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Ford Dealers Are Suing Saleen For Breach Of Contract

Ford Dealers Are Suing Saleen For Breach Of Contract

Aftermarket specialist is already up to its knees with problems

A pair of Ford dealerships are taking Saleen Automotive to court for alleged fraud and breach of contract over allegations that the tuning company failed to honor its end of purchase orders involving specially tuned Mustangs.

One of these dealers, the Red McCombs Ford dealership in San Antonio, is asserting that Saleen was six months late in delivering three modified Mustangs that the dealership ordered. On top of that, the dealer’s lawsuit also claims that the tuned Mustangs were missing a total of $22,000 in upgrades and that it hasn’t received a dime in refunds over the missing items.

If that issue isn’t enough of a headache for Saleen, another Ford dealership, the Friendship Ford of Bristol in Tennessee, is also taking the tuner to court over allegations that it has yet to receive a 2015 S302 Yellow Label Mustang, which it ordered and paid for back in 2015. Denny Fruth, the dealer’s general manager, told Automotive News that the 715-horsepower Mustang has not found its way back to his dealership despite numerous delays and claims by Saleen that the car was already on its way. The most recent of these promises happened in the early part of June 2016, and more than a month later, Fruth claims that the car is still nowhere to be found, adding that Saleen has come up with multiple excuses, including blaming a vendor for one of the delays.

Not surprisingly, company founder Steve Saleen is refuting the claims made by the dealerships, going so far as to call the Red Combs’ dealership’s gripe a “a little frivolous” and that their experiences aren’t representative of the many projects that the tuner has delivered across the U.S.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2015 Saleen 302 Mustang

2015 Saleen 302 Mustang

Steve Saleen has made good use of his time since regaining his namesake brand in 2012. The timing couldn’t have been any more ideal too, because a little over a year after returning to Saleen, the all-new Ford Mustang made its debut. Yep, sometimes, timing is everything. The aftermarket company known for building sick, specialized Mustangs has prepared its first interpretation of the new Ford muscle car. It’s predictably called the 2015 Saleen 302 Mustang and, like its predecessors, it’s sure to have all of the familiar high-performance modifications that Saleen has come to be known for.

A heavily revised front fascia, an updated, sportier interior and an extra punch coming from the Blue Oval’s range-topping, Coyote V-8 engine, that’s the least we can expect from the brand-new Saleen 302.

Updated 09/23/2014: Saleen unveiled a new image and the full list of specs for its 2015 302 Mustang. Also, the company announced that it now accepts reservations for the car, so if you’re interested you have to place a $2,015.00 deposit to reserve the car. Details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Saleen 302 Mustang.

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2014 Saleen Tesla Model S Foursixteen

2014 Saleen Tesla Model S Foursixteen

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.

Updated 11/21/2014: Saleen announced it has now begun deliveries of the Model S based Saleen Foursixteen. Next to the 2014 model, the company is also accepting orders for the 2015 model lineup, including 60, 85, and P85D Model S chassis. Details after the jump.

Click past the jump for all the info on the Saleen Tesla Model S Foursixteen.

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TopSpeed Exclusive: Saleen Going Electric and a Look at what Fuels Steve Saleen

TopSpeed Exclusive: Saleen Going Electric and a Look at what Fuels Steve Saleen

Steve Saleen

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of speaking to Steve Saleen, former racecar driver and the proud owner of Saleen, Inc, following a court battle to prove his rights to the once-troubled performance-car manufacturer. We discussed many things in our 30-minute conversation, and I learned tons about what brought him back to the company that he brought to greatness in the 1980s and 1990s, what we can expect in the near future and what we can look forward to as time goes on.

We asked Mr. Saleen what brought him back to the company that he founded decades ago, after stepping away in the 2000s. According to Steve, his return to the company was both to protect his namesake and to show Saleen fans that he hasn’t lost the passion to manufacture performance cars and that Saleen is still a player in the performance-car realm. He elaborated that his return to Saleen required a legal battle to prove that he indeed still had the right to the name.

The biggest news is the all-new supercar that Saleen is working on, and I asked him to give us any information he could regarding the pace of the project and where it stands. Unfortunately, I was met with "We are indeed working on the next American supercar and hopefully it is not too far out, but I cannot divulge more information at this time."

Something that always weighs on the mind of many Saleen fans is how far in advance and how much "inside" information Saleen receives to help it in its engineering process. Steve let us know that Saleen’s strong relationship with Ford and other manufacturers does afford it some extra information on models and upcoming projects to help with building Saleen vehicles.

In terms of the future, Steve assured us that Saleen is not going to ramp up slowly, as the economy is primed for fast growth, so the company will take full advantage of this to grow the "new" Saleen as fast as the economy will allow. Part of this growth, according to Mr. Saleen, will be in the electric car realm. He told me "You shouldn’t be surprised to see us doing something in the electric vehicle segment, as well." The company views the EV shift as "less of a fad and more of a long-term trend," according to Steve.

In closing Mr. Saleen left us with this "After 30 years, I have not lost the drive or passion for doing cars, and all of this is possible because of the tremendous we have from our customers and fans around the world."

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2014 Saleen SA-30

2014 Saleen SA-30

Saleen Automotive was founded in 1983 by Steve Saleen, who recently regained control of the company, and everyone knows it as the American company that builds some of the sickest cars in America. Now, just in time for its 30th anniversary, the company announced the launch of the special-edition lineup that it has dubbed the SA-30.

The SA-30 can be based on one of three different Saleen models: the 302 Mustang, the 620 Camaro, or the 570 Challenger. The SA-30 will be limited to only 30 units — 10 based on each model — and they will start from $95,000.

According to Saleen, despite the special edition using three different platforms, it will "share a common theme: Saleen Racing Heritage." Also, the new SA-30 "will capture the essence of Saleen style and performance that will truly place elegance and power in the hands of the very few."

The new SA-30 offers a nice list of updates to both the exterior and the interior, including a series of exclusive features and a very powerful engine under the hood.

Click past the jump to read more about the new Saleen SA-30.

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2014 Saleen George Follmer Edition Mustang

2014 Saleen George Follmer Edition Mustang

When Saleen promised a major reveal this weekend at Laguna Seca, speculation ran rampant that a successor to the mighty S7 was waiting to be introduced.

Well, we didn’t get that, which is a tad disappointing, but what we did get was an equally surprising announcement in the form of the Saleen Heritage Collection, a limited edition series of specially designed muscle cars that pays tribute to the top five drivers that raced in the Mission Bell race at Riverside International Raceway back in October 1970.

The first two vehicles of this Heritage collection were actually released a few years ago - the Saleen Parnelli Jones Ediiton and the Dan Gurney Edition - and now, the next three will be dropped in succeeding order beginning with the unveiling of the Saleen George Follmer Edition Mustang, followed by the Mark Donohue Edition Camaro, and the Swede Savage Edition Barracuda.

The latter two will be unveiled at later dates so for now, the spotlight focuses on the George Follmer Edition Mustang, a car that Saleen introduced over the weekend at Laguna Seca.

If you’re not too familiar with the name George Follmer, a brief history lesson will tell you that the man is notable for having one of the most decorated racing careers back in the 60’s and 70’s. In addition to running the Indianapolis 500, Follmer also competed in Formula One with the Shadow team in 1973, while also racing in NASCAR’s Winston Cup and the Can-Am series where he took the championship in 1972.

Click past the jump to read more about the Saleen George Follmer Edition Mustang

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2014 Saleen 351 Mustang

2014 Saleen 351 Mustang

When Steve Saleen officially regained his namesake brand, you knew it would only be a matter of time before his company would debut its first project car. That time, apparently, was at the LA Auto Show when Saleen introduced its return to the auto industry with the Saleen 351 Mustang.

"Since regaining the Saleen brand, I really want to bring it all together with the heritage that Saleen is known for," Saleen said. "With the current Saleen [302] Mustang model it provides all the right features to bring back and update the S351 model."

Based on the 2013 Ford Mustang, the car’s name comes from the engine used under the hood, which is a 351-cubic-inch V-8 engine tricked to deliver way more than a base Mustang.

Next to that, Saleen is offering numerous other updates to the interior and the exterior, but also an updated suspension and braking system - all made to transform the Mustang into a real beast.

Updated 07/05/2013: The new Saleen 351 is now officially into production, so the tuner has unveiled tons of new details on its first Mustang-based package since Steve Saleen regained control.

Click past the jump to read more about the new Saleen 351.

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2000 - 2004 Saleen S7 by AE Performance and ADV.1 wheels

2000 - 2004 Saleen S7 by AE Performance and ADV.1 wheels

It’s hard to imagine that the American produced Saleen S7 actually went into production exactly 10 years ago, and its theoretical performance figures are still the envy of many automotive manufacturers around the world.

Featuring a massive 7.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine, the S7 could pump out 750 horsepower when it was new, and launch to 62 mph in just 3.2 seconds despite being rear-wheel drive. Saleen claimed that the S7 could hit a top speed of 248mph which could have made it the fastest production car in the world, but for some unknown reason, the American company never took it to the absolute limits.

Ten years later, the S7 has yet to prove its ultimate performance potential, but thanks to the addition of new ADV5.2 Track Spec SL wheels from ADV.1, the Saleen S7 has finally reached its true potential, despite it only being aesthetically.

ADV.1 Wheels joined forces with AE Performance to perform the upgrade and it’s suspected that AE performed some minor tweaks to the car’s engine, although no details have been released about that.

Anyway, the wheels fitted to this particular S7 are true works of art, and are one of the company’s lightest wheels, even featuring a titanium nameplate and titanium bolts to cut down on weight and measure 19x9.5 inches at front and 20x12 at the rear.

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Steve Saleen Returns to the Company he Founded

Steve Saleen Returns to the Company he Founded

Many years ago, okay maybe less than two years ago, if you were cruising down the road in your hopped up Mustang GT and came across a Mustang bearing the “Saleen” name on the side, you knew your poor GT had no chance. In 2007, this all started to change, as Steve Saleen left the company. Then in 2011, the performance vehicle side of Saleen shut down altogether. This rendered the once feared custom car builder just a high-performance parts supplier.

Shortly after leaving Saleen, Steve Saleen started SMS Supercars, basically a new version of Saleen. A long legal battle ensued after Saleen’s new ownership group refused to honor warranties for the performance vehicles it manufactured prior to taking ownership and SMS Supercars stepped in to try to help. The legal battle circled around whether or not SMS Supercars had the right to use the “Saleen” name.

After what seems like ages, there is finally a decision. Steve Saleen has been awarded the rights to use the “Saleen” name on all of his vehicles. In addition, all previously manufactured SMS Supercar vehicles will be added to Saleen’s master registry, making them official Saleen vehicles. Plus, Saleen will start producing badges for all of the old SMS Supercar vehicles, which SMS Supercar owners can buy and put in place of the old “SMS” badges.

SMS Supercars essential now becomes one with Saleen, which means Saleen will begin producing super high-performance models of the Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang, and Chevy Camaro.

Saleen lovers of the world rejoice! The days of Saleen being little more than AutoZone on steroids are over. We cannot wait to see the first Saleen branded cars, which should be coming very soon, though there is no official release date.

Hit the jump for the official press release

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2011 Saleen S302 Speedster

2011 Saleen S302 Speedster

Every year, Saleen heads over to Las Vegas to bring a new custom modded Mustang to the SEMA Auto Show. A few years ago, they bought the S281 Mustang. Last year, it was a custom S302 Mustang with custom colors and plenty of carbon fiber. This year, Saleen has prepared a custom 302 Speedster for the biggest aftermarket auto show in the world, marking the first time the 302 Speedster was accessorized with a number of options.

This particular model was definitely dressed to impress, thanks to a new Matte Black paint finish, complimented by the prevalent use of carbon fiber rocker panels. The subtle look of the S302 Speedster can be substituted for something a little more gregarious if customers feel like it. In place of the Matte Black finish, other can choose from Igniter Orange, Octane Red, Silver Shield, and Motor City Blue. Rounding out the modifications done on the S302 Speedster include a new carbon fiber chin splitter, a carbon fiber rear wing, and a new set of 7-spoke wheels.

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2012 Ford Mustang SMS 302 Yellow Label by SMS Supercars

2012 Ford Mustang SMS 302 Yellow Label by SMS Supercars

We love ourselves some Ford Mustangs, especially if they come in a special edition trim. While a lot of people can scoop up a Mustang if they so please, it says something if you’re driving on the road with a piece of special edition American Ford muscle.

Now, you’ll still get your fair share of choices with some being more readily available than others. But if you’re looking for the newest special edition Mustang off the block, you might want to give the boys over at SMS Supercars.

SMS Supercars is the baby of one Steve Saleen. Yeah, you might remember him for his past forays as the founder of Saleen Inc, the very same company that built one of the fastest American supercars on the planet, the S7.

Recently, Saleen and his crew over at SMS have turned their attention towards special edition Mustangs, specifically three new editions of the just launched Mustang Boss 302: the White Label, the Yellow Label, and the Black Label.

Whereas the White Label is the entry-level version and the Black Label is the top-of-the-line version, the Yellow Label slots right in the middle. It comes with the same specs as that of the White Label, including a reprogrammed PCM, a new sport suspension system, a new exhaust system, a new body kit, and some interior upgrades. More than these add-ons, the Yellow Label also comes with a new SMS supercharger kit that bumps up the engine’s output from 440 horsepower to 545 horsepower. On top of that, SMS also dressed up this version with a set of 19” wheels, giving it a sportier and more aggressive look to complement its muscularity.

Interested in the Mustang SMS 302 Yellow Label? Well, you better be prepared to shell out $45,540 for the chance to go home with one.

Photo is of the Mustang SMS 302

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2011 Ford Mustang SMS 302 Black Label by SMS Supercars

2011 Ford Mustang SMS 302 Black Label by SMS Supercars

When talking about customized Ford Mustangs, you can name five of the best the business has to offer in a heartbeat and chances are, one of those names would be SMS Supercars.

Founded by the legendary Steve Saleen, the same man that founded Saleen Inc. that gave way to the Saleen S7 supercar, SMS Supercars is considered as a go-to-shop for Mustangs of varying versions, including the Mustang Boss 302.

Recently, SMS proudly unveiled three new editions of the Boss 302: the White Label, the Yellow Label, and the Black Label.

The top-end of the three versions is the Black Label, which bears some similarities to the Saleen S281E of the past. This particular version features more advanced aerodynamic body components than the White and Yellow Label editions, including the company’s very own S4 suspension system, a custom SMS leather interior and an engine modification that took the Mustang Boss 302’s 5.0-liter V8 engine from a standard output of 440 horsepower all the way up to 575 ponies.

And as is the case with most of his models, the SMS Mustang 302 Black Label will be available in a number of unique custom paint colors that only SMS Supercars can provide. According to SMS, the car retails for $48,000 for the naturally aspirated model of the car and $58,000 for the supercharged version.

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2010 Saleen S302

2010 Saleen S302

Saleen will unveil their first vehicle developed this year - the S302 - this week-end at the Carlisle Ford Nationals in Carlisle, PA. The new Saleen S302 is based on the 2011 Ford Mustang 5.0 and will be available in both coupe and convertible body styles.

The S302 will feature an imposing grille and front fascia, and a refined treatment of the familiar Saleen extended rear fascia and trunk lid with a simple, elegant, integrated wing. The interior will get leather sport seats with Ultrasuede inserts and unique treatments of the gauges, steering wheel, center console and shifter.

The V8 engine has been tweaked to deliver 425 hp and 395 lb.-ft. of torque. The whole package is finished by 20-inch, 7-spoke alloy wheels.

Press release after the jump.

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Saleen S281 Convertible to be revealed on Sunday

Saleen S281 Convertible to be revealed on Sunday

After unveiling the S281 Coupe at the 2009 SEMA Show, Saleen has announced that a convertible version will be revealed this coming Sunday at the 25th Annual Fabulous Fords Forever!, hosted at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California.

The black S281 production convertible will be making its debut accompanied by a silver coupe and the powerful Saleen 435S. The Fabulous Fords show is one of the premier Ford events in the country and Saleen Performance Vehicles continues its tradition of interacting with the thousands of Ford enthusiasts who attend each year.

The S281 will be powered by a 4.6-liter V8 engine producing 485 hp and 460 lb.-ft. of torque, connected to the rear wheels via a short-throw, five-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential with 3.73:1 final drive ratio.

Any Mustang lover will thoroughly enjoy this extravagant display of polished up ponies. If you are in the area or can get to the area, we would highly recommend attending this show. We hear there are about 2,000 entries expected to attend this event and will be sectioned off by generations as in the previous years. Last year, Shelby fans were thrilled to discover almost every Shelby model was in attendance. We could only imagine that this year will deliver the same excitement.

More details this Sunday, stay tuned!

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SMS 296 Supercharger

SMS 296 Supercharger

Steve Saleen is usually known for his work with Ford products, but now he’s turned his performance eye to Dodge’s new Challenger. His new company, SMS, has unveiled the SMS 296 Supercharger, the first in a promised series of ultra-high performance technical parts. Now Mopar owners of 2005 to 2009 5.7-liter and 6.1-liter Hemi engines can boost horsepower by up to 45% with this dual-screw supercharger. As an added touch, the supercharger can be colored to match the car.

The SMS 296 Supercharger will be standard equipment on two cars from SMS: the SMS 570 Challenger and SMS 570X Challenger. The cars are reported to make 500 to over 700 horsepower respectively.

Press release after the jump.

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Saleen launched SuperShaker induction system

Saleen launched SuperShaker induction system

Saleen’s SpeedLab unveiled today the SuperShaker, a new technology for air induction systems. The SuperShaker will fit all 2005-current model Mustang GT’s. The SuperShaker kit will increase your total power from 500 – 700HP.

The SuperShaker induction path is much shorter and less restrictive compared to existing designs, and is a true “cold air” intake that is sealed off from the engine compartment, thus enhancing vehicle performance. The SuperShaker induction system sits above the hood and is isolated from the hot air in the engine compartment. This is especially beneficial in static situations such as at stop lights or take off during drag racing. Once up to speed, the shaker hood scoop rams fresh cold air into the air box where it is pressurized, allowing greater boost at higher speeds.

By angling the custom air filter forward, water and debris will be deflected down to the bottom of the air box where it can be evacuated and not affect the performance of the filter. There are two molded pieces that make up and include the air box, providing a skirt that mounts to the rear of the box which protects the compartment from water, debris and environmental hazards. This unique design does not require any extraordinary mounting or securing devices, allowing the air box to utilize the maximum space available within the tight constraints.

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Saleen "Tribute" to Ford GT40

In the colors of Gulf Wyer, the Ford GT40 conquered Le Mans. It became such an icon that Ford came out with an updated version a few years ago, simply called the Ford GT (a name chosen by necessity, as Ford had unaccountably let the GT40 name slip away and someone else now owns it).
Now Saleen is trying to get in on the act with the Saleen 550.
Basically, it’s a paint job.
They’ve painted a Mustang in the old Gulf colors. Otherwise, it’s hopped up Mustang GT 500, with output increased to (...)

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SALEEN S281 “Extreme” Molly-Pop edition

SALEEN S281 “Extreme” Molly-Pop edition

How about a pink Saleen? Doesn’t sound to serious, does it? Well, but is true. Saleen unveiled the S281 “Extreme” Molly-Pop edition.

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