Posted in Car Reviews
Chief among those changes is an all-new front end. Designers have bolted on a new hood, complete with a reworked fascia and scowling headlights to match. A massive single-inlet grille replaces the old design to give the SHO a somewhat sportier countenance. With a black mesh background and chrome framing, the grille drops all the way down into the lower fascia to mingle with a set of LED fog lights. The look is fresh and helps set the SHO even farther apart from its more pedestrian siblings. Slip to the sedan’s side, and it’s easy to spot the SHO-specific black side-view mirrors and subtle badging laid into the front fenders.
Designers have bolted on a new hood, complete with a reworked fascia and scowling headlights to match.Ford has also rolled out a new 20-inch wheel design, and while the geometric spokes certainly won’t be for everyone, we love the combination of black paint and raw alloy. Throw in details like the SHO emblem laid into the rim and we’re suitably taken. The 2013 SHO offers fewer changes out back, though a trim-specific deck lid spoiler is part of the package. We remain disappointed to see the unattractive black plastic cladding draped along the lower body stay on for another year. Ford made a smart move with the 2013 Mustang by deleting similar trim work in favor of painted body panels – a decision that always does much to improve exterior aesthetics of a vehicle. While we don’t mind the trim on the base Taurus, we think it has no business hanging around a model designed to lure buyers out of BMW showrooms. Inside, the 2013 Ford Taurus SHO continues to offer a refined and attractive cabin with a few small tweaks. The vehicle’s pillars are now wrapped in cloth, and the center console features a soft-touch cover in place of the Rubbermaid materials of the outgoing model. Ford has worked to better differentiate the SHO from its lesser siblings with new dash appliques, and the textured metal finish looks and feels excellent. The center stack is dominated by a large touchscreen interface for the recently improved MyFord Touch system. With new virtual buttons that are easy to see, the graphics are big step forward, though our brief time with the gear was too short to form an opinion on whether or not the voice-activated functionality and general speed is any better than previous iterations.
The cabin almost can’t help but feel small for the segment.Designers have also bolted in seats with a bit more support and reworked foam for more comfort, though the buckets are still far from worth writing home about. With only the faintest pretense of bolstering, they left us pining for the seats in even a base 535i. That’s a shame, because the workmanship is well executed. With handsome stitching, contrasting faux-suede inserts and brazen SHO emblems embroidered across the seatback, the pieces are nicely finished, but their broad acreage made us feel like they’d be just as happy in an Econoline.
Engineers addressed one of the largest complaints hurled at the 2012 model: the brakes.So, what could possibly talk us into forgiving the SHO its foibles? While Ford left the 3.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6 under the hood and its six-speed automatic transmission largely untouched, engineers addressed one of the largest complaints hurled at the 2012 model: the brakes. With a larger master cylinder and brake booster pressing on 13.8-inch front rotors and 13.5-inch rear discs, the 4,343-pound bruiser now sheds speed as quickly and as predictably as it generates momentum. The new pieces are eight-percent larger up front and five-percent beefier in the rear to help the system dissipate heat more effectively and resist fade under heavy abuse.
We didn’t expect a vehicle that tips the scales at well over two tons to feel as well balanced and nimble as the SHO does.We will admit that the SHO makes for a surprisingly poised performer. With a 15:1 rack coupled to an electronic power steering system, turn-in is initially a bit vague, but sharpens up nicely once the real sawing begins. Honestly, we didn’t expect a vehicle that tips the scales at well over two tons to feel as well balanced and nimble as the SHO does.