Tag: Ford Taurus

The Taurus SHO is the fastest, most expensive Ford sedan | Revelations with Jason Cammisa @Hagerty

The Taurus SHO is the fastest, most expensive Ford sedan | Revelations with Jason Cammisa @Hagerty

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With a development budget of $3.5 billion, the Taurus was Ford’s most expensive project ever. It was also a Hail Mary for the company, which was in financial trouble.


And the SHO was the fastest version of the Taurus.

If the Taurus failed, so, too would Ford. It was so important to the success of the company that Ford restructured the engineering and design teams to work together on the new family sedan.

The Taurus’s design was so revolutionary that Ford kept its previous mid-size sedan, the LTD, in production at the same time, just in the new car failed — as the other American car executives predicted it would. Instead, Taurus was an enormous success, eventually becoming the bestselling car in America. The performance version, the Taurus SHO, used the same basic 3.0-liter Vulcan V-6, but instead of pushrods, it used four overhead cams and 24 valves. The DOHC 4-valve heads were designed, manufactured, and assembled by Yamaha in Japan.

The SHO used a Mazda-sourced 5-speed manual and was the most powerful front-wheel drive sedan in the world. The only four-doors quicker or faster in America were the BMW M5 (E34) and 750iL. It was a performance bargain.

But although Ford sold around 400,000 Tauruses per year, it didn’t come close to its target of 20,000 SHOs annually. Except for the first year with the new, optional automatic transmission and larger 3.2-liter SHOgun engine.

Why didn’t the SHO sell? Well, because it looked like a Taurus — then, the de rigueur family sedan for the person who didn’t care about performance.

So the SHO was a victim of the Taurus’ success.

Ford Taurus SHO: What’s in a Name? – George Kennedy @Motor1.com

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The Ford Taurus SHO is our kind of car. Plain and simple. Take an otherwise unassuming family sedan, throw a high-revving Yamaha V6 under the hood, mate it to a Mazda-sourced 6-speed manual transmission, and you have the kind of strange that gives us warm fuzzies. But what inspired such a strange decision? The Big Three aren’t always the big risk takers on fun cars, and the performance-sedan game wasn’t really a consideration outside of the M5 and E55 AMG. So what gives? It turns out those glorious-looking engines were never intended for mom’s grocery-getter; they were meant for a mid-engine sports car that never came to be. Well…that’s one take. See, there are conflicting stories as to how this car came about and the true original intention of that sweet Yamaha V6. Before we play whodunit with a cult classic, let us first take a look at the vehicle that actually came to fruition, and what makes it such a beloved car.

Read on 

Book – Car: A Drama of the American Workplace by Mary Walton

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Book – Car: A Drama of the American Workplace by Mary Walton

Book by Mary Walton on the behind the scenes activity behind the launch of the Ford Taurus, at the time the Taurus is reputed to have saved Ford Motor Company.

The book is an excellent read and pulls no punches…

“An enlightening peek at the inner workings of a large corporation trying to reinvent itself. . . . It’s rare to find an auto book that explains the process of creating a car with so much color and detail.”―Business Week (a Best Business Book of 1997)

Faced with the task of redesigning the Taurus, America’s best-selling car and the flagship of its fleet, Ford Motor Company assembled 700 designers, engineers, planners, and bean-counters under a tough manager who set out to retake engineering and manufacturing ground lost to the Japanese. On their shoulders rested the reputation and the profits of Ford, not to mention an investment of close to 3 billion dollars. This biting, insightful account by a seasoned journalist follows the 1996 Taurus from its conception as a clay model in Detroit to its birth in an Atlanta assembly plant to its public debut in a New Jersey dealership. Mary Walton, who was given unprecedented access to the Taurus team, chronicles brilliantly the clashes between designers and engineers, marketers and accountants, product guys and manufacturing guys to create a revealing portrait of the tension, the passions, and the pride that fuel the race to #1. “An engrossing drama . . . with fascinating insights into every aspect of the car’s creation. . . . Walton does an admirable job of making the redesign of a car into a compelling human-interest story.”―Publishers Weekly (starred review) “An engrossing, satisfying read.”―Doron Levin, Philadelphia Inquirer (a Best Book of 1997) “Vivid and informative. . . . Consistently entertaining because it is engagingly written, this is the rare business book that is a page turner.”―Keith Bradsher, New York Times Book Review 8 pages of plates, photographs

Book available here

Related – Book – The Critical Path: Inventing an Automobile and Reinventing a Corporation by Brock Yates