Vehicle: 2010 Ford Taurus SHO Odometer: 2,289 Date: 06/16/09 Driver: Chris Walton Price: $45,475 Specifications: Drive Type: All-wheel drive Transmission Type: 6-speed automatic Engine Type: V6 Displacement (cc / cu-in): 3,496cc (213 cu-in) Redline (rpm): 6,700 Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 365 @ 5,500 Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 350 @ 1,700 Brake Type (front): Ventilated Disc Brake Type (rear): Disc Steering System: Electric power steering Suspension Type (front): Independent, MacPherson Struts with stabilizer bar Suspension Type (rear): Independent, multilink with coil springs and stabilizer bar Tire Size (front): 245/45R20 99V Tire Size (rear): 245/45R20 99V Tire Brand: Michelin Tire Model: Primacy MXV4 Tire Type: all-season Wheel Size: N/A Wheel Material (front/rear): Alloy As tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,404 Test Results: 0 - 30 (sec): 2.4 0 - 45 (sec): 3.9 0 - 60 (sec): 5.8 0 - 75 (sec): 8.7 1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 14.2 @ 99.11 0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 5.5 30 - 0 (ft): 31 60 - 0 (ft): 127 Braking Rating: Average Slalom (mph): 62.9 Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.80 Handling Rating: Average Db @ Idle: 44.1 Db @ Full Throttle: 71.8 Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 64.1 Acceleration Comments: The SHO didn't respond (good or bad) to brake-torque, so best launch was at 2,000 rpm. Revs didn't fall (good) but things didn't really start 'till 3,000 rpm. Upshifts at 6,250 were smooth but not especially quick. Accel was linear until end of quarter-mile where it lays down a bit. (Smoking brakes after 5th accel run.) Braking Comments: Gravely tire noises, moderate pitch, soft pedal goes nearly to the floor. So-so initial bite, good in the middle then soft at the end. Handling Comments: (Skid pad) Chassis is slow to respond to steering input -- not at the sidewall level, but due to body motions. Understeers with maintenance throttle and lifting to get rotation awakens stability control. (Slalom) To keep from arriving late at each cone, I had to dial the speed down. Friction-free steering with mild load-up. Just as understeer begins, stability control starts grabbing brake, then throttle dips. Would be nice to turn off stability control, but you can't do that unless you get the optional performance package. That same package also adds better tires which would likely improve results. Vehicle: Inside Line's Long-Term Pontiac G8 GT Odometer: 2,675 Date: 06/16/09 Driver: Chris Walton Price: $31,845 Specifications: Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive Transmission Type: 6-speed automatic Engine Type: V8 Displacement (cc / cu-in): 5,967cc (364 cu-in) Redline (rpm): 6,900 Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 361 @ 6,300 Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 385 @ 4,400 Brake Type (front): Ventilated Disc Brake Type (rear): Ventilated Disc Steering System: Speed proportional power steering Suspension Type (front): Independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs and stabilizer bar Suspension Type (rear): Independent, multilink, coil springs, stabilizer bar Tire Size (front): 245/40R19 Tire Size (rear): 245/40R19 Tire Brand: Bridgestone Tire Model: Potenza RE050A Tire Type: Summer performance Wheel Size: 19-by-8-inches front; 19-by-8-inches rear Wheel Material (front/rear): Alloy As tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,021 Test Results: 0 - 30 (sec): 2.3 0 - 45 (sec): 3.9 0 - 60 (sec): 5.8 0 - 75 (sec): 8.3 1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 13.95 @ 101.3 0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 5.5 30 - 0 (ft): 28 60 - 0 (ft): 113 Braking Rating: Very Good Slalom (mph): 63.4 Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.86 Handling Rating: Good Db @ Idle: 48.1 Db @ Full Throttle: 76.9 Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 68.1 Acceleration Comments: Why is there no redline on the tach? Isn't this a sport sedan with a powerful engine? Bizarre, especially since manual mode holds gears and will bang off the rev limiter all day long. Quickest accel times came in Sport setting with transmission shifting on its own. There's very little wheelspin at launch. Braking Comments: Some fade became obvious after 5-6 stops, but the distances continued to come down to a world-class 109 feet. Some ABS kickback is noticeable through the pedal, but the overall brake feel -- at least prior to the minor fading -- is confident. Handling Comments: Transition to oversteer isn't as intuitive as I'd like. Perhaps this is due to minimal roll stiffness. Once the tail is out, however, the G8 GT is easily controlled. Little roll stiffness also means there's an uncomfortable amount of time between weight transfer in transitions in the slalom. Otherwise, handling is good with predictable limits. Oh, and stability control can be fully disabled.