|Ford Taurus SHO|
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One of America's favourite "sleeper" performance cars returns to the Ford lineup, powered by a Super High Output (SHO) EcoBoost twin Turbocharged engine. The Taurus SHO joins Ford's growing lineup of performance vehicles for the 2010 model year, building on the legacy of the original, which earned a spot on the Car and Driver 10 Best list four years running.
"The new Taurus SHO delivers on the authentic sleeper sedan formula but adds all-new luxury-appointments, convenience features and technologies to an unsurpassed balance of power and fuel economy," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "This new sport derivative answers enthusiasts' calls for a premium Ford flagship sedan with even more attitude."
Introduced in 1989, Taurus SHO was conceived as a discreet performance-oriented sports sedan, ideally suited to the automotive enthusiast needing the room and capability of a four-door full-size car. Produced through 1999, more than 100,000 were sold.
The original Taurus SHO generated a loyal following of owners and enthusiasts, with an active club more than 1,000 members strong, an online forum with more than 10,000 registered users and a Web site (bringbackthesho.com) specifically devoted to convincing Ford to resurrect the SHO. The 2010 Taurus product development team spent significant time listening to SHO enthusiasts.
The foundation of the new 2010 Taurus SHO is a 3.5-liter twin-Turbocharged EcoBoost V-6 engine. This advanced powerplant generates an estimated 365 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 350 ft.-lbs. of torque at 3,500 rpm, resulting in significantly improved power, torque and fuel economy compared with larger, normally aspirated engines. This also is Ford's most powerful EcoBoost engine.
A key feature of this EcoBoost engine is gasoline direct injection. The direct injection of fuel into the cylinder during the intake stroke, as opposed to port-style injection to an externally mounted intake, produces a well-mixed air-fuel charge. Fuel vaporization during the intake stroke cools the incoming air, improving volumetric efficiency and lowers the likelihood of knock.
The results are improved throttle response, reduced cold start emissions characteristics and improved fuel economy. The cooled charge enables an increased compression ratio, improving efficiency at partial load, while the higher compression ratio allows for better volumetric efficiency under full load engine behavior. Customers will experience normally aspirated V-8 power, without compromising V-6 fuel economy.
The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 also uses twin Turbochargers, as opposed to a single unit. The reduced size of each Turbocharger results in reduced internal inertia, allowing this advanced engine to avoid the "Turbo lag" often prevalent in earlier-generation Turbocharged applications. From the driver's seat, the rewarding result is linear power delivery across a broad torque band from 1,500 through 5,500 rpm. Peak torque building quickly off idle ensures responsive acceleration from a standing start.
The new Taurus SHO driveline combines a high-capacity six-speed 6F55 SelectShift transmission with a sophisticated torque-sensing All-Wheel Drive System. These components work in harmony to deliver ample traction when putting EcoBoost power on the road. The six-speed transmission offers a wide array of gears to enable spirited acceleration, yet comfortable high-speed cruising, through a 2.77 to 1 final drive ratio.
SelectShift provides conventional automatic operation or a manual shift mode that gives the driver complete control over gear selection. For performance-minded drivers, paddle controls allow "match-rev" downshifts and will hold manually selected gears for precise control. Intuitively operated, a squeeze on either paddle will deliver an economical upshift under acceleration, while a gentle push forward brings a smooth downshift, synchronizing the engine and transmission speeds for responsive and positive engagement.
The Taurus SHO driveline is contemporized with the incorporation of a sophisticated All-Wheel Drive System that engages automatically and unobtrusively. The unit contains an advanced array of internal electromechanical clutches to efficiently distribute torque to the wheels with optimum traction. Standard all-wheel drive allows the Taurus SHO to efficiently deliver its high performance to the pavement under a wide variety of conditions.
"Taurus SHO suspension and steering have been sport-tuned to provide discriminating drivers with precise control, confident handling, communicative feedback and a compliant ride," said Pete Reyes, Taurus chief engineer.
Taurus SHO features an advanced electronic power-assisted steering (EPAS) system, providing responsive road feel and enhanced on-center balance while offering the additional benefit of increased fuel economy. SHO also features a sport-tuned suspension with unique shock absorbers, springs, stabilizer bars and strut mount bushings specifically developed and harmonized to deliver the highest level of Ford DNA road holding, cornering agility and steering responsiveness available in a Blue Oval full-size sedan.
Taurus SHO takes full advantage of the multi-link SR1 rear suspension design. Named for the 1:1 shock absorber ratio, this configuration provides an inherently stable baseline for the SHO development team to fine tune for enhanced driver control and agility. In addition, the SR1 rear suspension geometry provides increased travel, while enabling the use of 19- and 20-inch wheels and tires.
For the discriminating automotive enthusiast, Taurus SHO offers an available SHO Performance Package consisting of upgraded brake pads, recalibrated EPAS for even more responsiveness, a "Sport Mode" setting for the standard AdvanceTrac Electronic Stability Control and a shorter 3.16 to 1 final drive ratio for faster acceleration. Summer-compound 20-inch Goodyear Eagle F1 performance tires on premium painted wheels also are included.
A key element of the authentic SHO formula is the subtlety of its unique exterior design cues. Features include sporty premium painted wheels, wrapped in standard low-profile 19-inch Goodyear Eagle or optional 20-inch Michelin high-performance tires, a decklid-mounted spoiler and twin chrome exhaust tips. SHO also features a uniquely finished interpretation of the Ford signature three-bar grille with SHO-specific parking lamp bezels.
"Taurus SHO was always a stealth high-performance car," said Earl Lucas, exterior design manager. "The new SHO builds on the expressive design of the 2010 Taurus, adding subtle cues that set it apart."
The 2010 SHO is available in a wide range of new Taurus colors including Atlantis Green Metallic, a unique SHO color inspired by the iconic Deep Emerald Green hue appearing in 1991.
The new Taurus SHO interior encourages performance driving. Leather-trimmed seats with Miko Suede inserts, made from recycled post-consumer yarns from plastic soft drink bottles, are comfortable and luxurious. A perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel puts the driver in smooth touch with the road. Front seats are 10-way power adjustable. SHO accelerator and brake pedals are trimmed in aluminium. The console, instrument and door panels feature SHO-specific authentic aluminium appliqués. SHO branding appears on the unique floor mats, and on the passenger side of the instrument panel.
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