Why The Original Ford Taurus SHO Was So Damn Cool

Illustration for article titled Why The Original Ford Taurus SHO Was So Damn Cool

When you think of factory sleepers—cars sold from the factory that look ordinary and boring, but are deceptively fast and badass—the case could be made that most modern ones trace their roots back to the original Ford Taurus SHO. Let Regular Car Reviews explain why it was so cool.


Besides the SHO insignias on the side and bumper, you could easily be forgiven for thinking this was a regular ol’ Taurus like the one that probably took you to school back in the early 1990s.

But! Under its hood was a high-revving 3.0-liter V6 from Yamaha, a high-tech and eager motor originally meant for a scrapped sports car project that put out 220 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque. Merely average numbers today but decent in their time, and they only tell part of the SHO’s high-tech story that made it worthy of being dubbed “Super High Output.”

It had a manual gearbox as an option, too. So that’s great.

Today, as Mr. Regular notes, it’s quick enough as a highway puller but definitely dated inside and out. It’s a champion at merging, with a wide powerband and tons of torque—and daily drivable, too.

If you can get your hands on one today, take care of it. It’s still cool as hell for what it is.

Editor-in-Chief at Jalopnik. 2002 Toyota 4Runner.


Midlife Miata Driver

It was a V6? My memory must be fading. I remembered it as a V8.