In 2015, the Ford Mustang celebrated 50 years on this planet, so what better way to celebrate it than with a new-generation model. With the 2015 Ford Mustang came a new look, a new independent rear suspension, and a new 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Since 1984, Saleen and Ford have worked together to build even faster Mustangs. For the 2015 model year, Saleen has revealed the new S302 Black Label Mustang that gives the `Stang a much-needed competitor to the mighty Challenger Hellcat.
With over 700 horsepower at its disposal and a retuned suspension system, the Saleen S302 Black Label is certainly a 2015 Challenger Hellcat slayer on paper. On top of its power, it also comes with a factory-backed warranty, giving buyers the same peace of mind that comes with the Hellcat. However, with the rocky financial condition of Saleen, is it safe to invest over $70k on this performance rig?
Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Saleen S302 Black Label.
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."
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
The holy grail of speed has always been the production car speed record. Car companies shoot for this record - if they can - in hopes that they can put their names in the history books. Some of them have succeeded and some have failed, but either way, these machines are fantastic.
Most of the cars on the list are very expensive and only built in limited numbers. You would be hard pressed to find any one of the top ten machines on normal streets. Hell, you would be hard pressed to find these cars on local tracks.
In order to get on the list, the car must be street legal, so no Formula One cars or land speed machines. The laws for getting on the list are also very tough, as there are no set rules. Nonetheless, the current fastest production car hit a speed of 267 miles per hour. Can you guess which car that was?
Hit the jump to find out.
There is another type of Mustang on the way. Welcome to the 2010 SMS 460 Mustang from Steve Saleen’s new company, SMS Supercars. There will only be 25 of these made because the company has already began to work on the new model, the SMS 302 based on the 2011 Mustang and its 5.0-liter V8.
The SMS 460 will come with a supercharged V8 that will crank out 470 horsepower and around 460 pound-feet of torque. The car will get a tweaked suspension and a neat-looking body kit. Plus, with only 25 made, this car will be a collector’s item for years to come.
The SMS 302 should be far better than the current 406 model. The base 302 should have around 450 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. That is far more powerful than the normal Mustang GT. There will also be a supercharged 302 that should be on par with the GT500 and its 550 horsepower.
Then there is the less talked about SMS 351X, which will be the range topper of the SMS line. The company is shooting for around 665 horsepower and about the same amount of torque. That is well over 100 extra ponies than what we find in the crazy fast GT500. Let’s just hope they do something with the car’s suspension.
Saleen unveiled today at the New York Auto Show the S5S Raptor Concept. According to the company the S5S Raptor could enter the market in as little as two years, and should it go forward, it would carry a base price of approximately $185,000.
The Raptor is a two seat mid-engine super car that competes in size and style with core offerings from the most notable of Italian exotic car makes, but with a segment leading 650hp and 630 lb-ft of torque provided by a Saleen 5.0L Supercharged Engine - the source of the S5S designation. Unlike its competitors, the Raptor is designed to digest cellulosic ethanol. This is the same ethanol formula, states Wilbur, that is the official fuel of the 2008 American Le Mans Race Series and the IRL.
The Raptor’s hand-built 5.0L cubic inch engine with its patented twin-screw supercharger delivers its 650 horses at 6300 rpm and hits max torque at just 4400 RPM. This power sits on call beneath the knob of a close ratio 6-speed manual, or optional paddle shifting sequential gearbox. It’s a combination that send Raptor’s rigid aluminum chassis screaming to a top speed of over 200 mph.