The Ford Taurus SHO (Super High Output) is a performance sedan based on the Ford Taurus that was originally produced by the Ford Motor Company from 1989 until 1999. It returned in 2009 for the 2010 model year.
The SHO (originally spoken as individual letters, as of 2010, pronounced "show") was built by the same team that produced the Ford Mustang SVT. It was originally created as a limited production model for 1989 through 1993. However, the car proved to be very popular and quickly sold its planned 15,519 units in its first model year, leading Ford to order more engines and begin series production. The SHO would go on to be produced for ten years in three generations, totaling 106,465 vehicles as of late 1999.
Production ended after the 1999 model year due to a decline in popularity, in which Ford decided to not produce a SHO version of the fourth generation Taurus; in 1999, just over 3,000 SHOs were sold, which was only a sixth of the SHO's sales numbers from ten years prior.
First Generation (1989-1991)
The SHO differed from the normal Taurus on the exterior by having a Mercury Sable hood, different bumpers, side cladding, and fog lamps. The interior also differed, with sports seats and an 8000 rpm tachometer. The SHO had a Yamaha Built V-6 engine that redlined at 7,000 RPM and became the only Taurus to feature a manual transmission since the 4-cycle MT-5 was discontinued in that year. The transmission was designed and manufactured by Mazda and had the following gear ratios with a final drive ratio of 3.74:
|Gear||Ratio||mph per 1,000 rpm||Max Speed (@ 7000 rpm)|
|5th||0.74||26.8||143 @ 5350|
The first generation Taurus SHO can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds with a quarter mile time of 15.0-15.2 seconds. Car and Driver reported in their December 1989 issue a top speed of 143 mph (230 km/h).
A special edition of the SHO called the Plus package became available in 1991. It came as part of option package #212A and contained different styling cues from the standard SHO, including a plastic 'Power Bulge' hood, chrome window trim, a plastic spoiler without the 3rd brake light, body colored stripe in the lower cladding, black mirrors, black B and C pillars, rod shifter upgrade, and a body color TAURUS badge. There were also some SHO's that came with only part of the package options known in the community as a 'partial plus'. White painted pluses had the option of white painted "slicer" wheels. The 1991 slicer wheels were "Canadian" or non-directional, meaning the wheels on the right of the car would point a different direction than the ones on the left of the car. 1991 was the only year that a "Mocha Frost" color option was offered. Also in 91 a green called "Deep Jewel Green Clearcoat Metallic" was available, but only with the plus option. In 2009, a 1989 Ford Taurus SHO was featured in the movie The Blind Side in the opening scenes. Also featured in the 1994 film The Santa Clause with Tim Allen as Tim's character's vehicle.