I love a good tailgate. You know, the ones that occur before the kickoff of a college football game? People even like to tailgate before big political events, like the 100 or so who turned last Thursday night for the conservative tailgate event before the Republican Party of Iowa’s red carpet event with Haley Barbour.
My wife would admit that I’m an avid tailgater, but the type of tailgating she is referring to has nothing to do with an ice cold beverage, good conversation, and flame charred burgers and brats. She’s referring to my tendency to get a little too close to the car in front of me while driving on the interstate.
My wife and I hardly ever argue, but it seems like most of our arguments occur in the car. While my habit of tailgating is by far our most common point of contention, I’m not pleasant when I can’t find where I’m going, and patience isn’t my best virtue. So, is there a gadget, or better yet, a vehicle out there with all the needed widgets that could help my wife and I enter into some sort of (traditional) marriage utopia? Yes! The 2010 Ford Taurus SHO.
Yesterday, I was able to try out the 2010 Taurus SHO before you can even buy one at the car lot. This isn’t the Taurus we all grew up with. This car has it all. It looks amazing, it takes off like a rocket from a dead stop, and allows you not just to blend into traffic with ease when getting on a busy interstate, but it allows you to get right down to the business of passing people. Better yet, it will allow me to put an end to my annoying tailgating ways.
I have to admit, when I was asked if I wanted to test drive the new Taurus SHO, I had visions of my sister-in-law’s 2004 Taurus. It’s a nice car, especially for a college student, but it’s not a car that I have ever wanted to drive. The new Taurus is a head turner. Even while parked, the car looks like it’s in motion. The new design isn’t only limited to the exterior; the interior is equally stylish and comfortable.
The Taurus SHO sports a 3.5L V6 EcoBoost engine. The EcoBoost engine gives you the performance of a V8 in a V6 engine that is smaller, lighter, and more fuel efficient. The EcoBoost engine was impressive. Not only did the car bolt down the Booneville on-ramp to Interstate 80 from a dead stop, it also still had plenty peddle left for me to blow past a car on the interstate.
Personally, I would have loved keep my foot in it to see what the car would do, but I wasn’t in the mood to lose my license, and the Ford Exec riding shotgun might have kicked me out and made we walk back to the East Village in Des Moines.
Like any car that can get out on the open road and strut its stuff, the Taurus SHO might be a little thirsty for those looking for an economical car. The SHO gets 17 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway.
Cool Stuff (a/k/a the relationship savers and more)
One of my favorite features on the 2010 Taurus SHO is its adaptive cruise control. This is a feature that isn’t typically available on a car in this class. The adaptive cruise control allows you to set your desired speed and let the car do all the work, even when in traffic.
For example, say I was hypothetically traveling down Interstate 235, and I hypothetically set the cruise control for 77 miles per hour. As the car approached another vehicle in its path, it would automatically slow and blend in with the speed of the car in front of it. When traffic cleared, the car would calmly return to the designated speed.
It’s a great feature, but what if you are traveling down the interstate at 77 mph (hypothetically), and a slow-moving dump truck pulls into your lane? That (hypothetical) scenario happened yesterday, and while it was difficult to trust the car, the system preformed well, dropping the car’s speed from 77 mph down to 50 or 55. What was equally impressive was how the car returned back to the desired speed. It didn’t open the throttle and throw you into the back of the seat to get back up to the designated speed; it gradually made its way back up to speed.
In addition to the adaptive cruise control, the Taurus SHO also comes equipped with a voice activated navigation system (also a relationship saver, helping you to avoid angry outbursts when lost), a rear-view camera that comes on when the car is put in reverse, and blind spot sensors that are located on the mirrors.
Another cool feature is how you start the car. While you have a key pad that can be used to unlock the doors, and pop the trunk, there is no key to put into the steering wheel column and turn. Instead, the key pad sends a signal to the car that allows you to push the start button when the brake is engaged to start the car. The key pad is also programmable so that, when you are near the vehicle, the door unlocks when you put your hand in the door handle.
A great American company shows that it can adapt to the times.
With all of the bad news coming from General Motors and Chrysler, it’s easy to get down on the American auto industry. Ford Motor Company, however, has been the lone bright spot. The lone American auto company that refused federal bailout money is showing why they didn’t need the help of the federal government in order to survive.
Instead, Ford has shown that it was already making the necessary changes that are required of any business trying to survive in the new century. While other automakers are cutting dealerships and trying to find new products to bring to market, Ford is already rolling out new models that appeal to the American public.
A few months ago, I previewed the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. For anyone looking for a fuel efficient mid-sized car, the Fusion should be on your list. Now Ford is about to bring the Taurus SHO to the market. This all-American car is not only practical, but it also has the muscle under the hood that every red-blooded American male loves.
While its product line, styling, and infrastructure have allowed it to elude the embarrassment that will continue to haunt GM and Chrysler, Ford has changed the way it advertises and builds awareness for its products. Its grassroots approach to communication is simply outstanding.
Instead of introducing the entire 2010 product line all at once, Ford has opted for a staggered approach. While it still shows-off its new vehicles at auto shows, the staggered unveiling of its products allows each vehicle its time in the media spot light. This also allows Ford the ability to take each new product on a 100 city tour to give reporters, bloggers, and other opinion-makers a chance to preview vehicles like the Taurus SHO and Fusion Hybrid. Ford’s embrace of new media and grassroots communication is not only a wise business decision, but it shows that one of America’s greatest companies is able to change and adapt to new circumstances.
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