2010 Ford Taurus SHO
2010 Ford Taurus SHO. Click image to enlarge

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First Drive: 2010 Ford Taurus

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2010 Ford Taurus SHO

Asheville, North Carolina – The Ford Taurus SHO. Ah, I remember it well (owned one, actually). Introduced in 1989, it was a Ford Taurus family sedan with a powerful Yamaha-derived V6 engine (220-horsepower, twin-overhead camshaft), stiffer suspension, dual exhaust, fancy wheels, a five-speed manual transmission, all the Taurus options and some discreet badging on the exterior: a real sleeper, and very cool.

It was followed in 1992 by a second generation SHO (that’s Super High Output, by the way) with the concession of an available automatic transmission, and in 1999 with a V8 version that we’ll just forget about, okay? And then it went away, consigned to history books and enthusiast websites.

But wait, apparently all good things don’t come to an end. Along with introducing an all-new Taurus for 2010, Ford has revived the SHO. Well, who’d a thunk it?

This SHO is all that the original cars were, and much more. And don’t worry, SHO-timers, they haven’t screwed it up… it’s the same concept and it’s a hoot to drive.

2010 Ford Taurus SHO
2010 Ford Taurus SHO. Click image to enlarge

But I get ahead of myself. Let’s take a look at what separates the SHO from a mainstream Taurus before we get to driving impressions.

Under the new-for-Taurus domed hood, you’ll find Ford’s first application of its new “EcoBoost” V6 engine, making 365 horsepower at 5,500 r.p.m., and 350 lb.-ft of torque at 1,500-5,250 r.p.m. This is genuine V8 power, and lots of it, in a V6 package (expected fuel economy is 13.9/9.4 L/100km, city/highway, premium fuel is recommended, but not required). The engine is twin-turbocharged, direct injected and mated to a performance tuned six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters (the final drive ratio is a low 2.77-to-1 for relaxed cruising). While the original SHO was built on the front-wheel drive Taurus platform of the day, this SHO uses all-wheel drive.

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