I bought a new 2003 Honda Accord EX V6 (fully loaded, minus HONDA navigation system) today. It is probably the best decision that I have made in several years. Fit and finish is great. This is what the SHO should and could have been given the right direction. Performance #'s = ? I will comment after I have put some miles and various load conditions on the car. Seat of the pants, 0-60 mph, 80-120 mph, and 1/4 mile, the Accord meets or exceeds my recently traded-in 97 SHO (approximately 74,220 miles).
In all honesty I loved the "essence" of the V8 SHO, but I did not want to look over my shoulder and ask myself "what's next". FORD did nothing to help me (and many other owners) with my cam gear failure and intermittent problems so I looked for a better product. In a nutshell, FORD was HONDA'S best advertisement. I guess this makes me a "disloyal FORD customer".
Some of us (like me) don't want to give up our SHO, we weld 'em & keep 'em. It is not clear to me that that is normal well adjusted behavior. As keeper of the "Owners Directory" I get frequent "please remove me letters" and I don't know of anyone who replaced a SHO with another FLM product during the last year, except Bob Fijal who has had a lot of problems with his mustang
Some things will never be the same again. I think as a group we can now avoid paying retail for Ford parts thanks to the internet, have zero respect for Ford service, instead we go somewhere else or do it ourselves.
Ford has lost a lot more than private car sales over the way it treats SHO owners, several SHO owners based on their SHO experience have replaced Ford corporate fleets with something else.
As a group we have a lot of fun together. You can't beat the quality of SHO owners. Ford can not take credit for that. One place I don't see a trend, is in replacement choices. It is not like all the replacement cars are the all of the same brand but one pattern is clear: This time Ford products are not on the approved vendors list. That may seem trivial if you think owners will in time return but many are 2nd or 3rd generation Ford owners and swear they will NEVER return, they are buying from folks they never looked at before. It is hard for those folks to change their preferences. those were once hardcore Ford loyalists. I wonder how long before Ford is asking Congress for a bail out?