The latest version of Ford’s Taurus SHO, released as a 2010 model, was probably best described as a “comfortable, sporty sedan.” Outside, it didn’t look all that different from other Taurus models, but that was partially by design. The Taurus SHO has always been a sleeper, and Ford’s engineers didn’t want to change that. Handling on the 2010 Taurus SHO was improved, thanks to an AWD drivetrain that helps gets the car’s 365 horsepower to the pavement. It was a relative hit among the Taurus SHO faithful, but it wasn’t seriously cross-shopped against many European sport sedan rivals.
For 2013, Ford has made some significant changes to the Taurus SHO, starting with a much more aggressive front fascia and grille. A blacked out grille makes the new Taurus SHO look menacing, where the current model simply looks bland. Subtle SHO badging graces the front fenders behind the wheel arches, side view mirrors are painted black and the rear gets a subtle deck lid spoiler. The SHO is still a Q-ship, but it’s a far better looking on than the current model.
The 2013 Taurus SHO uses the same 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 as the 2010 model, so output remains at 365 horsepower. No manual trans will be offered, but none was available on the 2010 version, either. Bigger brakes now come standard on SHO models, as does torque-vectoring-control to ensure maximum traction in all driving conditions. New electric power steering (borrowed from the Mustang) gives better road feel while improving fuel economy.
If you want even more performance, Ford will offer an SHO Performance Package for 2013 as well. Aimed at drivers who run track days in their SHOs, the package includes a stiffer suspension, track-tuned calipers with performance brake pads, ESC track mode with an “off” setting, 3.16: final drive, extreme-duty cooling system and 20” wheels with Y rated summer-only tires.