The figures, sourced from millions of ADAC members, reveal Japanese cars have lost their edge

The figures, sourced from millions of ADAC members, reveal Japanese cars have lost their edge

General Motors has recently nabbed a bit of the limelight with its Lutz-inspired "May the Best Car Win" campaign, complete with a challenge to best his time around Laguna Seca in a CTS-V. But GM isn't the only American car manufacturer that's looking to take on the competition in a head-to-head battle.

Ford's 2010 Taurus SHO, powered by the new EcoBoost twin-turbocharged V-6 engine, is the Blue Oval's secret weapon. It's using the car to find favorable comparisons all across the spectrum, particularly in the luxury and performance arena.

Take the 2010 Audi A6 4.2 FSI for example. Powered by a 4.2-liter V-8 engine, the German luxury sedan has a 0.7-liter advantage in displacement over the SHO's 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, plus an additional pair of cylinders, though it's rated at 350 horsepower--15 horsepower short of the SHO.

More power and the low-end torque provided by twin turbocharging is why the Audi can't overcome the SHO's straight-line accelerative powers, as Ford points out to great effect in the video below. But Ford doesn't stop there, noting as its closing line in the video that the $37,995 base-price Taurus SHO is $20,000 cheaper than the V-8 Audi A6, which starts at $60,950.

While there's an undeniable price gap, it's worth looking a little closer at the similarities and differences between the two to see if there's really a value gap.

Both the SHO and the A6 have all-wheel drive, though the Audi quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system is likely to be rated a bit higher on the driving dynamics scale for most drivers. Likewise, while the 2010 Taurus SHO is a very nice sedan, it's not a luxury car, and this shows through in the features department, though Ford's SYNC system does an admirable job of hanging with Audi's MMI nav/entertainment suite.

Overall cabin quality is likely to come out in favor the Audi as well. TheCarConnection's full reviews indicate mixed findings on the comfort of the front seats, while the back seat gets even less praise, despite adjectives like "classy" and "premium" being tossed about with regard to the interior materials and styling. Audi's interiors, on the other hand, are frequently praised as some of the best in the business for comfort, quality and design.

Still, it's impressive that a comparison between the Audi and the Ford can even be carried on with a straight face, let alone approximately analogous feature sets in at least some areas. It's no surprise that the Taurus comes up short on an apples-to-apples comparison--it's giving up $20,000 in build price, after all--but it's impressive to see how much value can be packed into the 2010 SHO for less than $45,000.

For the full low-down on the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO, including all its foibles and successes, read the full review at TheCarConnection.