2010 Ford Taurus SHO: Driving Impressions From Crissy Rodriguez

June 17, 2009

Ford Motor Company (F) is just beginning to ramp up production for their summertime launch of the all-new 2010 Ford Taurus.

At a press-only launch event in Ashville, North Carolina, I had the chance to speak with Crissy Rodrigiuz, Vehicle Dynamics Development Engineer for the Taurus and Taurus SHO.

Driving impressions from the press regarding the Taurus and Taurus SHO are restricted for a few more days. But we can report on what Miss Rodrigiuz says about how the new Taurus drives.

I asked Rodriguez what her favorite characteristic was about the SHO. She said, "It's really all about balance. First there's the turn-in. When you dial in steering input, the turn-in response is direct and what you expect. The two are lined up and feel right. After the front wheels start turning, the yaw response (rotation of the car around its Z-Axis) is also balanced." She went on to explain that the SHO doesn't exhibit much in the way of under- or oversteer because of the way she and her team tuned the big car's chassis. The tuning of the power delviery through the all-wheel-drive system helps here. Power going to all four wheels helps mitigate understeer and prevent oversteer.

Next she said, "I also like the way the chassis rounds off inputs." This is engineering speak for the way the suspension absorbs the energy from bumps, potholes, and pavement changes. The 2010 Taurus SHO cushions sharp inputs to make them less harsh, but still allows for dynamic handling.

We'll bring you a full drive-report on the 2010 Taurus SHO on June 23.

For more information and links to reviews and blog posts on this important new American car, head to the 2010 Ford Taurus Overview page.

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