>> I say Taurus, you think rental, but there was a time when this was about the hottest real world car around. It's been a long time but now the Taurus is back and a seriously interesting car again especially in SHO high performance flavor garnished with some of the best cabin tech in the biz. Now, I like the cabin in this Taurus, I mean, the Taurus layout is good these days anyway but the improved materials and this kind of pseudo metal finish all around is really kind of a handsome place. Here's your 8 inch LCD touch-screen. We've seen sync before with the current generation, of course, hard drive based in this case with 10G for you to play with in this advanced Sony branded head unit. And not only do you have syncs various features but you also got Sirius travel link these days in the high-end Ford units. That means the Sirius satellite radio connection is also gonna bring you things like traffic data, weather forecasting including an overlay map, fuel prices, movie listings, sports information so it's a pretty good Kwazi [assumed spelling] connected automotive head unit. Under your Media button CD/DVD, here's you integrated slot right here, Juke Box takes you to the hard drive, 10G of space available for you which Ford calls 2,400 songs. And User Device takes you either to USB or the Bluetooth streaming you'd set up wirelessly, of course. Now, our car's loaded up pretty good so we've got a lot of toys in here including a rear power sun shade, blind spot information system, little indicators on the far outside ends of the mirrors tell you when someone's back there, and as part of that cross traffic alert so when you're nosing out of a driveway this thing will let you know in a blind situation if cross traffic's about to T-bone you. It's kind of a
Ford thing. We do have a backup camera on this car. Part of a package, doesn't come with every Taurus SHO. You hear a beeping? That's also your ultrasonic sensor it's to let you know you've got some BMW here this car would like to eat. One choice only on the gear box here, 6 speed automatic with kind of a big old chunky lever here. It's pretty straight forward you go up and down unless you want to go all the way back to manual that's where your paddles kick in. Otherwise you're driving along in drive it's a real straight forward thing that doesn't have a lot of left and right sort of gating, which is fine. Now, Taurus SHO's have always been powered by kind of exotic blown engines. In this case EcoBoost is Ford's big deal these days. It basically means in this case V8 power and torque out of a V6 with hopefully economy that is more like a V6 than a V8, 3 1/2 aluminum V6 dual overhead cam. The EcoBoost part comes in with 2 small turbos, twin turbos working on different RPM ranges and direct fuel injection. That means the fuel's injected right into the cylinder right where it needs to be compressed that allows the air fuel charge to be kept at a lower temperature which is a very deal in the combustion dynamics of any gas engine. Bottom line 365 horsepower, 350 foot pounds of torque, nice numbers, 17/25 MPG while getting your zero to 60 in 5 seconds or maybe a little bit less if you're really good. The engine sits side saddle in this car. It is set up in an all-wheel drive only configuration on an SHO through a Haldex Coupler out in the back. Out on the road the real joy of this car is indeed the engine. With those twin turbos, direct injection and a sweet spot of displacement the EcoBoost V6 really can keep a straight face while promising V8 performance with V6 efficiency. Turbo lag, nah [phonetic], just about none; this car is one of the best applications of turbos I've ever driven. Power comes on like a hammer when you want it but the motor remains totally tractable around town. We averaged the real world 21ish MPG driving pretty hard and could nail zero to 60 in 5 seconds flat. The suspension was a little less impressive it rides well around town but I was definitely reminded that it is a sport suspension. Reminded of that at times I didn't want to be like on crappy city streets. And when pushed I was reminded why a Taurus SHO costs a lot less than a 5 Series there's a difference in the underpinnings. But don't read that as a car that doesn't, nonetheless, handle and ride very well. Okay a Taurus SHO's gonna run you about $38 base. On top of that it's $1,700 for the nav system, $1,200 for adaptive cruise; those two are common ala carte options. What you really want though is to make sure you get Package 402A, sexy name, huh? That's gonna bring you the upgraded audio, power moon roof, heated and cooled seats, blind spot detection, the cross traffic alert thingy, rain sensing wipers, rearview camera, about $3,700 bucks for that package. You're looking at low $40's to get this car done CNET style.