The company’s first original design since the S7 supercar

Founded in 1983, Saleen is mostly known for creating various tuning packages for the Ford Mustang. More recently though, Steve Saleen began modifying Dodge Challengers and Chevrolet Camaros too, and even launched an upgrade for the Tesla Model S electric sedan. But Saleen also built a supercar. Launched in 2000 as the S7 it became one of America’s iconic supercars and received a lot of praise for its impressive performance and that it went on to win a few important racing championships. But despite having a few successful decades, Saleen had to cope with severe financial issues in the 2010s. A merger with Chinese firm Jiangsu followed, which expanded Saleen’s presence in markets outside the U.S. Now, the California-based brand announced its first original design since the S7. It’s called the S1 and will make its U.S. debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Unveiled in China earlier this month, the S1 is significantly smaller than the S7 and gains Saleen access to the small sports car market. But despite being an original design on the outside, the S1 is actually based on the Artega GT, which was produced between 2009 and 2012. The German automaker went bankrupt in 2012 and Saleen bought the rights to the GT’s platform. Interestingly enough, the underpinnings are actually based on the ones that Lotus developed for the Evora in the late 2000s. Just like the S7, the S1 uses a Ford engine, this time around a 2.3-liter EcoBoost unit similar to that found in the Mustang EcoBoost and Focus RS. The engine was tuned to generate 450 horsepower and 425 pound-feet of torque.

There’s no word on U.S. availability, but Jiangsu Saleen plans to build some 150,000 units per year starting mid-2018, when its factory in Rugao, China will be completed. An electric version of the S1 is also in the books, but no information has been released as of this writing. We should find out more at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show later this year, so make sure you stick around for an update.

References

Saleen S7

2001 Saleen S7
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Read our full review on the 2001 Saleen S7.

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

Source: MotorAuthority

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