Saleen may have built its reputation on tuning the most iconic American cars like the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, and Dodge Challenger, but company front-man Steve Saleen seems bent on making his mark in the budding performance electric car category as well.
Rumors have circulated for more than a year regarding Saleen’s entrance into the category, with TopSpeed’s own firsthand confirmation coming from Steve himself in a late-2013 interview.
Well the rumors and speculation can all be put to rest as the company debuts the Saleen Tesla Model S Foursixteen at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. This Tesla Model S receives a bespoke exterior design, interior updates, and of course, increases in power and performance.
Thankfully this isn’t some one-off show car, but rather a pre-production example of what will be publicly available to those looking for extra spice in their Model S. The performance upgrades include a sport-tuned suspension, bigger brakes, upgraded rear differential, and more aggressive aerodynamic surfaces.
Updated 9/8/2014: Saleen has revealed a video of the Foursixteen in action, and "breaking the sound barrier." It doesn’t literally break the sound barrier, like supersonic jet, but rather it makes a noise unlike any other Tesla Model S. Have a look at the video (above) and let me know if you think the noise is cool or annoying as all hell.
Updated 11/21/2014: Saleen announced it has now begun deliveries of the Model S based Saleen Foursixteen. Next to the 2014 model, the company is also accepting orders for the 2015 model lineup, including 60, 85, and P85D Model S chassis. Details after the jump.
Click past the jump for all the info on the Saleen Tesla Model S Foursixteen.
The 2005 S281 is Saleen’s first all-new car in this market segment since they began manufacturing automobiles more than two decades ago. And by ’new’, that means changes are more than skin deep. There is an all-new all-aluminum 281-cubic-inch 3-valve V8 matched to a slick-shifting 5-speed manual gearbox. The suspension is totally new with an advanced MacPherson strut design up front and a three-link live rear axle with a Panhard rod at the rear. The improvements in handling have to be driven to be believed.