Saleen Automotive, North America’s premiere specialty vehicle manufacturer announces its very aggressive 2008 MY product line up. The "Extreme", along with 6 other models in Saleen’s 2008 model line up, made its world debut on the runways of the retired El Toro Airport in Southern California.
The S302E raises the bar for American performance cars while never sacrificing style and control. New for 2008, the car affectionately known as the "Extreme" boasts a "Saleen built" 302 cubic inch engine augmented by a patented Saleen twin-screw, intercooled supercharger. The combination delivers an unprecedented 620 Hp and 600 ft-lb of neck snapping, tire
"We believe that we are in the process of creating a legendary new car. It’s thrilling," says Saleen President and CEO, Paul Wilbur. "It seemed to make sense that as we go into our 25th Anniversary as a manufacturer in North America that we make our best and most powerful car yet."
The Hardware and Engineering
In the automotive history books, all great cars incorporate great hardware — the S302E is no different. The new "Extreme" features a litany of high quality performance parts that are a direct reflection of the company’s race engineering heritage, combined with the best thinking in automotive OEM performance engineering.
The unique motor in the "Extreme" features a forged crank, forged connecting rods, individually blueprinted pistons, a 5 axis CNC aluminum cylinder head, high flow fuel injectors and high performance forged camshafts. All of these components have been orchestrated to mesh masterfully together, coupled to our best-in-class patented Saleen twin screw supercharger. When married to a short throw 6 speed manual transmission and a Max-grip rear differential, the "Extreme" screams to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds and clicks through the quarter mile in just under 12 seconds.
"This place represents a kind of automotive ’mecca’ for me. We are making limited volume performance vehicles for people who really love cars, by people who really love cars. I cannot think of a better place to put my 35 years of OEM engineering history to work," says Vice Chairman and Chief Technical Officer Chris Theodore. Theodore is best known as being the father of the Ford GT while Vice President of Advance Product Development at Ford Motor Company. "Now I am helping build great Saleen cars in the same factory that I architected for the legendary Ford GT."
"This is the best motor that we have ever done," says Powertrain Engineering Lead Rob Simons. "We have really benefited from having Chris (Theodore) around. He brings perspective and experience to the company unlike anything that we have known prior."
To get that kind of performance, the team had to get S302E’s power to the ground. This is accomplished with standard 20 inch, 5 spoke forged aluminum alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero ’Russo’ tires. Since power is nothing without control, the "Extreme" also features a Saleen Racecraft suspension and an all new, second generation Watts Link system that is sure to help the driver maintain control through the corners. The chassis system is rounded out by upgraded 4 wheel disc brakes with ABS and traction control. This performance brake system features 15" vented, slotted rotors with 6 piston calipers in the front and 11.8" rear vented discs with single piston calipers in the rear.
"This was an interesting challenge for me. Everything I learned from the past on the S7 race team was put into play for this year’s production models. The result is one that I am sure that the market is going to love," says Chassis and Dynamics Team Lead, Derk Hartland.
Most people associate exotic performance only with European made vehicles. We are committed to make Saleen synonymous with the best breeds in the world, and to do so from a perspective that is fundamentally American.
Saleen has accomplished that in racing with the S7, and we like to think that the S7 has helped establish our pedigree. We are now taking that experience and making it slightly more attainable in a way that is sure to surprise our customers. That is the goal of the "Extreme" and the foundation of a plan that we call the Reawakening of Saleen.
The Reawakening of Saleen is a focus on the fundamentals of the enthusiast customer, led by a solid commitment to great products. The strategy of the reawakening is a simple one ... over promise and under deliver. That is what you will find in the "Extreme", and that is what you should expect from Saleen moving forward.
Production and Pricing
The new S302 E is slated to begin production in early December with advanced orders being accepted as early as November 16th.
"Unlike past Extreme models, the customer for the 2008 Extreme can expect to have their car built within days of placing an order," says Marques McCammon, General Manager of Saleen Automotive. However, the 2008 Extreme production will be very limited to only a select number of enthusiasts and will retail for $79,995. "We are confident that our buyers will be very hard pressed to find another vehicle with this performance, this level of balance, and a factory warranty for this price," says McCammon.