The 2010 snuck up on me. The driving ambassador from the Ford contingent asked what I wanted to drive. Nothing looked very exciting. "Whatever you got."
He motioned toward the four-door sedan at the curb. I really wasnt sure what it was. The roof looked too high. The nose and tail looked truncated in the name of corporate compromise. The doors hung like big slabs of flat metal from some weird factory where Da Vinci and Michelangelo must be mocked badly. Had I not been directed to the vehicle, I would have passed it. I also passed the small spoiler on the trunk and the small badges at the back of the fenders that said SHO.
Indeed, when the door opened, I found myself in something more than the average car found at the airport rental lot. The Taurus SHOs interior has some subtle and effective features. The fit and finish make no grand exclamations, but the seat is extremely comfortable and places the driver in an optimum viewing posture. All the headroom forgives any external odd proportions. The dash stretches wide and rolls back toward the engine and never intrudes into the external sight picture. All the glass affords excellent visibility. Enough buttons and knobs decorate the center dash to amuse any toddler, and the shifter for the six speed automatic transmission looks and feels like it came from said toddlers toy chest. However, push the Tauruss start button, and pull that shifter into Drive, and suddenly the car has nothing childish about it.
Plenty has been written about the 213.5 cubic inch V6, twin turbo engine, and certainly more will be written about it before it reached retirement. The throttle is connected directly to a boatload of horsepower and even more torque. A light foot produces ample thrust with gas-sipping economy, but push the accelerator down very quickly, and be prepared for a very pleasant surprise. The V6 feels like it has unlimited power. The twin-tipped exhaust trumpets with that high, yappy staccato of unleashed horsepower, and the thing grabs. The all-wheel drive system plants every pony most unabashedly. Four wheel disks and a taunt suspension handle any maneuver, but on an open stretch of road, the SHO will go, go, go.
This evolution of the Taurus SHO is simply good. Its appearance lends nothing to its ability. Its only shortcoming is that wants to be more than it is. Ford has such a long list of options for the Taurus SHO that if enough boxes are checked, it turns into a Lincoln MKS. The Taurus SHO is best appreciated in its base form, engine, transmission, brakes and suspension. Sure, it may boast full connectivity to a host of networks, but with the Taurus SHO, the best connectivity happens between the driver and the car and the car and the road.