When the ‘89 Ford Taurus SHO first popped onto the American consumer car market, there was a minor revolution which it set into motion. It had been a long time since any American automaker had produced a decent midsizer, and with this new performance model, they set the benchmark for family-friendly sportiness. Today, we take a look at that original Yamaha V6 as well as two copycat fast-sedans which the SHO inspired. With two V6s and a turbo four, which four door is your patriotic ‘90s speed-machine? Here are the options:
Ok, so this isn’t an original SHO for two reasons: a) ‘89 to ‘91 models are now either crashed into trees or cost $12K and b) GM and Dodge didn’t come out with their competitors until the ‘90s either. Still, the second SHO was even better than the first, although this one unfortunately comes with an automatic tranny. Still $4.5K is a whopping deal for a twenty-three year old car with only 66K miles—is that good enough to overlook that you can’t shift it yourself?
Chevy’s answer to the mighty SHO was to plop a LQ1 V6 into a beige Lumina and to suddenly label it as ‘European’. While this car was the antithesis of European with its comfy suspension and automatic 4 speed (a 5 speed Getrag was available but alas, this 3.4 doesn’t have it), it was still a nice and rapid way to get around, with 0-60 times in the mid 7's, astounding for the ‘90s. Is this one worth $495 more than the Ford or is its reported mileage of 200K enough to set you running from this fast fridge?
Yes, the Dodge Spirit was an AA car which means it’s a longer K-car but hey, at least they should have improved over the years. This one in particular is especially spicy, with the 2.2 Lotus/Garrett turbo 4 and a Getrag five speed propelling the box from 0-60 in a truly mind-boggling 5.8 seconds new (the GMC Typhoon did it in 5.4 for reference). Anyways, is speed everything or are this car’s (apparently) 99K mileage and $6K pricetag a bit too rich?