The 1989 Ford Taurus Aero GT Was America’s Answer to Euro Sports Wagons, Sort Of

Built by an aftermarket company called Spoilers Plus, it was always going to be...fine.

Youtube | MotorWeek

By the mid-1980s, Ford was supposed to file for bankruptcy. However, after an expensive development program came the new Taurus in 1985, which went on to become a sales success with over 200,000 sold in 1986 alone, only to continue past the million mark by 1989. That year, Ford had also launched the Taurus SHO, the high-performance sedan with the Super High Output 3.0-liter V6 built for Ford by Yamaha. Yet if somebody wanted a Taurus wagon with some extra grunt and a look that made it stand out in the parking lot, the answer came from licensed aftermarket company Spoilers Plus instead.

By this time, chrome bumpers and trim pieces gave way to injection-molded plastics, with cars dressed up with more complex urethane shapes both inside and out. Available for the Ford Taurus and the Mercury Sable, one could always just pick and choose parts from the Spoilers Plus catalog, except when going all-in, for which the company required $9,695. To get as close to the imaginary SHO wagon experience as possible, the base car also had to be a Taurus LX, powered by the 3.8-liter Essex V6 engine producing 140 horsepower and 215 pound-feet of torque.

As MotorWeek points out, for nearly ten grand over the most well-equipped Taurus wagon's still-reasonable price, Spoilers Plus added an air dam with integrated fog lamps, as well as side spats in matching colors. Five-spoke BBS alloy wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich Comp T/A tires completed the exterior package, while under the metal, stiffer bushings, firmed-up shocks and new anti-roll bars made sure that the extra grip would be a welcome improvement.

Accelerating to 62 mph in just under 10 seconds, the Taurus Aero GT also came with such comfort features as highly supportive, eight-way adjustable Recaro power seats, a central console with a cell phone, a CD player and a Kenwood alarm system.

At the end of the day, such an upgraded Taurus wagon was still cheaper than imported Volvo and Audi wagons, complete with digital gadgets and enough "simulated wood" to keep a conversation going.

Got a tip on the SHO wagon Ford built with Car and Driver? Or perhaps injection molding? Send us a note: tips@thedrive.com