Those of you hoping for a 400-horsepower Ford Taurus SHO are about to be severely disappointed. The 2013 Taurus SHO will continue to produce 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque from its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. Sure, that's still plenty of oomph for the SHO, but with rumors of a higher-output version now dashed, all we can say is, "shucks."
Let's not dwell on that, though. There are still plenty of improvements for the 2013 SHO to talk about.
Much like the rest of the refreshed Taurus line, the SHO features styling tweaks at both the front and rear. Unlike the base model, the SHO uses a unique mesh grille pattern up front and adds a new rear spoiler out back, as well as chrome-tipped dual exhaust pipes. A new 20-inch dark wheel option is also part of the SHO package, matching the black finish found on the mirrors and body trim. We like what we see.
There may not be a bump in power, but the 2013 Taurus SHO does get a new performance package option that is said to improve the car's performance prowess. Most notably, a 3.16: 1 final drive ratio means initial acceleration is enhanced, and revised suspension tuning features new dampers and springs specific to this package. Additionally, the electronic steering system has been tuned, the stability control now has a track mode with a true 'off' setting and performance brake pads are now available with unique, "track-tuned" calipers. Still, we'd love to see an additional 40-ish horsepower.
Hit the jump for the official SHO details, and be sure to click through our high-res image gallery to see the tweaked design for yourself. Ford's B-roll footage of the SHO is available for your viewing pleasure post-jump, as well.
Sportiest Ford Taurus SHO So Far Gets New, Enhanced Dynamics, Bigger Brakes and Performance-Inspired Design
• New Ford Taurus SHO sedan is sportiest model yet to wear SHO badge, offering unique, performance-inspired design and road manners to match
• Improved driving dynamics, larger brakes, torque vectoring control and specially calibrated electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) deliver superior performance
• Taurus SHO Performance Package adds new brakes, 20-inch wheels with summer performance tires and enhanced heavy-duty cooling system for more serious driving
NEW YORK, April 19, 2011 – The new Ford Taurus SHO is the sportiest Taurus yet to wear the coveted performance badge. With its unique blend of the award-winning, fuel-efficient EcoBoost™ engine, enhanced driving dynamics and performance-inspired design, the new Taurus SHO shows it means business. An unprecedented combination of horsepower, technology and fuel economy takes this acclaimed sporting sedan to a whole new level.
"The Taurus SHO has always followed the original formula of stealthy sleeper, and the new model is no exception," said Gordon Platto, chief designer. "We wanted to keep the subtle, understated, yet sporty elegance, but at the same time we knew it was time to even more fully differentiate the Super High Output model from other Taurus series models."
Inspired by SHO buyers and club enthusiasts, the design team knew just what to do.
"Listening to SHO buyers and enthusiasts encouraged us to strengthen the design and the driving quality for the new 2013 model," said Platto. "For us, this was a clear indication that SHO customers have passionate feelings about aesthetics and design as well as performance."
Distinctive design, signature technology
For the new Ford Taurus SHO, subtle differentiation from the other members of the Taurus family starts up front, with a performance-inspired grille in black mesh – unique to the SHO – flanked by series-specific high-intensity discharge headlamps. Behind the front wheel openings, a fender-mounted scallop contains a subtle SHO badge.
Unique 19-inch premium painted wheels wearing standard P255/45VR-19 all-season tires fill out the openings, giving SHO a muscular, athletic look. Buyers can choose 20-inch machined and painted wheels.
SHO-specific sideview mirrors – also in contrasting black – are heated, have memory functionality and contain downward-facing puddle lamps; the driver's side features auto-dimming. In the rear, Taurus SHO features a unique decklid-mounted spoiler.
Inside, the new Taurus SHO communicates its sporty characteristics with a perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-trimmed sport seats with embroidered SHO graphics, unique woven aluminum trim and adjustable aluminum pedals with memory.
Signature Ford technology is also a key attribute of the new Taurus SHO, with the addition of standard MyFord Touch™ powered by SYNC® driver connect technology and the replacement of several traditional knobs and controls with clear, colorful LCD screens and five-way buttons. These screens can be personalized to display information relevant to each individual driver using voice command, a simple button click or touch-screen tap.
MyFord Touch is powered by the latest generation of Ford's award-winning SYNC, including sophisticated voice control for vehicle functions, connected Bluetooth® devices, MP3 players and a wide variety of external media.
Enhanced powertrain, refined dynamics
The new Taurus SHO drivetrain continues to use the award-winning and fuel-efficient 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, delivering 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to a six-speed high-capacity 6F55 SelectShift Automatic™ transmission.
Steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters enable the Taurus SHO to match revs for smooth, quick, manually selected downshifts. For the new model, these have been reconfigured for more intuitive operation, with one paddle for upshifts and the other for making smooth, matched-rev downshifts.
SHO dynamics have been enhanced with larger brakes, torque vectoring control – using slight braking to provide the effect of a limited-slip differential – and unique sport-tuned suspension.
Specially calibrated electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) has been further optimized for enthusiast-pleasing road feel and direct, communicative response. In addition to helping Taurus SHO deliver up to 25 mpg highway, EPAS enables the car to park itself with active park assist.
Taurus SHO brake system upgrades include a larger master cylinder, revised booster tuning for improved pedal feel, larger front rotors with 19 percent more thermal mass and 67 percent more swept area to help brakes run cooler. Now vented, the rear disc brakes offer 53 percent more thermal mass.
As with the previous edition, all Taurus SHO models come standard with an advanced torque-sensing all-wheel-drive system to help deliver optimum traction in all weather conditions and to enable the vehicle to efficiently deliver ample torque through all four driven wheels when driving in a sporty, enthusiastic manner.
Loyalist input brings new customers
Direct, unfiltered feedback from the Taurus SHO enthusiast community and input from buyers of this reinvented icon reinforced the idea that evolving the SHO was a very good thing indeed.
"The SHO enthusiast clubs and dedicated online forums were supportive resources for us," said Amy Marentic, group marketing manager. "In the interim, our relationship with the enthusiast community has continued to evolve, inspiring us to deliver an even better SHO with the next generation."
SHO builds on a platform of customer satisfaction.
"Initial Quality Study data from J.D. Power and Associates showed that the 2010 Taurus SHO gained phenomenal acceptance, as 92 percent of customers were satisfied with their vehicles," said Marentic. "In addition, Taurus SHO delivered new customers to the Ford showroom at an incredible rate. Roughly half of 2010 SHO customers had not previously considered nor shopped Ford. We frequently see high-end sedans – 3- and 5-Series BMWs and Acura TLs – as trade-ins."
Taurus SHO is drawing new shoppers to the Ford showroom, based on its unmatched combination of 365 twin-turbocharged EcoBoost horsepower, torque-sensing all-wheel drive, available technologies and up to 25 EPA-rated mpg on the highway.
SHO Performance Package
For discriminating automotive performance enthusiasts demanding the ultimate in uncompromised dynamics and response, the 2013 Taurus SHO offers a new Performance Package that is engineered to deliver greater handling responsiveness, power and durability under more sporting driving conditions.
The SHO Performance Package includes:
• Package-specific sport-tuned suspension with unique dampers and springs
• Performance brake pads and unique track-tuned calipers
• Recalibrated EPAS
• Electronic Stability Control track mode with true off
• 3.16 to 1 final drive ratio for enhanced off-the-line acceleration
• Enhanced extreme-duty cooling system
• 20-inch machined and painted wheels
• 245/YR20 performance summer-compound tires
The new Taurus SHO will be produced at Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant.