine makes 365 hp at 5500 rpm and 350 lb.-ft. of torque at 3500 rpm. Significantly, the engine's torque band runs from1500 to 5500 rpm, helping to ensure that the Taurus SHO delivers linear power with reduced turbo lag, the manufacturer says. A 6-speedSelectShift automatic transmission delivers power to the ground. It includes paddle shifters on the steering wheel, and has a rev-matching feature for smoother manual downshifts.

The standard Taurus SHO includes sport-tuned suspension and electric power steering systems, as well as unique 19-inch alloy wheels with all-season performance tires. Buyers looking for added responsiveness can opt for the SHO Performance Package, which includes 20-inch wheels with summer performance tires, upgraded brake pads, retuned steering, a shorter final drive ratio for quicker acceleration, and a Sport Mode setting for the AdvanceTrac stability control system.


Safety
Endowed with 5-star crash-test ratings from the National HighwayTraffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)and a "Top Safety Pick" accolade from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the currentFord Taurus can be considered one of the safest cars on the road. Ford worked to enhance this reputation with the redesigned 2010 model.

To that end, the 2010 Taurus SHO comes standard with a long list of safety features: dual-stage front air bags; side-impact air bags for front-seat occupants; side curtain air bags with rollover sensing and protection for front and rear outboard passengers; AdvanceTracstability and traction control; and ABS. Ford also continues to includeSOS Post Crash Alert, which automatically unlocks the doors, sounds the horn, and activates the flashers if the air bags deploy.

The Taurus SHO also comes standard with Ford's new MyKey technology.MyKey is a new and innovative safety feature that allows Taurus SHO owners to activate restricted driving modes associated with seat belt usage, low-fuel monitoring, and ensure the continuous engagement of safety features like the stability control system, optional blind-spot information system, and optional Collision Warning with Brake Support feature. It also lets mom and dad program limits on audio volume and atop speed of 80 mph, which is sure to be a hit with teenagers in possession of the keys.

The 2010 Ford Taurus SHO is available with adaptive cruise control, blind-spot information system, and a reverse camera system.

The active cruise control option includes Collision Warning with BrakeSupport. A radar sensor monitors traffic ahead. When it senses that traffic is slowing and the Taurus is closing on traffic at an unsafe rate of speed, it provides a visual heads-up warning across the base of the windshield and an audible warning to alert the driver. The system also readies the braking system and engages the brake assist feature to help the driver stop as quickly as possible when the brake pedal is depressed.

Ford's blind-spot information system monitors when adjacent motorists are in the car's blind spots and provides a visual warning to the driver in the side-view mirror. The system also includes a CrossTraffic Alert feature, which identifies approaching traffic within three car lengths when the Taurus is slowly backing out of a parking spot.

The reverse camera system, exclusive to the Taurus SHO, activates when the car is placed in reverse gear and displays a view of what's behind the car in a screen embedded into the rearview mirror. Unlike many other models, this arrangement means the reverse camera is available without requiring the optional navigation system.


Technology
For decades, Ford has offered a keyless SecuriCode entry pad on its products, which looks a little bit like a combination lock tacked onto the door near the handle. This feature is standard on the 2010 FordTaurus SHO, but now it's a flush-mounted keypad embedded into the driver's B-pillar. It's included with the SHO's standard IntelligentAccess with Push Button Start feature, which is a keyless entry and ignition system.

The 2010 Ford Taurus SHO also includes the next-generation version ofFord Sync, including 911 Assist, Vehicle Health Report and business search/call completion features. Sync connects to iPods, PDAs, memory sticks and MP3 players, allowing hands-free, voice-activated operation of these items. The 911 Assist system places a call to a local emergency operator in the event of air bag deployment, to help speed rescue and medical attention. Sync also includes a new Traffic,Directions and Information service with turn-by-turn route guidance as well as information based on region and subject matter.

The optional voice-activated navigation system now comes with an 8-inch screen and a bird's-eye-view with 3D landmarks. The screen can also be programmed to display up to 32 uploaded photos, thanks to 1.5 MB of storage capacity. Other new features include street name announcements,detailed freeway exit and turn information, and lane-position guidance.The navigation system also comes with Sirius Travel Link for current weather conditions, 5-day forecasts, local fuel prices, sports scores,movie listings, and more.

Finally, the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO can be equipped with a premium Sony audio system that includes 12 speakers, 390 watts of continuous power,115 dB of maximum bass sound pressure level, Dolby Pro-Logic II surround sound technology, and Sirius satellite radio. When paired with the navigation system, the Taurus SHO also boasts DVD-Audio capability and a 10 GB hard drive that can hold up to 2,400 uploaded songs.

For more information:
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