The Ford engineering team set out to build a vehicle that was engaging and fun to drive, they succeeded. Ford’s new flagship was designed by a group of cohesive engineers and was developed in the digital world, a process that cut 12 months off of the new car’s development cycle. The new Taurus offers the latest and greatest from the blue oval, and is a step in the right direction for any American automaker. Led by Chief Engineer Pete Reyes. The Exterior Design Manager Earl Lucas assured us that the 2010 Ford Taurus is more about me and less about we. Meant for the consumer who is past the Crossover phase of ownership and settling into a comfortable lifestyle. The new Ford Taurus is meant for the new car buyer who wants something that is fun to drive and nice to look at, with a touch of style from Ford’s European design team.
The 2010 Ford Taurus SHO is one engaging vehicle to drive, with its powerful Eco Boost engine and responsive all wheel drive system. The 3.5 Liter turbocharged V6 works like a V8, making 365 HP, while getting 25 MPG on the highway; this Super High Output model is the future of sport luxury sedans. The styling is 21st century and the forward thinking power plant is a must in todays conservation minded society.
The base Taurus will sell for around $30,000 and the high horsepower model will retail closer to $45,000. Ford has something for every price level with their new four door, but we recommend the SHO.
Continued after the jump.
10 Class Exclsuives:
The design team boasted about the reborn for 2010 Taurus’s 10 class exclusive features that come standard on all of the new cars, comparing themselves to luxury sedans from around the world like the domestic Chrysler 300, European limousine the Audi A6 and Lexus GS350 from the land of the rising sun; and don’t worry they went easy on the acronyms. Like the BLIS with CTA, the Blind Spot Information System that lets you know if someone is in that hard to see area when you are traveling on the highway and Cross Traffic Alert that warns you of approaching danger when pulling out of a parking spot. Second is the ACC, is the variable pursuit distance Adaptive Cruise Control and the Collision Warning with Brake Support, apparently they couldn’t come up with a catchy slogan for the three part system that, throws up a bar of lights on the windshield, emits an annoying tone and mutes the Sony Sound System that just so happens to be one of the Ford’s 10 exclusive features. Trust us, they both work pretty well.
Next is My Key, it sounds kind of cool and it is, but no, its not a push button starter. The Taurus design team didn’t want to alienate any of their potential analog customers buying a base model Taurus, but don’t worry there is a digital option. But it will help those fathers with their youngest child going into high school and their siblings college tuitions paid off. The electronic key will allow that concerned parent to limit the maximum audio volume, restrict the top speed, set a chime to come on at 55 MPH in an attempt to annoy their baby to slow down and it can disable certain features similar to a valet key. As great as the key is you won’t have to take it out of your pocket until you get into the Miko Suede Multi Contour front Seat with Active Motion, the next best thing to a Swedish massage when sitting in traffic on your commute home. Like all great Ford products, you can type a code into your door to unlock the vehicle, except that if the key is in your pocket, all you have to do is wave your hand across the keypad.
For upscale shoppers there is another class exclusive feature for the 2010 Ford Taurus, the Voice Activated Navigation System with SIRIUS Travel Link. This real time interface will display everything from traffic conditions to weather patterns and the SYNC with Traffic, Directions and Informaton. This feature will have anything from the stock report to the sports scores ready for you in the morning. We are not sure why Ford is using the Easy Fuel capless fuel filler on all their vehicles, if it’s got easy in the title, why is there a funnel in the trunk?
The big news is the SHO, which is also the last of Ford’s class exclusive features, that is because it is powered by the 3.5 Liter Eco Boost V6. This power plant of the future offers the power of a V8 with the consumption of a V6. It is also the first turbocharged direct injected V6 in North America, making 102 additional horse power over the base car’s Duratec motor of the same size. Direct injection is a beautiful thing, initially developed for endurance racers, this method of fuel delivery allows for the most controlled combustion possible, injecting exact amounts directly into the combustion chamber. These systems have the benefit of getting better gas mileage and making more power at the same time compared to traditional multi port fuel injection. Thanks to a pair of snails, some solenoid injectors and a rather high compression ratio (10.0:1) for a boosted application the Eco Boost V6 makes 365 HP and 350 lb-ft of torque.
Coupled with a few exterior features to bring the looks up to par with the performance. Don’t get us wrong, despite riding on 19 or the optional 20 inch rims, the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO is a sleeper. Unlike the popular phrase that is used to describe most show cars, the factory tuned Ford Taurus is all go with a little SHOw.
The first thing you will notice when you see the new Taurus is that it’s big, but the way the design team incorporated a pair of carefully placed horizontal lines, the Taurus looks like a sleek sports tourer. This attitude is only highlighted by the front end. The large grill, stretched headlamps and open mouth front bumper make the 2010 Ford Taurus as interesting as a the European Mondeo.
From the outside the car is easily distinguishable from the base model by its chrome grill, power bulge on the hood, LED running lights, larger wheels and a few discreetly placed badges behind the rear windows and an Eco Boost badge on the back. The Ford design team added a bit of performance flare with an SHO exclusive rear wing and chrome strip that ties the taillights together; not to mention the pair of chrome exhaust tips.
The Interior design team were very proud of their 30 degree rake on the center stack and sculpted dash, creating a true cockpit environment. The Taurus successfully combines tasteful elements like the quilted stitching appearance on the door panels and similar treatment on the dash. All models except the base come with a leather wrapped steering wheel and a pair of push button shifters to occupy your thumbs.
There are more aluminum items like pedals and kick plates throughout the interior. The chairs in the SHO are upgraded with Miko Suede, a synthetic grippy material that was made from recycled plastic bottle caps. Almost as good as the massaging motors inside the front seats. The only thing that was a little uncomfortable was shifting out of manual mode. The way the gear selected is placed in relation to the driver’s seat, you almost have to turn around in order to grab the control. There are also a few identifying features like SHO embroidered floor mats and a small badge on the dash. Overall the inside of any Taurus is a nice place to be sitting.
What truly sets the SHO apart from the rest of the line up is what’s under the hood. The Eco Boost V6 is Ford’s answer to downsizing; this 21st century power plant produces the output of a V8 while drinking like a six cylinder, getting 17 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway. There is also a boosted four cylinder on the way to fill the Eco Boost void in Ford ’s smaller range of vehicles. The Blue oval brand plans on offering Eco Boost power on at least 90% of their future lineup.
The Eco Boost V6 does take a second to get up to full song, but by 2,500 RPM the total of 12 PSI from the pair of snails has pressurized the combustion chamber and plants your back firmly in the seat. The power comes on strong in the lower gears, but by the time you mash the gas in 5th, the SHO feels a bit like the base model. Either way, 365 HP is an ungodly amount of power.
We did notice on our test ride that the base Taurus, powered by a 3.5 Liter Duratec V6 barely budged from atop the “F” on the fuel gauge over our 50 mile stint, whereas the SHO consumed almost a quarter of a tank covering a similar distance. We must mention that the SHO was being driven spiritedly on some of the nicest mountain roads in North Carolina, and we were going flat out for most of the time. Despite the SHO’s insatiable thirst, the base model’s transmission felt like it was working hard to climb similar slopes in the 4000 pound vehicle. It is possible that the sluggishness can be attributed to the Taurus’s 263 HP and 249 lb-ft of torque, but with the turbos spooled up, nothing seemed like a chore.
The 2010 Ford Taurus SHO also features a beefed up transmission to handle the 12 psi of boost from both snails to make a ground pounding 350 lb-ft of torque from the next generation internal combustion engine. Ford is so dedicated to this engine design, that the last American automotive manufacturer left standing plans on introducing Eco Boost into 90% of their future product lineup. If you are partial to an inline setup, and hesitant to go with a V6 there is good news, because Ford is also working on a 4 cylinder version of Eco Boost.
Why to buy?
If you are looking for a ride that is more about me, and less about we, the Turus is for you. Intended for individuals who have outgrown the responsibilities associated with owning a crossover, but still want to be able to take the occasional passenger for a ride. The new for 2010 Ford Taurus packs the same attitude and style that the blue oval is famous for instilling in their trucks. The Ford engineers and marketing team are calling the new Taurus America’s smartest full size vehicle due to the laundry list of safety, comfort and performance features that are packed into the attractively styled four door.
Ford intends to sell the SHO to the new car buyer that is willing to give up some level of everyday drivability in order to possess a high performance machine. Offering sticky summer season tires wrapped around upgraded 20 inch alloys, which just so happen to be a bit noisy when going down the road. The suspension for the SHO has also been revised so that the Taurus can handle as well as it goes.
Why not to buy?
There is no reason not to buy a new Ford Taurus SHO, maybe if you can’t afford the extra price you can settle for the base model with the same great looks. If you are in the market for a luxury sedan and jsut want to play the field, Ford compares their vehicle to the Chrysler 300 and Audi A6 , but give the new SHO a test drive, we guarantee you’ll have a good time.
Top Speed final verdict:
The design team focused on creating a bold exterior and a great interior, two tasks at which they have succeeded. Their goal was to infuse the new Taurus with what they call Ford DNA: the look, the feel and the fun of a Ford. They succeeded.
The SHO that we drove came in at around $45 large, a considerable step up from the base model of Ford’s new flagship, but the factory tuned version is worth it, coming nicely equipped with a set of 20 inch Luster Nickel aluminum wheels wrapped in the no compromises summer rubber. The car was fun to drive and very responsive despite the rather hefty curb weight. It will be interesting to see what aftermarket tuners like Jack Roush will do with this car.