The new Taurus SHO isn't a world-beater, but it is a very, very cool car nonetheless. The Ecoboost twin-turbo V-6 makes for one extremely quick car - significantly quicker than other Tauruses. Wheel spin isn't an issue, thanks to the SHO's all-wheel drive, but torque steer is still present, particularly when accelerating through corners.
As my colleagues have noted, the SHO falls far short - in steering, braking, and grip, for instance - of other mega-sedans such as the BMW M3 and the Cadillac CTS-V. But I think it is still a good ownership proposition for the person who used to own a hot sports car but whose professional status and/or family size no longer allows such flashiness or impracticality. The SHO offers plenty of power and respectable handling, and along with those performance plusses comes a very large back seat and trunk; a well-trimmed, comfortable cabin; and plenty of useful features, from navigation, satellite radio, heated and cooled front seats, and heated rear seats to the bevy of cupholders and the business-card and pen holders in the center console. The $38,000 base price and the $44,500 as-tested tag do seem a bit steep, but I don't think they're outrageous.
Our test car was painted a very dark green that was almost black, but it looked good on this car. The SHO is not hugely differentiated from the regular Taurus, but it does have cool wheels (nineteen- or twenty-inch), a small spoiler, dual chrome exhausts, and special parking lamp bezels. I'd prefer a stronger visual statement, but I suspect that most SHO buyers probably won't mind the undercover styling.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor