2013 Ford Taurus SHO: Stealthy sleeper is sportiest Taurus so far

The new Ford Taurus SHO (Super High Output) 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 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.”

Direct feedback from the car enthusiast community was part of the resources used to reinvent this Taurus.

“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 ever better SHO with the next generation.”

Signature technology

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.

SHO-specific sideview mirrors—also in contrasting black—are heated, have memory functionality and contain downward-facing puddle lamps. Those on the driver’s side feature auto-diming.

In the rear, Taurus SHO features a unique decklid-mounted spoiler.

Inside, sporty characteristics are demonstrated with a perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-trimmed sport seats with embroidered SHO graphics, woven aluminum trim and adjustable aluminum pedals with memory.

Signature Ford technology is included with the standard MyFord Touch powered by SYNC driver connect technology and the replacement of several traditional knobs and controls with clear, colourful 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.

Enhanced powertrain

The 2013 Taurus SHO drivetrain continues to use a fuel-efficient 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 engine, delivering 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to a six-speed, high-capacity SelectShift Automatic transmission.

Steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters allow the vehicle to match revs for smooth, quick, manually selected downshifts. Paddle shifters have been reconfigured for more intuitive operation, with one paddle for upshift and the other for making smooth, matched-rev downshifts.

SHO dynamics have been enhanced with larger brakes, sport-tuned suspension and torque vectoring control—using slight braking to provide the effect of a limited-slip differential.

Specially calibrated electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) has been further optimized for road feel and direct communicative response. EPAS allows 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 per cent more thermal mass and 67 per cent more swept area to help brakes run cooler.

Now vented, the rear disc brakes offer 53 per cent more thermal mass.

As with the previous edition, all Taurus SHO models come standard with an advanced torque-sensing all-wheel-drive (AWD) system to help deliver optimum traction in all weather conditions and to allow the vehicle to efficiently deliver ample torque through all four driven wheels when driving in a sporty, enthusiastic manner.

Base price for the 2013 Taurus AWD SHO is $49,199. Add the performance package, voice active NAV system and multi-contoured seats for a MSRP of $52,099.