TheCarConnection is trying to make you feel as if you were at the press-only event where Ford Motor Company (F) is launching the all-new 2010 Ford Taurus. We've already posted exclusive photos on the standard Taurus, and on Tuesday we had a chance to drive and photograph the high-performance SHO model. While an all-out drive story is coming, check out these photos to see some details that haven't been included in other SHO or 2010 Taurus posts.
2010 Ford Taurus SHOEnlarge Photo
In keeping with the "below the radar" tradition of the SHO Taurus, exterior differences between the SHO and the non-SHO models are subtle. The high-performance SHO gets larger 19-inch aluminum wheels, a subtle trunk spoiler, and some badges. Standard Taurus models get 17- and 18-inch rims.
2010 Ford Taurus SHO interiorEnlarge Photo
Inside, the differences are just as low-key, with some black and aluminum trim being swapped in for some plainer trim. The SHO's steering wheel is leather-wrapped, the pedals have aluminum trim, and the standard leather seats have Miko Suede inserts (a fake suede that feels and looks fantastic but wears 100x better than genuine suede).
2010 Ford Taurus SHOEnlarge Photo
The SHO I drove had Ford's adaptive cruise control. It's a radar-based system that runs at 7.6 gigahertz. The forward-facing radar looks out from behind a solid panel below the driver's side headlight, just inboard of the running lamps. Unlike past radar-based systems, this one has no moving parts, and should be more reliable than those older systems.
Popping the hood on the 2010 Taurus SHO reveals a huge engine cover. Thankfully there's a graphic to tell you what you're looking at. Below that engine cover, you'll find twin turbos that help the engine crank out 365 horsepower.
2010 Ford Taurus SHO EcoBoost engineEnlarge Photo
The exterior dimensions of the twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 are actually a few millimeters smaller than the naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 found in lesser Taurus models. The tiny advantage comes from being able to tuck the tiny turbo chargers in close next to the engine block. This fitment requires less space than the larger tuned exhaust manifolds used to help the base 3.5-liter exhale more easily. Turboheads will see that the intake charge pathway leads forward to a large intercooler (not shown) and then up into the tall, high-rise style intake plenum and manifold.
2010 Ford Taurus SHO turbocharger photo by Rex RoyEnlarge Photo
The Garrett turbochargers are small, which means they are able to generate boost almost immediately. The flow of exhaust gas goes into the center of the turbo, spinning the impeller. The impeller wheel drives a shaft connected to a compressor wheel in another chamber. The compressor wheel sends high pressure air out toward the intercooler and eventually into the engine.
Engineers told us that these turbos are designed for a service life of at least 150,000 miles. Old turbo chagers (from the 1970s and 1980s) tended to fail because of main-shaft bearing failure due to heat soaking which caused the lubricating oils to cook off and coke up. These new turbos have large oil pathways to the main-shaft bearing as well as a cooling system that provides coolant to the blowers even after the engine has been turned off.
At normal cruising speeds, the turbos spin at about 25,000 rpm (this is their "idle"). At full turbo boost, the turbos are spinning approximately 170,000 rpm. The blowers can withstand temperatures of 1700°F.
2010 Ford TaurusEnlarge Photo
Until you live with Ford's new Easy Fuel capless fuel filler system, you'll never know just how convenient the system is. The Easy Fuel is standard on all Taurus models, and all new Ford products. There is no gas cap: just put the filler nozzle in the hole and begin the flow of petrol. The inner flap seals the fuel system when you're finished. No mess. No muss. No fuss.