The other day, I was passed like I was standing still by a 2016 Ford Taurus SHO.
“Larger EcoBoost engine,” I muttered under my breath.
My 2015 Fusion Titanium has the 2.0 EcoBoost, generating 231 horsepower. The Taurus SHO boasts the 3.5 EcoBoost with 365 horsepower. I adore my Fusion but there was no way I was keeping pace with the SHO.
Perhaps the better comparison is with the original Taurus SHO?
Blue Springs Ford Parts thinks so. The OEM parts dealer recently compared the 2016 Ford Taurus SHO to the original, 1989 Taurus SHO. There are vast improvements in straight line speed – which I experienced – but the newer SHO is also 1,000 lbs heavier. While the 2016 SHO is much faster than its 1989 counterpart in 0-60 and quarter mile sprints, it handles only slightly better than the 1989.
“The 2016 SHO is a heavy car compared to the 1989 SHO,” says Kyle Harris, Director at Blue Springs Ford Parts. “The 2016 SHO is seriously fast at the drag strip, but skidpad tests prove that the 2016 model handles about the same as the car from 27 years ago.”
According to Harris, with the right setup, the 1989 SHO could give the 2016 a run for the money.
“I’d guess you could put a great set of tires on the 1989 model and make it handle better than the 2016 – that’s a bit of a shock,” he said.
What the comparison does not highlight is the safety ratings, although 2016 is far superior. NHTSA rates the 2016 Taurus with a 5-star overall rating, while the 1990 Taurus (ratings aren’t available for 1989) has a 4-star rating. NHTSA increased its five star safety standards in 2011, meaning the 1990 4-star rating is quite low next to the 2016’s 5-star rating.
“There is no doubt that the 2016 Taurus SHO is quieter, safer, and more comfortable than the 1989 SHO,” Harris said.
Harris also points out the individual perceptions and ideologies of the cars.
“The 1989 SHO was Ford’s attempt to build a fast Taurus, while the 2016 SHO seems more like an attempt to build a Taurus that does everything,” he said.
The 2016 Ford Taurus SHO is a performance car, but a with a host of luxurious amenities.
“Personally, I’d like to see the SHO package divorced from luxury features. That might help address the weight issue,” Harris said. “The 2016 SHO’s heft limits the gains that could have been made in terms of handling and fuel economy.”
The 2016 Ford Taurus SHO has the same EPA ratings as the 1989.
Still, in terms of performance, Ford enthusiasitsts find in hard to top the SHO. For example, the SHO Performance Package comes with P245/45R20 performance summer compound tires, upgraded shocks and
springs, performance brake pads, a heavy-duty cooling system, electric power-assisted, specially calibrated
steering, and a 3:16:1 final drive gear ratio, among others.
What do you think of the Taurus SHO?
*Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.