Take a basic business man's car and put an exotic, high revving 32valve V8 in it. Where do I sign up! At 110 miles an hour this car feels like I'm doing 70. The "stock" top speed is 145 m/ph (No...I am not going there). The suspension is generally comfortable and still sporty, but an occasional bump at low speed will cause the CD changer to skip. This car is designed to cover large distances in comfort. It succeeds triumphantly at this.
Don't expect to do burnouts in this car, it was never designed for that.
You will tear it up right away.
If you want to race, go buy yourself an Acura or Honda with a VTEC V6. This car can make it around corners quickly and would probably scare most people with it's entry speed into corners. That having been said obviously doing this type of driving on the streets is going to KILL your gas mileage.
If you are not the type that likes to take your car to the shop ROUTINE MAINTENENCE, DO NOT BUY THIS CAR. You "NEED" a GREAT MECHANIC to own a car like this. Someone that preferably has a background in diverse, exotic engine systems. Other than the engine and suspension these cars are pretty much like any other Taurus.
There has been a lot of talk about the 4 camshafts that operate the valves. I'm not stupid, this scares me to death. They have FAILED on lots of these cars leaving the engine an all aluminum hunk of junk. Replacement cost $10,000. I have talked to a certified Ford Mechanic that maintains the Crown Victorias for a large, metropolitan city in California. He checked an insider's website only available to professional mechanics. The way to tell if these cams are about to fail is a ticking sound coming from the engine. The TSB lists the "fix" for this as having a mechanic put "Thread Lock" on all the cam gears. My advice, find a mechanic with a racing background. They have been doing these types of operations for years. Have him "pin" the cam. That is the old way of changing the camshaft timing. This is the tested, tried and true method. Welding the cams sounds too dangerous to me. I wouldn't want the parts to get warped.
If you like the styling of these cars (I do) but the idea of engine problems scares you find yourself a V-6 Duratec Taurus. You get a 200 hp engine that you most likely can get to perform like a stock SHO with intake/exhaust and chip upgrades.
However, if you want a true to life, modern day "sleeper" come on in! You won't find the high performance support that you would for Honda/Acura, but it does exist. There are many SHO clubs around the country and all kinds of information on the Internet. There are plenty of people out there with 400 horsepower SHO's!