Ford used the Chicago Auto Show to reveal the reincarnation of its Taurus SHO (Super High Output) model. This subtly sinister variation on the full-size Taurus sedan packs the hottest version yet of the automaker's new EcoBoost engine technology as well as chassis and interior upgrades to make the most of that extra muscle. Its 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V6 makes 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. With the latter commodity peaking at just 1,500 rpm and holding flat to 3,500 revs, Ford claims this all-wheel drive rocket will be more than a match for a BMW 550i -- but still manage to return 25 mpg on the highway. Part of that frugality can be attributed to the SHO's super-efficient SelectShift six-speed automatic transmission that offers the performance touch of steering-wheel mounted shifter paddles and fully integrates with the electronically controlled AWD package.
Transforming a baseline Taurus to full SHO status also involved a comprehensive chassis upgrading that included new springs, shocks, stabilizer bars and bushings plus revised suspension geometry and standard 19-inch (or optional 20-inch) wheels/tires. Hard-core enthusiasts also can add a Performance Package that includes upgraded brake pads, recalibrated electronic power steering, a deeper axle ratio, Sport Mode for the stability control and 20-inch Goodyear Eagle F1 tires.
In keeping with its enthusiast grade character, the SHO's interior treatment includes leather-and-suede wrapped 10-way power sport buckets, custom door and console trims, aluminum pedals, the latest version of SYNC that adds traffic, directions and information functions and Intelligent Access with Push Button Start that eliminates the need for a conventional key. Options include everything from Adaptive Cruise Control and a 12-speaker 390-watt Sony premium audio system to a voice-activated navigation package and Multi-Contour Seats with Active Motion massage feature. The 2010 Taurus SHO will begin arriving at Ford dealers this summer, and carry a base price of $37,995.