Hello! I offered to help USDMFTW out with the reviews a little while back, and he agreed to let me become a part of the team after I showed him some of my work. He gives me the scores, and I write the review to suit them, so if you have a beef with the scores your car received you'll have to contact him, not me. With that being said, I present my first review as part of the USDMFTW team.
2015 Sanguine Volare Taurus
A modern, more refined take on America's higher end automotive offerings of years long past.
The Taurus is remarkably easy to drive for a sports car of its caliber. While its massive 7.3 liter V8 pumps out an impressive 630 horsepower, the car ships with plenty of electronic aids, a massive amount of rubber on the front and rear wheels (285mm up front and 325mm in the rear to be precise), and an all wheel drive system to make managing all of that power a breeze. To top it all off, the Taurus comes with automatically locking differentials to further facilitate getting off the line in a hurry. Wheel spin is nearly absent in this car, which is amazing considering how much power it sends to its wheels. Of course, most folks who buy this car are going to need to turn it as well, and the Taurus corners just as controllably as it accelerates. There are no surprises here, just a gradual onset of understeer when pushed to the limits of its grip, and with a stopping distance of just under 113 feet from 62 miles per hour it doesn't get much easier to keep the Taurus out of walls, other people's cars, wildlife, etc.Yes, you can find more forgiving cars out there than the Taurus, but there aren't many cars out there with equal or better performance that drive as easily as this thing does.
Performance and Sportiness
When I brought the Taurus to the track I'll admit I wasn't expecting much. The thing is HUGE, and it weighs over 5000 pounds! The spec sheet Sanguine Volare provided me with made promises that I felt had no chance of being kept. I was wrong, though. While the Taurus is still a boat, it's a pretty sporty boat. The car is a demon off the line, dealing with 0-62 miles per hour in just 3.8 seconds. Its seven speed, dual clutch sequential demon shifts with the best of them, no doubt playing a big role in how quickly this behemoth moves. Our professional driver posted a quarter mile time of 12.06 seconds with a trap speed of 115 miles per hour in the Taurus. That's not a bad time by any means.
Our driver also took the Taurus for a spin on the skid pad where it managed to pull 0.99gs at 31.2 miles per hour on the 20 meter circle and 0.96gs at 108.7 miles per hour on the 250 meter circle. Just a hair under a full g from something so massive is nothing to sneeze at. Last but not least, our driver clocked in a 2:19.71 around the Automation Test Track in the Taurus we were provided. You may not see the Taurus challenging a hypercar any time soon, but it is definitely not slow.
We wrapped up our day at the track in the Taurus by getting some thoughts from our pro driver on the way the Taurus handles. He didn't have very nice things to say about the car. While it had the potential to go quite quickly it didn't do so very willingly according to him. He complained that the understeer became a handful when trying to push the car to the limit, especially during high speed cornering. While he understands not every car is designed to push the boundaries of performance, he felt that if one was going to call the Taurus a sports car it should have more front-end grip. He also remarked that while the car handled better than expected for its size, it was still very hard to ignore just how big and heavy the car was. Along with those grievances our driver informed us that braking performance diminished quite noticeably when trying to slow down from the kinds of speeds seen more often on the track than on the road. He wrapped up his thoughts on the car by saying that some stickier tires could've done it some good and that even the sportiest suspension setting available in a Taurus still erred a bit too much on the side of being smooth and comfortable.
The Taurus features active springs and dampers that are adjusted by selecting from a variety of presets from within the cabin. For the purposes of judging this category, I, of course, selected the "comfort" preset. The suspension geometry itself contributes to providing a comfortable ride as well with its multi-link set up in the rear and MacPherson struts up front. I took the Taurus around town on this setting, and I wasn't displeased by any means. The suspension can get VERY stiff if you want it that way, but the Taurus can do comfortable city driving and handle speed bumps quite well, too. In addition, the brakes aren't very aggressive and well suited to traffic use. Inside the Taurus you get four quite comfortable leather seats with very precise electrical adjustability, easy to read gauges, a quite impressive sound system with satellite radio built in and one of the more easy to use infotainment systems I've come across. The car does everything comfort-wise very well, but not exceptionally well. It's not a top of the line luxury car, but it is still quite comfortable. There is one pretty significant issue, however. This thing is LOUD. VERY LOUD. I can confidently say this car fails to satisfy noise regulations in quite a few countries. The Taurus' pretty solid noise insulation helps things out a little bit for the Taurus' passengers, but this car isn't for you if you are bothered by engine noise. The upside is there isn't much to hear inside the cabin besides engine noise and whatever is going on inside. The tire compound the Taurus ships with is geared towards performance; however, it keeps road noise down to a more than acceptable level coupled with the car's cabin insulation.
Like I said before, there is quite a bit of leather in this car; although, not all of it is real. There is still some plastic to be found, but it's of the higher end variety and feels pretty sturdy. Everything is fairly well put together and during my short time with the vehicle I didn't have any gripes with the interior, but there isn't anything magical about this vehicle's interior. It does its job well, but it's below the elite upper echelons of luxury vehicles. Not saying that's a bad thing, but there are better interiors out there for people with the money and the desire for them.
This thing is a tank. Sanguine Volare gave us full permission to torture test the Taurus to the best of our abilities to see just how tough it is with our own eyes. It performed remarkably well. There isn't any innovative safety technology of note on the vehicle, it's all pretty standard stuff for the era, but over 5000 pounds of steel and aluminum between you and the world outside the cabin makes a monumental difference. The car's aforementioned impressive stopping distance helps things out tremendously in this department as well.
With a market price of around $33,000 this car is a tremendous bargain. You get exceptional performance, comfort, safety, a fair bit of passenger and cargo space all for that price. Sanguine Volare did a fantastic job at making this thing as affordable as they could, but once a Taurus is off the dealership lot and in your garage you will find that while its a bargain to obtain, running it will eat into your pockets a bit. The Taurus gets about 14.5 miles for each gallon of fuel, which means you'll be spending plenty of time with your Taurus at the pump if you drive it regularly.
As part of our stress test, we put together a team of drivers to take turns running this thing hard around a track continuously for days on end and saw how it compared to other cars we have reviewed. This car sits firmly in the middle of the road in this department. There is A LOT of tech on board, which of course just means more things that can break. We found that the V8-250 that the Taurus is equipped with is perhaps being pushed just a hair too hard given its internals. All of that being said, it isn't extraordinarily unreliable, and a few simple tweaks here and there could go a long way to making this car more reliable.
[No Score for this]
Now, there is one pretty significant issue with this car I've been glossing over for a while, but now it's finally time to talk about it. This car looks like it was released about half a century late. Now, there's nothing wrong with that. It's a pretty good looking car for the era it pays homage to, but I feel like a car like this is going to struggle on the market with those looks. It's got a pretty simple, clean design that doesn't do much, but what it does do it does pretty well. While I don't mind the design, and I actually think it's kind of cool to see a modern car company try something like this, I feel that this car's exterior will push it into a pretty small niche on the market.
The Sanguine Volare Taurus is an exceptional performance car with plenty of luxury to boot. While it certainly has its weak areas, I feel that this car is a sound compromise between just about everything you could want in a car at a very reasonable price. I just hope that its retro appearance doesn't put too many people off of such a great car.