Saleen Automotive took the wraps off of its 2008 MY product during an exclusive press event held on the runway of the retired the El Toro Marine base. The new product launch is designed to show the world why Saleen is and will continue to be America’s premiere niche vehicle manufacturer.
Among the new 2008 MY products is a model line that has been coded H and features two new vehicles, the H302 producing 390HP and the H302SC with 580HP. The Heritage line vehicles represent a new interpretation of the Saleen aesthetic. Both models include Saleen built engines and honor the traditional Mustang heritage.
"The ’H’ designator signifies Heritage," says Marques McCammon, General Manager of Saleen Automotive. "These models honor some the great heritage of the Mustang in a way that is uniquely Saleen."
The H line draws its inspiration from the late sixties Boss 302 Mustang and is a real compliment to the Ford family Heritage," says Saleen Vice Chairman and Chief Technical Officer, Chris Theodore.
Both vehicles feature an all new, Saleen built, 302 cubic inch engine that represents a marriage of race technology and production performance engineering.
Saleen started with 5 axis CNC ported cylinder heads then added a new forged crankshaft, forged connecting rods, forged aluminum pistons, performance crankshafts and high flow fuel injectors. The result is a 390Hp engine that provides the heart of the new H302.
"The 302 engine is the best engine that we have ever done," states Rob Simons, Saleen Powertrain Lead.
If the H302 has not harnessed enough horses for your taste, the engineering team at Saleen has added their patented twin screw intercooled supercharger to serve as the core for the H302SC giving it a pavement pounding 580Hp and 525 lb-ft of torque.
This engine, when married to a smooth shifting short throw and six speed manual transmission, gives the H302SC a performance profile comparable to any contemporary exotic, but in a way that is truly American.
As with every Saleen, the new H line vehicles are more than just powertrains. Both vehicles feature custom Saleen Racecraft suspensions tune specifically to the vehicles weight and horsepower profiles giving them responsiveness and stability.
"Many companies simply throw horsepower at a vehicle without adequate consideration to making the power usable. We look to find balance, and that is the difference between Saleen as a manufacturer and the typical aftermarket tuner," says Theodore.
Stopping power for the H302SC is delivered by standard 14" front vented slotted rotors grabber by 6 piston calipers. Control is augmented by the 4 wheel ABS and brake assisted traction control. Lateral stability is enhanced by a Gen 2 Watts Link system that is option on the H302 and standard on the H302SC. Grip is provided by Pirelli wrapped 19" Forged aluminum Alloy wheels that are available in bright painted silver or chrome. On the H302SC customers can opt up for a 19" 7 spoke painted forged wheel.
"The market has not driven a Saleen like our new Heritage line. They have great throttle response, they shift smoothly and they carve through the corners," says Chassis and Dynamics Engineering Lead, Derk Hartland.
Styling and Design
As with all Saleen vehicles, the H line leaves nothing to be desired from a styling perspective. The H302 features eye popping aesthetics like the new front and rear fascias, rockers and heritage spoiler. The exterior package is rounded out by the matt black body graphics and the shaker hood which is featured on the H302. On the supercharged model a power bulge aluminum hood with functional cooling vents brings function to form. On the inside, the unique seat trim features stone gray Alcantara accents and a laser etched shift knob.
Production and Pricing
The H302 began production in October and the H302SC is slated to begin production in early December. The naturally aspirated car’s production will be limited to 500 units and the supercharged car will be more exclusive at only 200 units. Both the H302 and the H302SC feature a manufacturer’s bumper to bumper warranty: 3 years and 36000 miles on the H302, 12 months and 12,000 miles on the H302SC.
"We tried to make sure that we kept the vehicles attainable while maintaining their exclusivity," says McCammon. The base price of the H302 is set at $56,999 with the H302SC slightly higher at $74,999.