• The Ford Taurus SHO turned America’s hottest sedan right into a reputable sporting machine.
• A high-strung Yamaha V-6 is paired with a five-speed handbook.
• This primary-year SHO has seen simply two house owners and 37,000 miles.
Up for public sale on Convey A Trailer—which, like Automotive and Driver, is a part of the Hearst Autos Group—is an instance of a groundbreaking efficiency sedan that introduced energy to the individuals. “Ford Taurus SHO Shocks the World,” we stated, with solely minor hyperbole, after testing the brand new sports activities sedan upon its debut. Okay, so the Taurus SHO wasn’t fairly a BMW M5, however by the requirements of the day it crammed the identical temporary—and for lower than half the worth. When this 1989 instance hit the streets, we referred to as it a “breakthrough automobile,” one that would nip on the heels of Camaros and Corvettes, whereas retaining its family-friendly temporary with 4 doorways and a commodious trunk.
Pop the hood and take a superb take a look at one of many best-looking engines ever made, a Yamaha V-6 with its basket-of-snakes cylinder head. Displacing the identical 3.0 liters because the optionally available Vulcan V-6 of the common Taurus, the SHO had 80 extra horses underneath its belt, for a complete of 220.
Yamaha had been tasked with creating the V-6 for a possible mid-engined sports activities automobile referred to as the GN34 (assume Ford’s never-happened NSX). When that challenge fizzled out, Ford’s Particular Automobile Operations crew pleaded for the V-6 to discover a new house in a stiffened-up Taurus. Because the Taurus was a mainstream hit already, why not? Fortunate us, as a result of it was a heck of a motor.
In a 1988 assessment of the automobile, Csaba Csere wrote:
“The Shogun engine is rev-limited to 7300 rpm—to not defend the interior elements, however to maintain the accent drive system from flying aside. (The engine itself is safely capable of flip greater than 8500 rpm.) The engine’s sturdiness comes from its forged-steel crankshaft and connecting rods; a high-strength cast-iron cylinder block with strengthened main-bearing helps and deck faces; and a cooling system that provides full, 360-degree water jackets across the cylinders, extra-large cooling passages, and an oil-water warmth exchanger. Yamaha did not skimp when it designed this engine.”
The unique engine additionally despatched 200 pound-feet of torque to the entrance wheels, dispatched solely by way of a Mazda-sourced five-speed handbook transaxle. (An automated would not be provided till the next-gen, ’93 SHO.) The SHO did not look a lot totally different from the tons of of 1000’s of garden-variety Taurus sedans already plying America’s streets (370,000 of which had been offered in 1989). And but, it was faster than any sedan at twice the worth. It additionally may preserve tempo with a V-8 Mustang. Not simply preserve tempo, however really outrun it.
From that very same interval highway check: “In contrast with the potent Ford Mustang V-8, the SHO is a mere 0.3 second slower within the quarter-mile. And all of that misplaced time happens firstly; as soon as rolling, the SHO retains tempo with the Mustang and finishes the run on the identical 95-mph entice pace. Above 100 mph, the aerodynamically superior SHO steadily pulls away from the Mustang. The Taurus SHO is one quick five-passenger household sedan.”
This instance has comparatively low miles at 37K and has had simply two house owners. It has some put on that is typical of the inside high quality of a late-Eighties Ford product, and some different blemishes. Although the silver paint hides these effectively.
Even at this time, most may not know the SHO from every other Taurus. However pop the hood at your native Radwood present or vehicles and low occasion, and exhibit Yamaha’s high-quality work. Will probably be clear that is no Hertz-spec Taurus.
The public sale runs by Could 22.
Brendan McAleer is a contract author and photographer based mostly in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada. He grew up splitting his knuckles on British cars, got here of age within the golden period of Japanese sport-compact efficiency, and started writing about vehicles and folks in 2008. His specific curiosity is the intersection between humanity and equipment, whether or not it’s the racing profession of Walter Cronkite or Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s half-century obsession with the Citroën 2CV. He has taught each of his younger daughters find out how to shift a handbook transmission and is grateful for the excuse they supply to be perpetually shopping for Sizzling Wheels.