Fastest American Cars
While most people might automatically assume some of the fastest cars ever made are from Europe or Japan, that simply isn’t the case because you’ve got some pretty serious speed machines conceived right here at home. My list comprises cars from both mainstream automakers and boutique manufacturers who produce just a handful of super-exotics per year.
Amazing Car for Sale: 2007 Saleen S7 LM
Saleen has built some high-performance cars since its inception, but the most prominent one is the S7. This mid-engined, hand-built sports car stayed in production for about a decade. The S7 was powered by an all-aluminum V-8 engine that produced 550 horses in its first run until 2005 and was then updated to make 750 ponies in the later model years.
The S7 was a high-profile car and you don’t see many on the road or up for sale very often. However, one example from 2007 has arrived at Bring-a-Trailer and it is already commanding a price of over half-a-million bucks!
This Saleen-inspired Fender Stratocaster is a carbon-fiber work of art
Cars and guitars have worked well together since the early days of rock’n roll. Musicians like Eric Clapton, Jamiroquai, and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason are avid car collectors. Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson also owned an impressive fleet of limousines and sports cars.
Come 2020 and Fender pays tribute to the sports car market with a guitar inspired by the Saleen S1. The limited-edition six-string is based on the iconic Stratocaster, but it’s a more modern rendition made with different materials and different design. A Stratocaster for the modern guitarist.
2020 Saleen GT4 Concept Race Car
Saleen unveiled last weekend in Las Vegas the concept version of its upcoming GT4 racer based on the Saleen One mid-engined supercar. The American manufacturer, known for making the ludicrous S7 for years, plans to have a few cars on the grid in the 2020 season of the Pirelli GT4 America championship. With 450 horsepower from a turbocharged 2.2-liter four-pot, the car is priced at $225,000.
Saleen is back in the game after entirely too many years away. It’s been a full decade since the twin-turbocharged version of the S7 hypercar retired from active competition. Since then, S7 examples have been seen huffing and puffing during historic racing meetings but the company that made them laid dormant until about 12 months ago when it announced a full-blown single-make series revolving its new product, known at the time as the Saleen S1. Plans for a GT4-spec car were outlined at the time and, following the success of the single-make series, Saleen now follows up on its promises and has unveiled the GT4 racer that will take on the best from Porsche, McLaren, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-AMG, Chevrolet, and many others.
No Manual Chevy C8 Corvette Means Spending $100,000 on the American-Built 2020 Saleen S1 Might Not Be a Bad Proposition
The 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette is the first Corvette offered without a manual transmission. This is bad news for old-school enthusiasts, but Chevy has solid arguments for the drop. The C8 Corvette would need a bespoke transmission that’s not worth the hassle given that sales of manual Corvettes dropped dramatically in recent years. But if you can’t stand the idea of an automatic Corvette, the Saleen S1 is an alternative you should consider.
Saleen S7 Supercar Makes a Comeback with Le Mans Edition and 1,300 HP
After launching its first original design in more than a decade at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show,, Saleen Automotive revealed plans to revive the S7 supercar with a new special-edition model. Yes, the "new" S7 is actually the old car with the same design, but the Southern Californian tuning shop is spicing things up with a new, significantly more powerful engine. The S7 in question is called the Le Mans Edition and stands out, compared to its predecessor, thanks to a twin-turbo V-8 rated at more than 1,000 horsepower!
2019 Saleen S1
Established in 1983, Saleen quickly became one of America’s most renowned Ford Mustang tuners. Already a highly praised company in the 1990s, Saleen became a full-fledged automaker by launching the S7 in 2000. One of the first hand-built American supercars, the S7 went on to become a legend and survived for no fewer than nine years on the market. Once it discontinued the S7, Saleen went back to modifying muscle cars, providing upgrades not only for the Mustang but for the Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger (and even the Tesla Model S) too. But it seems that Saleen is now ready to launch its second original design. It’s called the S1, and it was introduced at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.
The small sports car is a surprising appearance. Not only it came out of nowhere, but it also arrived at a time when Saleen barely emerged from years of struggling with financial difficulties. And the California-based firm has big plans with the S1, hoping to sell more than 1,500 units a year in the U.S. alone. The two-door is also built from scratch by the American company, which is a big feat given that Saleen was almost bankrupt a few years ago. But it’s worth mentioning that Saleen isn’t alone in this project. The S1 is actually made by Jiangsu Saleen Automotive Technologies Group, a company based in China that is building a billion-dollar manufacturing facility in the country.
Saleen also revealed that the S1 project began a few years ago when the firm purchased the tooling for the Artega GT, a German sports car designed by Henrik Fisker in the late 2000s. Launched in 2009, the GT was short-lived, being discontinued when Artega went bankrupt in 2012. However, the S1 isn’t based on the GT. Saleen found that an update wasn’t feasible and designed a new coupe from scratch.
Continue reading to find out more about the Saleen S1.
The Saleen S1 is a Big Beast in a Little Body
Seventeen years ago, the Saleen S7 burst into our lives as a hand-built, high-performance American supercar. It came from the mind of Steve Saleen, who made his fame designing six generation’s worth of Saleen-tuned Mustangs. Fast forward to this year and history has repeated itself. Saleen is back in the spotlight with a new supercar. It’s called the Saleen S1, and it’s the two-seater supercar we never knew we wanted…until now.
The Saleen S1 Can be Yours for $1,000 Deposit; $100,000 Total; Deliveries Start in Mid-2018
As far as car designers go, Steve Saleen is a legend among legends. The man responsible for six generations of Saleen Mustangs is back in the game with a new offering. It’s called the S1 supercar, and it’s a furious little piece that packs a walloping 450-horsepower on a 2,685-pound carbon fiber body. The S1 made its presence known at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, and it’s the latest masterpiece from a mind that’s responsible for giving us more Saleen Mustangs than our fragile hearts could handle. Oh, and he’s also the architect of the S7 supercar, the 550-horsepower supercar that blew everyone’s mind back in 2001. The S1 is the latest in a long line of iconic builds, and it’s arrived to take money out of our wallets. Are your bank accounts ready?
Saleen Teases the New S1 Just Days Before its Debut
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 to Bring New S1 Sports Car to L.A Auto Show
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.
2017 Saleen S7 Le Mans Limited Edition
Back in August of 2000 Saleen pulled the sheet off of the first American mid-engined production supercar known as the Saleen S7. Powered by a worked over, Ford 351 Windsor engine, this 550 horsepower supercar set the standard for other mid-engined production cars like the Falcon F7, Alessi AR-1, and the SSC Ultimate Aero. The S7 was only produced from 2000 to 2006 and carried on practically unchanged for each year it was in production. In 2006, Saleen pulled the sheet off of a twin-turbo version that rocked two Garrett turbochargers, but despite its impressive 750-horsepower output, never made it into production. With 2016 marking the 20th anniversary of Saleen’s seven-year championship run in racing, it has decided to build a special-edition version of the S7 called the LM.
Steve Saleen, the man behind the company and the initial designer of the S7 Prototype, said, “True to our form; we are bringing back America’s only true supercar. We are celebrating our winning heritage and advancing the performance DNA that Saleen was built around.”
At his point, very little is known about the S7 LM, but we do know that it will have enough power to beat out even the twin-turbo prototype from 2006 and will take on some unique updates to bring it up to speed with the rest of the world. It will be completely hand built and produced in just seven examples, all of which are probably already spoken for. So, let’s dive on in and take a look at the S7 LM and discuss it in more detail.
Continue reading to learn more about the Saleen S7 Le Mans Limited Edition.
Ford Dealers Are Suing Saleen For Breach Of Contract
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.
Depending on who you ask, the first American supercar was either the 1911 Mercer Raceabout or the 1992 Vector W8. However, when it comes to production supercars, the 2001 Saleen S7 is widely regarded as America’s first effort in that direction. It’s been 15 years since Saleen introduced the S7 and 11 since it was discontinued, and all the remaining inventory, parts, memorabilia, molds, designs, and intellectual property related to the supercar are up for sale.
The offer also includes the 2001 Saleen S7R race car, as well as the 2008 Saleen S5S Raptor Concept the American brand designed in 2007. The assets and intellectual property to all three cars can be purchased via GA Global Partners, which is currently accepting bids on the whole bundle.
The sale comes amid financial troubles for Saleen Automotive, but the actual seller of the assets is Hancock Park Associates, the private equity firm that has controlled the brand for a few years. The company held onto some Saleen products when founder Steve Saleen regained control of the brand.
According to GA Global Partners, the assets, which include the six remaining chassis and frames from the S7 supercar, have been kept in safe storage for the past five years.
Continue reading for the full story.
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.
The aftermarket tuner Saleen has found itself in rather dire financial straits. The company’s recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show the company is hemorrhaging money faster than Donald Trump could make it. The official 10-Q Form shows the company only has $7,261 cash on hand.
And that’s not even the worst of it. The company has $5.6 million in liabilities it owes. It’s getting sued by a bank for non-payment of loans, it owes some $95,600 in legal fees, and it has $583,900 in unpaid payroll taxes. All of Saleen’s assets only total $668,629.
The numbers only continue to get worse. Year-over-year revenue is down by nearly half, between July and September 2014 – a three-month period – the company lost more than $2 million and its cash on hand dropped from $1.5 million to the measly $7,261 reported above.
Sadly, it’s hard to say that money went to worthwhile causes. Research and development costs – usually some of the largest expenditures for a car company – are only listed at $250,130 while some $443,767 was spent on sales and marketing costs such as auto shows and photography. Keep in mind Saleen’s current R&D includes juicing up the new 2015 Ford Mustang and the Tesla Model S; two projects that would likely be expensive.
While it’s tough to speculate, it seems the only real saving grace would be a car-loving benefactor who could swoop in, knock out debt and give sound business advice. Someone call Marcus Lemonis of The Profit.
Click past the jump to read more about Saleen’s latest problems.