Ford will try to revive the glory of its Taurus model by having the SHO (Super High Output) version of the car as the centrepiece of its marketing campaign. Ford plans to use the Taurus SHO to uplift the image of its Taurus nameplate as well as boost sales for the refreshed 2013 Taurus. The sporty SHO was first unveiled as a niche version of the Taurus specially made for enthusiasts who admire its high-performing Yamaha engine and manual transmission.
According to Amy Marentic, group marketing manager for cars and utilities, Ford will use the SHO in its advertising as a halo car for the Taurus nameplate. Part of the 2013 Taurus advertising strategy is to highlight the sporty Taurus SHO on TV commercials. The SHO commercials will feature Ford engineers and customers. But the main feature of the commercials will be NASCAR driver Carl Edwards.
Taurus will still advertise other versions of the Taurus, the SEL and base SE, in print and online. Marentic disclosed that Ford was pleasantly surprised by a research saying that the No. 1 car cross-shopped by SHO customers is the BMW 5 series.
The company expects the top-of-the-line SHO version to attract buyers who typically would acquire performance sedans from BMW or Audi. With the commercials, Marentic expects the SHO to account for around 25% of Taurus sales. The Taurus and its SHO version will have starting prices of $27,395 and $39,200 respectively. The prices include shipping.
The new Ford Taurus SHO drivetrain uses the fuel-efficient and award-winning 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, which generates 365 hp and delivers 350 lb.-ft. of torque, and is paired with a high-capacity 6-speed 6F55 SelectShift Automatic transmission.
Taurus SHO’s shifters are mounted on the steering wheel and enable the vehicle to match revs for quick and smooth manually selected downshifts. These shifters have been reconfigured for the new model in order to achieve a much more intuitive operation, with a paddle for upshifts and another one for smooth and matched-rev downshifts.
Moreover, SHO dynamics were enhanced with larger brakes, unique sport-tuned suspension, and torque vectoring control, where slight braking is used for a limited-slip differential.
In addition, EPAS or specially calibrated electric power-assisted steering has been optimized further for enthusiast-pleasing road feel as well as direct and communicative response. Aside from helping the vehicle deliver as much as 25 mpg highway, EPAS also enables it to park itself using active park assist.
What’s more, the upgrades to the Taurus SHO’s brake system include a bigger master cylinder, larger front rotors with 19% more thermal mass, 67% more swept area that helps brakes run cooler, and a revised booster tuning that results to improved pedal feel. The rear disc brakes, which are now vented, offer 53% more thermal mass.
All Taurus SHO models, as with the earlier edition, come standard with advanced torque-sensing AWD or all-wheel-drive system in order to give optimum traction in any weather condition and so as to be able to deliver ample torque efficiently through all the driven wheels when driving enthusiastically and in an athletic manner.