Ok, let's get some housekeeping out of the way first. The SHO in the Taurus SHO stands for Super High Output, and 20 years ago, when the first one was introduced, it certainly was.
With special deep breathing heads built by the folks at Yamaha, the original had a 0-60 time of 6.6 seconds. That's pretty darned good even by today's standards. But 10 years ago, they sent it out to pasture since the market for hot Tauruses was on a par with the market for tax shelters for the homeless.
But while in the pasture, it must have been put out to stud, because a newer, slicker, absolutely fabulous descendent is on the market, and it is a worthy heir to the mantle.
Looks wise, the new Taurus, and therefore the SHO is striking. I didn't say beautiful, but it is striking. It isn't so much a styling job as a collection of items all put together in asingle car. Scoops, vents, creases, bulges and the like are collected like buttons on an Applebee's waiter, and it seems to work. It isn't a coherent, theme like a jaguar or even a Chrysler 300, but a pastiche of stuff. And surprisingly…it just flat works.
The only difference in the SHO is the spoiler, cool wheels and silly flappy paddle shifters on the steering wheel. Oh, yes, that and the speed thing.
Under the hood, is a version of Ford's 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 with 365 horsepower. That's over a hundred more than the non-turbo version and the difference is, as Twain said, like the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
Top speed is actually governed to roughly 10 miles per hour slower than the original at 131, but the 0-60 time is well under 6 seconds.
There is a standard and performance version and the price starts just under $40,000. All that and it's built like a brick, uh, 4-door. The SHO is back, and we needed it.