At the Chicago Auto Show, Ford launches the Taurus SHO, the sport version of its flagship sedan.
Wayne CunninghamManaging Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Recently, Ford has been a dominant force in cabin tech, introducing new features such as weather reports and gas price information in the navigation system, along with Sync, which offers the best phone and MP3 player support available. But its models have been missing something most car enthusiasts crave: sport performance. That changed at the Chicago Auto Show with the announcement of the Ford Taurus SHO.
Coming on the heels of the new Taurus shown at the Detroit auto show, this sport version of the flagship sedan comes with Ford's new twin turbo 3.5-liter direct injection V-6 and a suspension designed to handle the twisties. This engine puts out an impressive 365 horsepower at 5,500rpm and 350 foot-pounds of torque at 3,500rpm. Making that power useful is an all-wheel-drive system using an array of clutches to distribute torque. Unlike Ford's mainstay performance car, the Mustang, the SHO will use a multilink rear suspension, allowing Ford engineers to tune it for more sport-oriented handling.
Ford will offer an optional Performance package, which fits the SHO with upgraded brakes, 20 inch wheels, a different drive ratio for the standard six-speed automatic transmission, and a Sport setting for the electronic stability program. The standard electronic power steering also gets tuned for great road feedback.
But Ford isn't neglecting the cabin tech, either, offering the full raft of features available on the standard Taurus. It comes with a smart key and the Sync system, while adaptive cruise control, a blind spot detection system, and hard drive-based navigation with traffic, weather, and gas prices, will probably all be optional. Other features are massage seats and a Sony audio system with 12 speakers.
The Taurus SHO will be in dealerships this summer, starting at $37,995.