Although the design has become a bit boring for many consumers, it was revolutionary back in the mid 80's when it was introduced. It replaced the LTD, a remnant of the muscle car era that had been slimmed down over the decades.
The next Taurus model will usher in the Fifth generation. Engines throughout the years have ranged from an inline 4 up to a V6. Although they are generally seen as a midsize family car, the Taurus SHO is anything but your average grocery-getter. The SHO got a V6 engine and an 8000 rpm tachometer. A special edition SHO Plus Package was also made available in limited quantities. The SHO engine was 3.0L and made 220 horsepower.
These cars came as a 4 door sedan or a wagon. The second generation Taurus, which was made from 1992 until 1995, also had a special edition SHO. One SHO car was made as a station wagon for a special piece by Car & Driver. They billed it as Ford's fastest station wagon.
The third generation SHO got a DOHC V8 engine making 235 horsepower. Without a manual transmission, these cars lacked the acceleration of the previous generation, but they did have a higher top speed of 144 mph. The camshaft would often seperate from the sprocket at around 50,000 miles in these models, causing total engine failure and requiring a costly engine replacement. The 36,000 mile warranty did not cover this. Any SHO Tauruses from this third generation should have that camshaft welded if it has not been done already. That will rectify the problem. Due to low sales numbers, the SHO was discontinued with the introduction of the fourth generation after the 1997 sales year.
The Taurus was discontinued for a short time before they decided to rename the car that replaced it, the Five Hundred, and call it the Taurus for its second generation. The resulting car is the fifth generation Taurus. This generation will have a SHO edition.
With millions of these cars sold, they literally litter the used car market. Although they do have very low resale value, if you are a buyer you can find some great deals. The SHO models in particular provide what I think is the absolute best bang for the buck of any car, ever. I do not own one, but if I were 17 years old again with just a couple grand to buy a car, it'd probably be a SHO. It's the car that can be bought for just a few grand and still get down the road as fast or faster than the average $20,000 brand new car. You can probably find at least a couple dozen of them listed on eBay right now, along with hundreds of aftermarket parts. It's not considered a collectible, so go ahead and customize it to your liking. I like some of my cars like that.