2008 Saleen Dark Horse

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Saleen Dark Horse

The crew at Saleen is saying goodbye to this generation of Mustang by going out with a BIG bang. Earlier this week, they unveiled a special edition car they call “Dark Horse”, and TopSpeed was given some exclusive time with the 620 horsepower beast.

The menu for the engine is a good one. Start with a 302-cu-in Ford V8; add a Saleen Port Matched Series VI Integrated Screw type supercharger with 12 psi of boost; top with SuperShaker scoop that sticks up through the hood; and garnish with forged aluminum pistons, forged steel connecting rods and forged steel crankshaft. The result: 620 horsepower with 600 ft.-lbs of torque.

Saleen gave us an opportunity to get some track time with the Dark Horse at the Streets track a Willow Springs Raceway in California. The super pony had no trouble smoking the tires all the way through first gear and was a blast through the whole track. As expected from a high-horsepower car, it had no trouble pulling away at any point, even uphill.

Saleen Dark Horse

What was surprising was that Saleen chose the Streets track to unveil the car. This is a course known less for its high-speed ability and more for providing some serious twists and turns – something that can be scary in a live rear axel Mustang. What is most amazing about the car (besides the massive engine) is that out on the track, the car rarely tried to break loose during hard cornering. Saleen reworked the live axel rear end of this car so that the “wild pony” characteristics are modified to the point it is almost like having an independent rear suspension.

The styling of the car is exactly what you would expect from a car of this name: black. The metallic black paint and body kit is accented by matte black graphics as well as black chrome wheels. The theme is carried over into the interior with all black instruments and black Alcantara sport seats. The only piece of color is the red gearshift knob and surround – very cool.

It takes $90,000 to put a Dark Horse in your garage, but that may be the least of your worries - production will be limited to 25 units.


6 comments:

In fact, the 2010 GT that was reviewed in the current Motor Trend is genuinely a badass! That is completely showroom stock.

Thats good to know.

The Scoop is very functional, it is the Shaker .... and it is what I use... it is actually taking in air to a high flow filter and into the intake, gives it more air, and on cold days ... boy does she wake up then... smiley I have close ups of the setup at my site for anyone that wants a closer view of the shaker...

So what did they do to the suspension to make it more compliant? Or is that top secret?

What about oversteer? Thats quite a problem in Mustangs.

And how fast did you make it go?

I had similar thoughts about the rear end, but since it didn’t come loose on any of the bumps at Willow Springs, it has me optimistic about the suspension (at least I can hope).

Best thing is that the shaker hood scoop is completely functional, they say it adds a 0.5 psi boost - it’s pretty cool.

It doesn’t matter how much work you do to the rear axle, once you hit a mid corner bump, you’ll be having second thoughts about the handling.

Nice rims though. Hope the hood scoop is functional.

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