Test drive Review: 1993 Ford Taurus SHO
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Community Lounge, Introductions and General Discussion Discussion, Test drive Review: 1993 Ford Taurus SHO in General Discussion; I've been wanting to drive a 1989-95 Taurus SHO for quite a while now. When they were new, they were ...
  1. #1
    I~LUV~Caddys8792's Avatar
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    Cool Test drive Review: 1993 Ford Taurus SHO

    I've been wanting to drive a 1989-95 Taurus SHO for quite a while now. When they were new, they were one of the most potent sedans on the market and still carry a legacy 20 years later. A local dealer has a '93 ATX (automatic transmission) with 114k miles for $2995. It's extremely clean, red with the grey leather/cloth interior and zero rust.

    It is one hell of an engine, encased in a subtle body.

    Exterior: 7/10.





    Very clean cut design. Aggressive yet subtle. I love how the SHO is different from a normal Taurus, without really sticking out. The differences are subtle....foglamps, lower air dam, different wheels & side skirts, the SHO logo embossed on front doors & rear bumper, 6 slot wheels, rear spoiler. The Taurus's design was very fresh for the early '90s and it sparked a trend and was the top selling car in America, with 426k sold in 1993 alone. It's low windshield/beltline and lots of glass make it very easy to see out of, making maneuvering & parking a charm.

    Interior: 6/10.





    Nothing to write home about, but it's an early '90s Ford sedan so there's not much to expect by today's standards. Lots of hard plastics, everything was one color (grey), but the seats had the very cool adjustable side bolsters and lumbar. Seats were nice & soft and the color/leather seats made for all weather comfort and great grip. I liked the full instrumentation including the 140mph speedometer and 8,000 tachometer. The redline starts at 7,000 which was a hell of a number in 1989. Fairly functional interior, center console and a few places to keep odds & ends, nice sized map pockets in doors. Had a good amount of features as well....power windows & locks, power mirrors,10 way power driver's seat, automatic headlamps, automatic climate control, CD player and much more.

    Engine: 9/10.



    I am a huge fan of this engine. First of all, it's beautiful. Yamaha designed the engine for Ford, off Ford's 3.0 Vulcan block, but Yamaha did all the magic making the 140hp OHV V6 the 220hp DOHC demon it is. It features 12 intake plenums for the 6 cylinders. Half of them (the six long, small diameter ones) run alone below 4,000, feeding the engine and giving it the low rpm torque it has (way more so than many early '90s DOHC engines) and the other 6, the shorter, larger diameter runners open up over 4,000 rpm to give the engine the amazing top end power it has. The engine also features light weight, low tension valve springs which really enables the engine to effortlessly pull at higher rpm's. The 220hp peaks at 6200 rpm and the 215 lb/ft peaks at 4800 rpm. BUT, because the way the engine is designed, it has much more low end torque than most other dual overhead cam engines built in the '90s (the Nissan Maxima, Infiniti Q45 and Northstar come to mind). It has a very linear power band, with good low end torque that smoothly transitions into a great top end. It's extremely smooth as well, very velvety. A lot of the older dual overhead cam engines I've driven have little low end power and really "come alive" above 3500-4000 rpm. A friend had a '93 Maxima SE, with Nissan's VQ30DE engine, also a DOHC design, 190hp and 190 lb/ft, it was a direct competitor to the SHO. His was also an automatic, but it was a complete snoozefest compared to the SHO, with little low end torque and when you hit about 3500 rpm, it felt like you flipped a light switch.

    I drove Jesda's 90 (?) Q45 a long time ago and it was the same thing. You'd floor the gas from a stop then.....vvvvvvrrrrrOOOOOOOM and you were gone, like hitting a light switch. The early Northstars I've driven were kind of the same as well. It's even more linear than the Marauder's 32v V-8, even though it's a decade newer.

    The SHO's power band was so unique, even though it had a great amount of low end torque and would easily move around all day below 3000 rpm, it was begging you to open it up and give it all you've got!! The sound was so melodic, it was such a pleasure to listen to! It also had a great amount of feedback through the gas pedal.

    Smooth, rich and hearty, like a good stout or porter.

    I gave it a wide open throttle from about a 20mph roll and held it to about 60 and it felt like it would keep up with my Marauder, so I'd guesstimate 0-60 in the high 6 second range. Impressive for a '93.

    Reports say that at highway speeds, it would outrun a 5.0 Fox Body Mustang.

    The automatic transmission was fine, but I think the engine would be ideally paired up with the manual transmission.

    You can tell I love this engine.

    Handing: 8/10
    Very surprised by this. The steering felt great, precise and easy to direct, yet not too firm or demanding. I've driven a lot of Fords from this era that have no on-center feel and aren't easy to "point and go". This was a car that's not only fun to drive in a straight line, but can be a blast on curvy & windy roads. The sales guy rode with me on the test drive, so I couldn't stray to a fun road, but I'm sure it would handle it with aplomb.

    I'm very happy to have been able to spend some time today driving this. It's definitely something I'd like to own, especially with the manual transmission, to replace the LeSabre with as a daily driver and sit next to the Marauder.
    "They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, call me Deacon Blues."

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    orconn's Avatar
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    Re: Test drive Review: 1993 Ford Taurus SHO

    As a beater I would think it might have, potentially, repair costs on the engine which would not be desirable.

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    Nice write-up, Chad. The interior looks unimpressive in gray, but it was sharp in its time in black. My silver on black got a ton of compliments and was a looker back then. It really held its own until maybe the mid 2000s when sedan styling really started getting bold...

    ----------

    Also, 220hp doesn't sound like much, but that torque curve is flat. Just like you mentioned, Chad. It was flat and that thing breathes so well up top. It could beat more powerful engines of its time. An auto trans 350 Camaro or Vette could be beaten by an SHO. It was a highway beast.

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    MrHolland's Avatar
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    Re: Test drive Review: 1993 Ford Taurus SHO

    But it was still a Taurus......

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    Re: Test drive Review: 1993 Ford Taurus SHO

    Aaaaaah!! After driving the SHO, I want nothing more than to take the Marauder out and see how it compares!! But, the roads are still salty after the snow we got yesterday (Yes, on April 19th....)
    "They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, call me Deacon Blues."

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    1999 Mercedes Benz S320 (8/07-7/09)
    2000 Buick Regal GS (7/09-4/12)
    2003 Mercury Marauder (4/12-10/13)
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    Re: Test drive Review: 1993 Ford Taurus SHO

    Yeah it would be interesting to hear about the comparison. Two special engine generic bodied cars that were supposed to fill some kind of a market slot .... I quess they did.

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    I~LUV~Caddys8792's Avatar
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    Re: Test drive Review: 1993 Ford Taurus SHO

    The Marauder feels more special in today's market, being so large, rear drive and body on frame. The SHO just feels like a normal family sedan with Zeus's beating heart under the hood.

    I think that the torque curve of that Yamaha-designed gem is flatter than the Marauder's Intech V8....

    ----------

    OMG, someone needs to swap that sweetheart Yamahammer into a 1988-94 Continental!!! Why has this not been done yet???
    77CDV, 77CDV, orconn and 1 others like this.
    "They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, call me Deacon Blues."

    Current:
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    1999 Mercedes Benz S320 (8/07-7/09)
    2000 Buick Regal GS (7/09-4/12)
    2003 Mercury Marauder (4/12-10/13)
    1991 Buick LeSabre Custom Sedan (9/12-6/13)
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    Quote Originally Posted by I~LUV~Caddys8792
    The Marauder feels more special in today's market, being so large, rear drive and body on frame. The SHO just feels like a normal family sedan with Zeus's beating heart under the hood.

    I think that the torque curve of that Yamaha-designed gem is flatter than the Marauder's Intech V8....

    ----------

    OMG, someone needs to swap that sweetheart Yamahammer into a 1988-94 Continental!!! Why has this not been done yet???
    I did see a SHO wagon on CL once (one of the guys here put it up). I'd rock a SHO wagon in a heartbeat.

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    Re: Test drive Review: 1993 Ford Taurus SHO

    Quote Originally Posted by I~LUV~Caddys8792 View Post
    The SHO just feels like a normal family sedan with Zeus's beating heart under the hood.
    Well, someone shares my viewpoint on this thing. Whether or not this is the description of a worthy car or not is up to the individual, but yeah...

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    Re: Test drive Review: 1993 Ford Taurus SHO

    One of my fondest driving memories was being behind the wheel of a 5-speed mid-90s Taurus SHO, green with horrible rust. That engine is a great match for that platform. Because it looked like your average midsize car, it was like getting away with murder when you romped on it.

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    Aron9000's Avatar
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    Re: Test drive Review: 1993 Ford Taurus SHO

    I wonder if Ford/Yamaha under-rated it at 220hp. That doesn't sound like a lot in a fairly big car, but yet the numbers speak for themselves.

  13. #12
    I~LUV~Caddys8792's Avatar
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    Re: Test drive Review: 1993 Ford Taurus SHO

    That's a very interesting thought Aaron and something I never considered. It makes a lot of sense though, considering the Mustang's 5.0 makes 225 hp! Could it be like the Grand National and the Corvette, under rated so it doesn't out do the "king"?
    "They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, call me Deacon Blues."

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  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aron9000 View Post
    I wonder if Ford/Yamaha under-rated it at 220hp. That doesn't sound like a lot in a fairly big car, but yet the numbers speak for themselves.
    I've been to a number of SHO group dyno days. The 220hp is pretty accurate. As opposed to many of Ford's engines of the time being overrated.

    It all comes down to the flat curve and high revving ability. More time accelerating, less time shifting.

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MrHolland View Post
    But it was still a Taurus......
    In 2013, that sounds underwhelming. However, in 1988 cars sucked, in general. Unless you were driving an expensive foreign car, and paying for it, you weren't driving anything terribly advanced. The Taurus was a great platform for its time and revolutionized the medium sized segment.

    It certainly had a better platform than anything Cadillac or GM was rolling out at the time...

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