Saleen may have built its reputation on tuning the most iconic American cars like the Chevrolet Camaro , Ford Mustang , and Dodge Challenger , but company front-man Steve Saleen seems bent on making his mark in the budding performance electric car category as well.
Rumors have circulated for more than a year regarding Saleen’s entrance into the category, with TopSpeed’s own firsthand confirmation coming from Steve himself in a late-2013 interview.
Well the rumors and speculation can all be put to rest as the company debuts the Saleen Tesla Model S Foursixteen at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance . This Tesla Model S receives a bespoke exterior design, interior updates, and of course, increases in power and performance.
Thankfully this isn’t some one-off show car, but rather a pre-production example of what will be publicly available to those looking for extra spice in their Model S. The performance upgrades include a sport-tuned suspension, bigger brakes, upgraded rear differential, and more aggressive aerodynamic surfaces.
Updated 9/8/2014: Saleen has revealed a video of the Foursixteen in action, and "breaking the sound barrier." It doesn’t literally break the sound barrier, like supersonic jet, but rather it makes a noise unlike any other Tesla Model S. Have a look at the video (above) and let me know if you think the noise is cool or annoying as all hell...
Click past the jump for all the info on the Saleen Tesla Model S Foursixteen.
Saleen has completely reworked the Model S’ front and rear fascias. Up front, the Tesla grille is replaced by a solid bumper piece with a much smaller grille opening at the bottom.
Saleen has completely reworked the Model S’ front and rear fascias. Up front, the Tesla grille is replaced by a solid bumper piece with a much smaller grille opening at the bottom. The look is definitely unique, though we’re not sure we’re sold on the new face. The hood also gets a unique treatment with a more aggressive V-shape running towards the windshield from the diminished Saleen badge stuck on the updated bumper.
Out back, a new lower fascia includes air vents and a lower air diffuser. A large spoiler finds a home atop the rear decklid. The look is decidedly more aggressive. Saleen says the extra aero bits are all functional and work to create substantial downforce at higher speeds.
The Model S also gets a massive set of Saleen wheels that not only look good, but are said to cut 30 pounds of unsprung weight. Red Saleen brake calipers shine easily through the wheels’ 10-spoke design.
Gallery Saleen Tesla Model S Foursixteen
Saleen badges are adhered to each seatback, which enjoy new moldings to enhance the bolstering.
Saleen really worked over the Foursixteen’s interior, creating a nearly all-new cockpit. Cream leather and black Alcantara cover the seats, door panels, and upper dashboard, while carbon-fiber accents dress up the rest of the dash. An all-new center console finds a home between the front seats. It has provisions for more storage and provides a cup holder within arm’s reach.
Saleen badges are adhered to each seatback, which enjoy new moldings to enhance the bolstering. New seat shells are coated in a gloss-black color that complements the other black interior bits. Lastly, remolded door panels match the seats’ new shape.
The interior is an overall upgrade from that comes in conventional Teslas, but the high-contrast color choice might not be for everyone.
Not much has changed with the Foursixteen’s powertrain. The 3-phase, four pole AC induction motor and copper rotor from the P85 Model S are still present, though Saleen has reworked how the power is laid to the ground. A new final gear ratio of 11.39-to-1 is found inside the rear end. Also present is Saleen’s Maxgrip locking differential that allows both rear tires to apply seamless power to the ground.
Saleen has also retrofitted the Foursixteen with a high-capacity cooling system that includes a larger volume radiator and a high-flow water pump to keep the electrical system’s temperature in check.
Even without more modifications, the P85 Model S is still a beast at the track. It’s powerful electric motors and batteries create 416 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, allowing the Foursixteen to hit 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds. It’s possible the Tesla’s top speed of 130 mph has been increased thanks to all the added aero bits.
Suspension and Braking
Saleen reworked the Tesla’s suspension to make the most of its potent horsepower and instant torque. The upgrades include proprietary monotube coilovers that are track-calibrated. The sway bar is also upgraded to provide a more stable platform in the corners. What’s more, the suspension is fully adjustable, so track days and daily commutes can coexist with little work in between.
The Tesla’s stability control software is also upgrades to allow for more shenanigans on the track. Saleen says the new programming allows the driver to stay into the power as the car’s weight distribution changes from corner to corner.
Bringing everything to a stop are upgraded brakes. The rotors are 14-inch, two-piece units with an aluminum hat. If the upgraded brakes aren’t enough, Saleen offers a carbon-ceramic upgrade.
Pricing is listed at $152,000 for the complete package, including the price of the Tesla Model S P85. That means the upgrades cost $58,600 after the cost of a new $95,400 P85 Model S. Of course that doesn’t include the extra government incentives available for electric car owners. Added on, the Tesla’s price can drop some $10,000.
The BMW is already a hot performer when it comes from the factory, but there will inevitably be tuners looking to hype up the electric sports car’s performance even more.
The BMW i8 comes powered by a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine that makes 231 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. Add to that the 131 horses and 184 pound-feet coming from the batteries and electric motor, and you’ve got a pretty respectable power output of 362 horses and 420 pound-feet of torque. With its low weight, the i8 only needs 4.4 seconds to hit 60 mph and has a top speed of 155 mph.
The BMW i8 starts at $135,925.
Gallery BMW i8
Though it’s still brewing in Audi’s development garage, the on-again, off-again R8 e-tron makes a strong case for performance electric vehicles. The R8 derivative is powered by four electric motors with a total output of 313 horsepower. Though it doesn’t sound like a lot, the R8 e-tron is still able to accelerate to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds, mostly thanks to its generous 604 pound-feet of torque.
Pricing and availability are still in question, but we can expect the R8 e-tron to cost roughly $200,000 and go on sale before the end of 2016.
Gallery Audi R8 E-Tron
Saleen’s venture into the electric car category is not small news. We’re excited to see what aftermarket companies are able to do with this new realm of automotive technology and their ability to create exciting performance applications of vehicles designed to but back on using natural resources.
This also is a big step for Saleen, making them one of the first aftermarket companies to tackle such an extensive project on the Tesla Model S.
Love of hate the Foursixteen’s new design, it certainly turns heads and garners attention. That’s especially likely at track day events where electric cars aren’t a normal sight.
- Classy interior upgrades
- More aero work makes less drag
- Performance rear diff helps put power down
- No increase in power
- Questionable front styling
Gallery Saleen Tesla Model S Foursixteen
Press Release - 8/17/2014
Enhancing the performance, technology, and design of the Tesla Model S.
From the same automotive performance brand that brought the true American Supercar, the S7, Saleen has once again set precedence for a vehicle of epic proportions. The Tesla Model S based Saleen FOURSIXTEEN performance electric car was shown for the first time at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
“Tesla has created an entirely new class of American automobile”, explained Steve Saleen. “There are many similarities to this and how Ford created the ‘pony car’ class in 1964 with the Mustang, which is how these vehicles stand out from the rest of the pack.”
Standing out from the pack is Saleen’s specialty. Whether it’s their winning racing pedigree, expertly engineered Saleen vehicles, or instantly recognizable design. The Saleen legacy is perfectly packaged into the FOURSIXTEEN Model S and hinges on the mantra for the performance luxury electric car that ‘status quo won’t do’.
Purposefully advanced design
From the outside, the FOURSIXTEEN is a harmonious blend of aerodynamic aggressiveness and subtle classiness. Applying the same championship Saleen DNA used over the last three decades, Saleen has created a car that can drive the streets of Monaco and set records at Laguna Seca. From the Saleen crafted front fascia to the carbon fiber rear diffuser, the FOURSIXTEEN aerodynamic design is as inspired as it is functional.
Front aero management vents helps ensure that the Saleen FOURSIXTEEN model maintains a low pressure field as air acceleration increases around the chassis. Assisting the lower aero management is the unique V-shaped hood architecture efficiently directing hot air away from the drivetrain cooling system all while generating valuable downforce across the front section.
The rear fascia design finalizes the aerodynamic system as air moves across the cabin and onto the Saleen designed high-downforce decklid mounted spoiler. Mid-chassis air is directed across the carbon fiber accents stretching between the taillights. Supplying rear wake diffusion is a Saleen diffuser design that boosts aerodynamic downforce capability.
Just like the rest of the Saleen lineup, this car is more than just an eye catching aerodynamic package. Propelling the new FOURSIXTEEN is the 3-phase, four pole AC induction motor and copper rotor with the upgraded Saleen drivetrain including an all-new 11.39:1 final gear ratio for quicker acceleration. Also new for the FOURSIXTEEN is a Saleen specific MAXGRIPTM locking differential that allows each wheel to efficiently apply rotational force and maximize traction and grip in performance environments. All of the Saleen engineered driveline components increase efficiencies in torque management, give a track capable throttle response, and provide faster acceleration. Overall the FOURSIXTEEN is a well-balanced vehicle and sounds great too!
Electric motor cooling has also been made more productive from the Saleen high-efficiency drivetrain cooling system. Comprising the system is a larger volume radiator, upsampled cooling fans, and a high-flow water pump to help maintain consistent temperatures in more stressful performance applications.
“Electric drivetrains are unique in that they can generate an incredible amount of torque at zero RPM”, detailed Sven Etzelsberger, VP Advanced Engineering. “Our challenge was really to find methods to manage the energy that is generated by the electric motor and rotor assembly. With the FOURSIXTEEN we have successfully found a comprehensive solution to increase performance and harness power in an efficient manner.”
Saleen’s design and engineering teams worked together to ensure a functional suspension that doesn’t sacrifice ride quality. The Saleen specific S4 track-calibrated suspension includes a monotube coilover, which works in conjunction with an S4 sway bar setup to increase cornering agility without sacrificing ride quality. The FOURSIXTEEN suspension system can also be ordered in a fully adjustable configuration, allowing the driver to easily increase stiffness for a day at the track and revert to a more streetable setting with simple adjustments.
The Stability Control System has also undergone a track tested performance enhancement. A software change gives the FOURSIXTEEN better cornering response and drivability by allowing the driver to maintain power as traction and vehicle weight distribution change.
Working together with the stability control software, wheel, tire, and S4 suspension system are the Saleen-specific brakes. The standard brake package in the FOURSIXTEEN include 14” 2-piece aluminum hat vented rotors and multi-piston front calipers with performance brake pads. An optional upgrade is the carbon ceramic disc brake system for maximum braking, cooling, and weight reduction. Saleen designed wheels fill out the wheel openings and add an air of performance luxury. All of this combined with the ZR-spec tires make sure the car will hug the corners, accelerate true in the straights, and stop effortlessly when needed.
Supercar inspired interior
The interior refinements of the Saleen FOURSIXTEEN are abundant. From the handpicked leather palette to the carbon fiber dash accents, the cabin environment is as supercar stylish as it is functionally chic. Starting with the seating, black leather is contrasted by perforated leather accents and Alcantara suede inlays providing a true luxury atmosphere.
“Our theme of an electric four-seat supercar really comes to life with the interior of this car”, said Sean Smith, Design Director. “Our design team spent a lot of time evaluating different materials, fitments, and finishes to accomplish the refined interior design of the FOURSIXTEEN while still keeping the modern sports car inspiration intact. I think the result is appropriate for this new class of electric American performance cars.”
A new center console has also been integrated into the interior redesign. This functional aspect gives the driver and front passenger additional center storage, a personal electronic device pocket, and a much needed cupholder all within arm’s reach.
Continuing the track-inspired exterior enhancements, the front and rear seating have been remolded to produce four full bucket seats complete with added bolstering to create a discerning interior that is fittingly built around the driver and passengers. Marrying the seating design to the rest of the cockpit are the Saleen tailor-made door panels and a full leather-wrapped dash both artistically complimented with hand sewn contrast stitching. The final stroke of interior craftsmanship draws attention to the seat shells which have been color matched to the black leather, creating a dynamic modern feel in the rear cabin.
Availability, Pricing and Additional Information
MSRP for the FOURSIXTEEN model is set to start at $152,000 for the complete vehicle, which includes the base P85Model S sedan. This is priced before existing state and federal EV incentives which can range from $7,500 to $15,000 depending on the buyers state (i.e. A California resident would pay $142,000.00).
Warranties are also included on all new Saleen vehicles, components, and labor. Each newly purchased Saleen FOURSIXTEEN will include a 4-year / 50,000 mile warranty to match the manufacturer backed limited warranty.
Purchases for this all new electric vehicle can be placed by contacting Saleen directly for an expedited ordering process of the Saleen FOURSIXTEEN. Orders are now being taken for the FOURSIXTEEN with delivery 6-8 weeks following order confirmation and receipt.
Alternatively, individual FOURSIXTEEN components are also available for Model S owners that are looking to just add a touch of performance or styling to their current vehicle without the desire for a serialized version. Installation can be scheduled through the Saleen Performance Parts division. For more information visit www.saleen.com
Saleen Automotive, Inc. (OTCQB: SLNN), (OTCBB: SLNN) (the "Company"), an American specialty manufacturer of high performance vehicles, technical performance parts, lifestyle accessories and apparel, is pleased to announce that the Company has released renderings of its Saleen Tesla Model S. First images were provided Saturday to media in attendance in Los Angeles, California.
"I’m exceedingly proud of the work that my design team has done in creating these first images of what I expect to be an exceptional automobile," stated Steve Saleen, CEO, Saleen Automotive. "We stand on the shoulders of greatness for sure, as we modify the truly inspired design of the Tesla Model S, yet I believe firmly that these images convey my expectation for a vehicle that expands on that heritage and creates something remarkable."
Saleen Automotive expects the first Saleen Tesla Model S to be completed during the Summer of 2014.
"And as pleased as I am by the aesthetics seen in these renderings, perhaps the true Saleen mark will be best exhibited by the mechanical enhancements that will only be seen as the live vehicle hits the streets this summer," added Saleen.
Press Release - August 13, 2014
Saleen Automotive, Inc. (OTCQB: SLNN) (OTCBB: SLNN) (the "Company"), an American specialty manufacturer of high performance vehicles, technical performance parts, lifestyle accessories and apparel, will unveil its highly anticipated all-electric Tesla Model S based vehicle, "The FOURSIXTEEN," at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Spectators, Automotive Enthusiasts, and Media will all have access to preview the new Saleen vehicle during the Sunday, August 17th event. Additional details and images will be released shortly following this first ever viewing. As a first time public unveiling, the new Saleen vehicle will be on display on the Concept lawn.
"We are eager to showcase the results of the tremendous effort of my team at Saleen Automotive, culminating in what I believe is a truly exceptional all-electric vehicle that stands on the shoulders of the Tesla’s innate excellence yet displays the Saleen heritage for which we are known," stated Steve Saleen, CEO, Saleen Automotive.
About The Saleen FOURSIXTEEN Tesla Model S
The Saleen FOURSIXTEEN concept is the first all-electric model by American supercar manufacturer Saleen Automotive. Utilizing the famed Tesla Model S, Saleen has artfully and technologically crafted a remarkable example of an electric drive supercar sedan. Drawing on the same American exotic heritage that inspired the Saleen S7 supercar; the Saleen FOURSIXTEEN Model S details a comprehensive list of aerodynamic, performance and technological upgrades.