Approaching the first turn, the squat turns to dive in an over-the-top arcing motion that feels like riding a catapult without the exciting dismount. With speed scrubbed, turn-in is abrupt, with a big exhale and flashes of elbows and open hands. The front tires feel like skis struggling to cut into hardpack, while the back end reminds you just how far behind it was, and how anxious it is to catch up. I saw the 911 bumper sticker in my periphery and considered following its advice. Jump on the gas and the weight pitches backwards just in time for the torquey V-8 to bully the rear tires into letting go. A beautiful tail-out drift that would make Michael Bay cry finishes the first turn. The two-ring circus of car control and testosterone continued for what seemed to be the length of a decent half-hour cop show final chase scene, but I could have done it for at least a full cinematic Bruce Willis epic finale.

After a little breather and reset by the pyro crew, I got into the brand-new Taurus Interceptor test mule. The modern seats are much more supportive, yet still feel equally flat in the bolsters. (Apparently being able to fly out of the car after perps on foot is preferable to high-G cornering support.) Not expecting a footrace during the test, I would have preferred a nice race bucket. The dash is far higher in the new car, restricting some amount of forward vision, but both front-seat occupants also feel far less vulnerable. In the middle of my journalistic dash-stroking I get the "You ready?" from the Ford Engineer in the hot seat. With my own background in engineering, I don't think it's offensive to say I was confident that this ride wouldn't be as hairy as the last, partly because of the car but also in part to the high IQ behind the wheel. From my experience, most of us talented with the calculator aren't the hottest of shoes. Apparently Ford hated this trend and has made it a point to make sure their techno-nerds can hustle the cars as fast as the people who will use them.