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Vector Performance Ford Taurus SHO  

Despite its fresh, sophisticated, 235 horse V 8, the new Ford Taurus SHO has surrendered the title of America's Snort Sedan of America's Sport Sedan to the faster, cheaper Pontiac Grand Prix GTP. Now, Vector Performance has taken a hurried initial step the parts on our tester were all early development prototypes in a program to put the SHO back on top.

Limited modifications start with a "catalyst back" Borla Performance stainless steel exhaust system that lets the world enjoy the 60 degree DOHC V8's distinctive and exotic voice. For fade resistance in repeated high-speed stops, Vector installed Baer Racing's Beer Claw Track braking system up front: 13-inch (up 1.4 inches over stock) vented, cross drilled rotors and two-piston PBR calipers. The stock rear rotors are cross drilled to enhance their appearance. Beefy 245/45ZR17 Goodyear Eagle GS Cs on stock width 17x8.0 Fittipaldi Polaris aluminum wheels replace original equipment 225/55VR16 Eagle RS A's and give the SHO both a tauter ride and a more aggressive posture.

This near $6000 package needs and deserves more development time. Compared with a stock '96 SHO, the modified car's 8.2 second 0-60 mph run was 0.7 second slower, while its 16.1 second, 88.3 mph quarter mile performance fell behind by 0.4 second and 0.3 mph. Also, the combination of the SHO's high geared automatic transmission, which upshifted well short of the redline, and its 32 valve V 8, which is sluggish at low revs, produced leisurely acceleration. On the other hand, the Vector SHO cut six feet from the stock version's 60-0 mph stopping distance, down to a brief 122 feet, and never faded despite heavy road course abuse. A slim 0.02g skidpad enhancement moved lateral acceleration to 0.82 g, while the altered SHO gained a slender 0.3 mph in the slalom to reach 63.9 mph all in all, decent gains for only a wheel and tire upgrade.

The Vector SHO looks and sounds like a world class sport sedan, but this SHO needs more go to wrest the American Sport Sedan crown from the GTP. MT

MT Looks forward to driving the car again later in its evolution -Mac DeMere

Engine: 3.4-lifer DOHC V-8

Major engine modifications: Borla Cat Back exhaust
Horsepower @ rpm: 204 @ 6250 (est)
Torque, Ib-ft @ rpm: 204 @ 5000 (est)
Transmission: Stock 4-speed auto.
Brakes, f/r: Baer racing vented disks /stock disks, ABS
Wheels, Fittipaldi Polaris, 17x8.0:
Tires: Goodyear Eagle GS-C 245/45ZR17
Other mods: None

A throaty Borla exhaust and aggressive Goodyear Eagle GS's on Fittipaldi wheels make the Vector Performance prepared Ford Taurus SHO sound and look more like a sport sedan. More development Is required, however, before its Performance can be maximized.

From Motor Trend


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