It looks pretty but should be dangerously potent

Saleen has released a teaser shot of the new S1, the car that will propel the brand into the compact sports car market. The image shows the rear end which rides on the fine line between elegant and sexy. It sports a single taillight that wraps around the rear end, with a spoiler of the same size sitting upon the rear deck. Very little outside of this can be made out from the darkened teaser shot, but you can clearly tell that the rear haunches or extremely muscular and there are very sharp body lines below the waste. Clearly, this will be one attractive and provocative proposition to the compacts sports car market. Want to know more? Keep reading to get the full scoop.

Saleen S1 Expectations

2011 Artega GT High Resolution Exterior
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It really looks more like the S1 will be a revised, more muscular version of the Artega GT

Earlier this year, Saleen bought the rights to the Artega GT, a car that was produced briefly between 2009 and 2012. That company went bankrupt, and the S1 will actually serve as a resurrection of sorts under a new name, of course. Saleen promises the exterior is a completely new design despite the fact that the rear window actually looks quite familiar. It really looks more like the S1 will be a revised, more muscular version of the Artega GT, but we’ll leave that discussion for after the debut. What we do know is that the Artega GT, and consequently, the Saleen S1 will actually ride on underpinnings that were borrowed, in part, from the Evora in the late 2000s. The only difference here is that the body should feature tons of carbon fiber, more aggressiveness, and there will be a four-sourced 2.3-liter under the hood.

Does that engine size sound familiar?

It should because it’s the same engine used in the new Ford Focus RS and the EcoBoost Mustang, with a Saleen twist to it. That twist.. 450 ponies of pure Saleen-tuned power, and 425 pound-feet of torque, according to some sources. How Saleen massaged that much out of the Ford-sourced powerplant remains to be seen, but it’s Saleen we’re talking about here, so don’t ask, don’t tell, just appreciate.

The Future of Saleen

Saleen to Bring New S1 Sports Car to L.A Auto Show
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The Saleen S1 will be the brand’s first original, stand-alone design since the Saleen S7 but it’s far from a successor

The Saleen S1 will be the brand’s first original, stand-alone design since the Saleen S7 but it’s far from a successor. It’s a much smaller vehicle and is less powerful as well. What it will actually compete with depends on the initial base cost which has yet to be announced. With that in mind, the S1 will actually propel S1 into the future, as the Rugao Jiangsu Saleen plant where the S1 will ultimately be produced will be able to produce as many as 150,000 cars a year, making it a rather prominent automaker, practically overnight. The factory is scheduled for completing in mid-2018.

On the plus side, Saleen CEO, Charles Wang, as told China Daily that the S1 will be sold in the U.S. as well, and there will be a new sales model. What that means is unclear, but it won’t be a sales model found with typical dealerships, nor will it be like Tesla’s direct sales model. With any luck, we’ll learn more about this in a few days at the L.A. Auto Show. And, if we’re really good, the new S1 may even lead to a new S5S Raptor – now that would be something to get excited about.

References

Saleen S1

Saleen to Bring New S1 Sports Car to L.A Auto Show
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Saleen to Bring New S1 Sports Car to L.A Auto Show.

Artega GT

2011 Artega GT High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2011 Artega GT.

2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide
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Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

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