Chicago 2009: SHO History - The real reason Ford had Yamaha's V6 lying around

In case you haven't noticed, there will always be a place in our hearts for the Taurus SHO, and news that the car is headed back to production has at least one staffer in something approaching a dream state. But if you ever really thought about it, it doesn''t really make too much sense that Ford would commission a high-revving V6 for its family hauler. As it turns out, Ford had grander plans for the 220 horsepower Yamaha engine. In 1984, Ford brass green-lighted an all-new, mid engine sports car to compete with exotics from Europe. The car was being tested and engineered by Roush and Ford signed a contract with Yamaha to build the engine. By 1986, Ford had bigger priorities, and the GN34 project was shelved to make room for the first Ford Explorer. Judging from the Explorer's incredible success in the Nineties, we'd say that Ford made the right call.

With GN34 scuttled, Ford scrapped all but two of the mid engine prototypes (Jack Roush has both of the Pantera-influenced models in his private collection), but there was still the matter of a signed contract with Yamaha. Instead of putting the powerful 3.0L engine under the hood of the Mustang or Thunderbird, Ford made the decision to instead turn the Taurus into the sport sedan we know and love. It's hard to say if the GN34 would have ever become a hit, but few can deny the impact the SHO had on the automotive landscape.

[Source: Automobile]

Share This Photo X