Mike Yoksich
January 4, 2012

The fourth-generation SHO came out in 2010 bristling with technology. While it doesn't look all too far removed from the pedestrian Taurus, the SHO packs a torquey 3.5-liter, 356hp, twin-turbo, direct-injection, Ecoboost V-6 that feeds its power through a select-shift six-speed transmission and torque-sensing all-wheel-drive.

Livernois Mototrsports (Dearborn, Michigan) is well-known for wringing every last bit of performance out of its cars, while retaining OE-like driveability on many builds designed for the street. When the SHO came out, Livernois proprietor Dan Millen bought one for his family, but soon the tweaks began. Rick LeBlanc, his lead henchman, made sure to record it all.

LeBlanc provided cool videos and info about Livernois' customers and their wild automotive adventures. He also posted some SHO runs and bragged on the latest tune-ups on www.shoforum.com. When their previous customer Darrell Stamper saw them, he just went nuts.

Livernois had worked on Darrell's Lightning so he knew what the company was capable of. Darrell had just picked up a Silver '10 SHO and loved almost everything about it, but being a typical hot rodder, he wanted his SHO to be a little faster. When he saw the quickness of the Livernois SHO, he figured the gang had a handle on the Ecoboost 'plant and the technology Ford built into the Gen IV SHO.

Livernois started with cold-air intake and Stage II tune (raised boost, increased timing, transmission modifications with reduced torque management, and removed speed limiter). He loved the change of personality, and when new performance items became available, Darrell grabbed them up right away. Soon he was running a Stage IV tune (raised boost, increased timing, transmission modifications with no torque management) with a Corsa after-cat exhaust.

Some of the technical advances on the Ecoboost engine have proved to be a challenge. They were up against the limitations of the direct injection fuel system. It has a high-pressure mechanical pump that varies fuel injection pressure continuously between 220 and 2,150 psi; the fuel pump and the direct injection limits the amount of fuel you can get into the cylinders.

The twin turbos are small and designed to spool quickly, providing low-rpm thrust. The turbos are liquid-cooled and part of an integrated system. Going to bigger turbos would require bigger injectors and a higher-pressure fuel pump, neither of which was available. The best solution was to add a Livernois Motorsports Methanol Injection Kit. The kit cools the intake charge and allows increased boost and timing without knocking.

Dan put Darrell's car on the dyno and fine-tuned the SHO with the alky system, then Darrell headed back out to Milan Dragway (Milan, Michigan) for more testing. There the SHO ripped to a 12.30 at 110 mph. Of course, speed is a moving target and by the time this hits the press, it's probably safe to say Darrell will be running in the 11s.

Darrell's SHO got it's wicked stance from the Livernois Motorsports lowering kit. The sinister factor was increased with a limo tint and Mobsteel's upper and lower grille. Darrell bolted up a set of TSW 20s; the factory 20-inch wheels and tires weigh 62 pounds compared to 40 pounds for the TSW combo.

The next evolution of Darrell's SHO will get more interesting once he finds a wrecked Ford so he can pirate a 3.5L Ecoboost. Livernois Motorsports will be doing everything it can to unleash all the potential power from a 3.5L Ecoboost platform. Darrell is researching the possible transmission mods to support the extra power and should have the trans up to the task by the time the engines done.

An SHO deep in the 11s with all the great technology and handling is cool a goal. Think of the long list of cars that will see the taillights on Darrell's SHO as he rolls by them.

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On The Dyno

On the dyno, Darrell's SHO laid down 387 rwhp and 423 lb-ft of torque.