Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Getting Agressive the SHO Gets a Lift

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Getting Agressive the SHO Gets a Lift

Article excerpt

Say hello to Ford's new Silver Bullet, the 1996 Taurus SHO.

Using the outrageous, and some say, controversial new 1996

Taurus as its basis, Ford added a high-tech, all-aluminum V-8

under the hood, some performance tweaks to the steering and

suspension, and some subtle go-fast cosmetics on the outside.

The result is more like a BMW than a Mustang, an executive

express for folks who want V-8 power combined with comfort,

without paying too much for it.

The SHO was born in 1989, when Ford teamed up with Yamaha (yes,

the motorcycle folks,) took the Taurus's old 3-liter V8, and

gave it a 24-valve head and 220 hp. It even came with a

five-speed manual(the automatic showed up later.)

But that was then.

When Ford introduced the radically redesigned 1996 Taurus, they

knew they had to do something more with the SHO. So Ford took

the 2.5-liter aluminum V-6, with its 200-hp, added two more

cylinders, then shipped the new 3.4-liter V-8 to Yamaha for

installation of a DOHC head, balance shafts, and some snaking

air intakes that wrap over the top. The result, assembled in

Atlanta, is a 32-valve engine with 235 hp at 6,100 rpm, and

torque rated 230 pound-feet at 4,800 rpm -- 17 percent more

power than the V-6 it's based on, according to Autoweek


Previous versions of the SHO did with a few cosmetic

alterations, but the new Taurus SHO gets more aggressive


A new nose design makes the oval air inlets between the

headlights bigger, and adds a bigger grinning scoop as part of a

more aggressive bumper. A new rear bumper has cutouts for two

huge exhaust pipes. Ford even adds a small tail spoiler atop one

already molded into the trunk lid.

Fit and finish on our silver car was superb, with smooth paint

and perfect gaps between body panels. The five-spoke chrome

alloy wheels are a $580 option, and wear aggressive 16inch

Goodyear Eagle RS/A tires.

Inside, the standard Taurus oval gauge package carries only a

speedometer, tach, gas and temperature gauges, nothing more. The

center armrest hides a storage area underneath, while a dual

cupholder pops out of the front. The most intriguing oval of all

is the centrallylocated Integrated Control Panel, with stereo

controls on top and climate control on the bottom, all easy to

use. The actual stereo guts are in the trunk with the optional

six-disc CD changer. Our optional Ford/JBL system, with seven

speakers, sounded superb.

The SHO gives the driver more aggressively bolstered

leather-clad bucket seats with six-way power height and slide.

While comfortable, they are slippery when you use the

performance potential of this car. Rear seat room was superb,

although the sloped roof does bring the roof line close. The

trunk is wide and flat, and runs deep into the rear of the car. …

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