It’s hard to believe that it has been almost exactly four years to the day since the 2008 Saleen S5S Raptor Concept made its public debut at the New York Auto Show. It went into the show strictly as a concept, but that didn’t stop hopefuls claiming that it could have hit the market soon after. We never imagined reporting on it again four years later, but here we are.
Since the 2008 New York Auto Show, Saleen has faced its fair share of controversy and cut-backs, as the once prominent Ford Mustang tuner went quiet before announcing that it was solely focusing on parts and accessories. Thankfully however, with Steve Saleen now being able to use the Saleen name in future models after a bitter legal dispute, the 63 year-old has announced that he has ambitious plans to create a successor to the incredible Saleen S7.
Saleen hinted that a future model could be based heavily upon the S5S Raptor, and we don’t blame him, as its styling looks as futuristic and aggressive as ever. Sure a few tweaks here and there would have to be made to the external styling, but we don’t see why Saleen would have to mess with the stunning looks too much.
While speaking to Autoweek, Saleen stated “That’s still a part of our plan. The S5S is still in our planning." We’re honestly not sure why Steve has decided to come out now and speak about this possible supercar, but we’re over the moon as it could mean yet another American-born car to compete with the likes of the equally impressive SSC Tuatara and Hennessey Venom GT.
When the S5S Raptor was originally introduced, it featured a 5.0-liter V8 engine pumping out an incredible 650HP and 600lb-ft of torque. As a result, it could launch to 62 mph in just 3.2 seconds and continue accelerating to in excess of 200 mph, and those performance times are still mighty impressive nowadays.
It’s unclear just when the S5S Raptor could hit the production line, but don’t expect any more than 20 or 30 to be produced with each likely to cost well over $1 million.
Saleen is celebrating 25 years of building custom Ford Mustangs and Blue Oval hot rods. To celebrate the company released the most powerful pony car ever: the Sterling Edition S302E. WardsAuto reports that Saleen is having even bigger plans for the future. One will be an entry in the American Le Mans Series to compete with General Motors Corp.’s Corvette Racing C6.R GT1 squad. But the most important plan is a more conventional – and less expensive – mid-engine performance car to elevate the status of the brand.
The company wants to keep the future supercar in the $150,000 to $200,000 range and, as Paul Wilbur, Saleen president and CEO says "to a nearby Ford GT and noting the new car would abandon the S7’s composite construction for a more conventional aluminum-bodied layout."
Also Saleen says they are not worried about the new CAFE regulation and that they are "ready to embrace green technology", but the company doe not have enough resources for research and development.
Of interest are potential electric and diesel powertrains, both of which naturally produce large amounts of low-end torque and can be tuned for high-performance with modern technology.