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The Ford Taurus is out of production right now, but it’s hard to put into words just how popular it was at its peak.
When people think of Ford, they often think of names like the Mustang and F-150 (both of which have all-electric models coming out). The old Taurus was revolutionary, though, and today it’s way underrated.
According to a Car and Driver article from 1988, the 1989 Ford Taurus SHO was a shockingly powerful beast at launch. Not only was it a superpowered car, but it was also a surprisingly affordable one.
The Ford Taurus’ special engine
A quick look at some of the 1989 Taurus's specs shows just how impressive it is. It's powered by a 24-cylinder V-6 engine with 220 horsepower, and it can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6.7 seconds. This power all comes together for a top speed of 143 mph.
If you're wondering how a simple old Taurus could have such a powerhouse of an engine, it's because Ford brought in an outsider. The 1989 Taurus's engine comes from Yamaha, and it’s known as the Shogun.
The Shogun resulted in a high-performance Taurus, and at the time of its launch, its powertrain was one of the most powerful in the world.
It resulted in a car that was much cooler than expected, to the point where it deserves to be known among cool Ford classics. Along with being a high-performance car, it was a comfortable ride too.
The 1989 Ford Taurus SHO managed to drive smoothly
Front-wheel drive vehicles like the Taurus can run into potential issues, particularly in dealing with corners and bumpy roads. Cars can become difficult to steer, especially when they're as powerful as the 1989 Taurus. To counter this, Ford engineered several small improved details to make the Taurus SHO easier to maneuver.
Throughout the SHO, there are minor adjustments made to improve the vehicle, such as increasing the car's spring rate. Shock absorbers were made firmer, and alterations were made to the vehicle's suspension. All of this comes together for a ride that is more comfortable than you might expect.
The 1989 Taurus SHO can handle turns and rough surfaces without jolting riders around, and the steering feels remarkably comfortable. With five seats, ample storage space, and a comfortable ride, it could have been a great road trip vehicle in addition to a performance sedan.
How did it compare to the competition?
While the Shogun engine made the Taurus a unique vehicle, it also received attention for being a performance car with a reasonable price tag. At launch, it cost buyers less than $20,000 for a Taurus SHO. Adjusting for inflation, that would put it at around $44,000 by today's standards, but for this type of car, it's still impressive.
This becomes even more impressive considering how the only cars that could compare to the SHO in terms of speed were much more expensive. The BMW 750iL was a four-door sedan that could actually beat the Taurus SHO in terms of power, and it cost $71,000.
The 1989 Ford Taurus SHO was a surprising car both in terms of its power and its price. If you want to be surprised by the potentially low prices of car insurance, give Jerry a try.
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