Driving Impressions>>the 2011 Ford Taurus Sho

Before I jump into my look at the 2011 Ford Taurus SHO, let's get a couple of things out of the way.

First, this car very big, and very heavy.

Second, it's also fast, comfortable, and damn cool.

The original Taurus SHO was known as one of the best sleepers of all time, and for a time it was one of the fastest production sedans in any price range. Its Yamaha-tuned V6 and manual transmission combo also gave it a very unique personality. In the years after its release 1989, the SHO got larger and heavier, and was eventually killed off the late '90s.

The Taurus itself disappeared from Ford's lineup, before returning as a large, full size sedan – not the mainstream Camry and Accord fighter that it once was. With the new upmarket Taurus, Ford brought back the SHO name for the high performance version of the car.

This isn't the quirky, cult-favorite car that the original SHO was. This is a refined sport luxury sedan with all the features you'd expect. Yes it's a big, heavy car (4,300lbs!) but Ford has dropped in a 3.5 liter, twin turbo Ecoboost V6 to move all those pounds. The 365 horsepower of the boosted V6 are then sent to the wheels through an all wheel drive system.

There's no manual transmission available for the SHO, only a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. I know some people out there need a clutch pedal, but I think the auto box is the right choice for a car of this size and stature.

First impressions after hopping inside the car, are "man this is nice." The word classy is something that wouldn't be said anywhere near and old Taurus, but the new one deserves it. There are a lots of high quality, stylish, materials, and it has very European feel inside.

Step on the gas pedal, and the SHO delivers effortless thrust – it feels and moves much faster than its weight would suggest. Ride quality is also very good, even on the notoriously bad streets and freeways of SoCal.

The SHO that I was driving was fully loaded and included heated leather seats, navigation with Ford's Sync system, and sound by Sony. Enough to satisfy any tech freak.

With all of the SHO's size comes lots of interior room. Both up front…

…and in the rear. This isn't one of those cramped sport sedan back seats. There is plenty of room for full-sized yanks back here.

Styling-wise, I think Ford has done a great job with the new Taurus. It looks mature, without looking boring.

It also has a touch of that old-fashioned American swagger.

I forgot to grab a picture, but the trunk on the SHO is also huge. Perfect for a long road trip.

The SHO rolls on 20" 5-spoke wheels with 245-45 summer tires, part of the optional Sport Package. The Sport Package will also get you a more aggressive final drive ratio.

One thing that the new SHO DOES have in common with the original model is the sleeper factor. There is very little on the car that sets it apart from the standard Taurus, and most people won't suspect the big power that this sedan is packing.

At $44,240.00, the SHO doesn't come cheap, but this isn't meant to be a bargain performance car. It's a full featured, roomy, sedan with more than enough performance. With all of the BMW's, Audis, and Infinitis you see on the roads of LA, the all-American SHO also sticks out from the crowd.

The SHO might not be the best choice for a serious canyon session or track day. But merging onto the freeway, stretched out in comfort, listening to the sounds of the Sony stereo, while the Eco Boost V6 pushes you into the seat, you know that Ford has done something right with this car.

-Mike Garrett



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okay First of , i am a big Ford Fan ... but man THAT "thing" is fugly! WHO DECIDED IN THE MID 90 THAT THE CARS NEED TO GET PLAIN UGLY ?!

maybe thats whi all my cars are older than 18 Years ... because that where cars !


no. just... no.


dear ford. please learn something form the european/austrailian design team or bring the real ford focus or even the falcon to us soil... the fiesta is a great start and all but the ford lineup is hurting for a decent makeover.


Nice ad, how much did it cost?

Ford America should've imported the Falcon years ago.

Drive an XR6 turbo next time you are in Aus.

I hope this car never makes it out of USA.


i like this car, i really do, but reading this i get a sense that ford paid for this article. that may just be me though.


Look more like a rental car to me


Ugly. Huge. Not a luxury car. 4,300 lbs?!


i remember when ford sold the taurus in australia during the mid 90's. they slumped badly and god they were soooo ugly! doesnt seem like anything has changed for ford. the australia ford falcon looks soo much better than this!


looks like Redondo Beach


Wow, Ford made a Chrysler 300. And it sucks just as much as the Chrysler 300. Hard to beleive that American car builders have managed to step even farther into irrelevance.


shame about the rear end, the rest of the car looks pretty good.


wow...sponsored by ford....


thats just an ugly fat american version of the ford mondeo, i don't understand how it's 'damn cool'.


Wow...what happened to SpeedHunters? This car might be decent but let's face it. This thing is and will forever be Ford's desperate attempt to trump cars like Audi and it is a failure. The exterior styling alone is a massive half-assed job, 90% of teh body lines make no sense whatsoever. Just look at that picture of the front where you can see that at least half of the main opening in the bumper is fake and can't actually flow air, in classic Ford style. Always trying to be something it isn't, and I might add that there is nothing admirable about a performance engine with a derivative of the word "Economy" in the name. Please resume normal speed hunting.


lol at ero comment as this is a direct move from the modeo to the taurus here it also weighs more than my old ridgeline almost twice what my s2000 weighs and the price is bonkers.

that aside it's a cool looking car that just needs a v8, 5 speed, rwd and flame spitting side exit exhausts


Thank you very much Mr. Garrett for sharing with us this exhilarating news !!!

This is DEFINITELY Speedhunters worth it !!!


Just another hideous SUV.


Wow nice advert,

Ford USA should've imported the Falcon ages ago.

Drive an XR6 Turbo next time you are in AUS.

Who wouldn't prefer a car the same size as that with a 4.0 six or 5.0 V8 and RWD.

I hope that car never makes it out of USA.


This walks all over any Taurus before it, I don't see why people hate it. It's more interesting then a 5 Series at least.


Ok... if THIS is a revelation, then why hasn't anyone mentioned the XR6 Turbo? And the JZX100s or JZX110s? Less weight, better power to weight.

Although all that aside, the SHO is a pretty cool car.


Jesus. Remember the Simpsons episode where Ken Griffey Jr drinks too much brain & nerve tonic? This car is the automotive equivalent.

I just don't understand why American designers keep on getting it so wrong?


I work at a ford dealership and got to drive around one of these bad boys for a PDI test. Let me tell you, i would love to take this thing to vegas, the interior gives the sense of lincoln and it definitely puts you back in your seat when you step on the gas, all in all good car. fords finally stepping up


Wheelbase looks oddly short for the length. o.O


hahaha now i know why you drive a gay ass mustang..ford is paying you good right


I don't see why there's so much hate for this car. Sure it's bloated, saddled with an autotragic tranny, and sub-par interior, but it's also a step in the right direction for Ford. It's not boring, a fresh design, and it's got TWIN-TURBOS. I hope they sell a ton of these so they can continue building great drivers cars like the Mustang and Focus (the new "world car" one).


If I had $44,240.00 to spend I would never waste it on a Ford, especially this one. Great write up though!


Funnily enough as an Aussie, I was thinking bring that car over here.


my family owns one and its a pleasure to drive


looks like a beached whale trying to hide in civilisation...


Lots of hate for this car. I personally think it's beautiful. It's definitely the best looking Taurus, that's for damn sure. The performance is there and it pulls off a sort of VIP style in it's own American way. It's pricey and I wouldn't buy one for myself but it's still an awesome piece. If someone handed me the keys to one, I certainly wouldn't be crying myself to sleep at night.


Mr. Garrett, thank you very much for sharing with us this exhilarating news !!!

This is DEFINITELY Speedhunters worth it !!!


That 4" plastic strip along the bottom is pretty much exactly how much too tall the body is. Otherwise it'd be pretty alright looking, though far from stylish.

At least the quality went up, since the last Taurus.


Mr Garrett, thank you so much for sharing this exhilarating news with us !!!

This is DEFINATELY Speedhunters' worth material !!!


The Taurus isn't selling, despite how well and how better Ford's vehicles are today. For $40k, the SHO is a hard sell, even next to the new Mustang. Most of these Tauruses end up on the rental car lot. It isn't a bad car, but it's too expensive. Even the comparable Buick is kicking its butt. Like everyone says, bring the Falcon. GM is wising up and bringing back the Holden.


how high is this thing? seriously looks like 200mm+


If this car had honda or toyota badge on it everybody here would be drooling all over it, but since it doesn't have that JDM status they are hating it. I just don't get you readers here. You are bragging about that great diversity of car culture and even dig those stupid jap vans, but can't stand a single american Ford getting featured. WTF! By the way I am not American nor a fan of US-Fords. Come on guys, this is just as cool as any big four door, if there is any cool ones.


This car looks a lot better in person than in some of the pics, and yes the interior is awesome, almost benz. Plus ford even has a version of benz distronic cruise control...thats amazing for an american car lol. Besides, who on this blog leaves their cars stock, picture this thing in a more serious black or grey, lowered a bit, with some nice wheels....Lets appriciate that they are making steps in the right direction.


Haha, how can they call this car 'Eco' with a 3.5 V6 twin turbo? They could have made it more 'eco' and fast (which is way more important) by shaving off some of that huge weight!





FAIL!!!!! Falcon is stil King of fords sedans .


Bloody hell, it's got 20" wheels and they STILL look small. It's way too big, and way too ugly.


LOL @ people sensing subliminal marketing.

I love cars in general and even if all the trolls commenting this article were given the benefit of the doubt and this was an "AD" not once does this "AD" market itself as anything it's not.



something between family boring sedan and a pseudo-sport ford. I love much more EU Focus or Fiesta. Although a nice engine,design was made by a drunk snoob.


I totally love the new Taurus, wish they sell it in Europe...


"I forgot to grab a picture, but the trunk on the SHO is also huge. Perfect for a long road trip."

How many dead hookers can you fit in the back? LOL!


what? no under-hood shot?

great photos as usual and enjoyed the article.


Why is it SO TALL??? Geez. American cars are getting so big its rediculous. Maybe because most Americans are morbidly obese and now require gargantuan mammoth transportation.


Whatever happened to Low and Wide?



I have loved and will continue to love the cadillac V series. When I was a child and thinking of luxury cars I would own and possibly track for fun I never thought I would be saying cadillac but they have put forth a very serious effort here and it shows. Of course If I wanted to tip the scales for a more sportier ride then BMW all the way. ;)

@SamuraiRJ I agree...


i saw one for the first time the other day in my 240 i felt like i was next to an suv.. this thing towers like seriously it is fucking gigantic


alright i will say it... if ford gave me one of these to build into a drift car it would probably turn out very cool. those large wheel wells, 4 door layout, make RWD, and it is a pretty cool start. would have to do something about that transmission, maybe. imagination could make this car pretty sweet.


come on guys, it actually has great styling. I agree that ford usa should import the falcon because its such a great car butthis taurus doesnt look all that bad


^ il duce..

ummm no, this is the ugliest attempt at a luxury car since the 4g TL


It doesn't take much I know, but even with it's colossal weight, it smokes STI's like they were standing still.


Where is the coolness, I can´t see...


I'm not a Ford fan, or a fan of US cars at all. But I do like this SHO a little. Checked it out at SEMA last year.

It looks OK for a big sedan, lots of styling details taken from our european Fords, like the Mondeo.

The interior looks really good in person, and the quality feel is much like the european Fords. Unlike most other US cars wich are mainly made up by cheap hard plastics.

And you really cant go wrong with a 3.5l turbo V6 and all-wheel-drive!

The weight on the other hand is insane.


They're replacing the Crown Victoria and Chargers with these monsters in my area!


Put a different badge on it and everyone would be calling it amazing. Seriously, Ford built one hell of an engine and the Taurus makes a great lower-priced luxury car. These things are running 12s with just a tune, imagine if they added an intercooler and upped the boost even more! Mike, thanks for showing us something different on Speedhunters, not all of the automotive world revolves around drift and "stance".


Really Ford? You couldn't leave off the fake side vents? It would cost less and wouldn't look like a piece of shit add-on-at-the-last-minute-so-we-can-give-a-false-look-of-performance.

Seriously, import the Euro Focus and make it AWD. Shove in the EcoBoost and I would buy along with many others.

Then grab the Falcon Turbo. Mulally, don't you want a "Global Ford" anyway?

Also, bring the Mustang 5.0 to Australia. Honestly try to compete with Holden...


i work for ford as a tech, and let me just say it is ugly, but it halls ass like nobodys bussiness


They discontinued all those SUVs, moved all the SUV designers into other sections, and now everything looks like a fricking truck. Gee, I wonder why... Let us know when they de-truckify the world of automobiles. They used to describe the original/real Taurus as sleek and aerodynamic. This bastardized offspring has been trucked up beyond all recognition.


Hahaha why am I not surprised when I saw the comments on here? If it's not Japanese, it's not good. Bunch of JDM nutswingers.


While I think the SHO is slightly expensive for the $40k entry fee, it has decent performance on the road. Most buyers are probably older men, who grew up with hot rods, which I think this would appeal more too. Ford is still doing things right, whereas Honda and Toyota have sadly regressed in the past few years. Ford is still bringing out performance while they've finally been making better quality vehicles (same goes for Hyundai).


Nice try Ford. Not feeling chrome fender vents amongst other things. Simple is usually better!


Hey Collin--"Eco" is a reference to ecology, not economy numbnuts! The car has V-8 power with V-6 fuel economy. Do your research before you make your sorry attempts to be clever.