Tag Archives: Mustang

SALEEN MUSTANG GETS MORE POWER

By: KATHY JACKSON on November 8, 2004
Original Article: AUTOMOTIVE NEWS, VOL. 79, ISSUE 6120

Dateline: LOS ANGELES —

The 2005 Saleen Mustang will have more power and be sold at more Ford dealerships than the 2004 model. Production began last week.

Saleen Mustangs, built by Saleen Inc. of Irvine, Calif., are aftermarket Mustangs with higher horsepower and sportier looks than production versions.

Saleen Mustangs will come in three models: the base S281 and the supercharged S281 and S281 E.

At the California International Auto Show two weeks ago, Saleen President Steve Saleen said he wants 150 dealerships on board by next spring, up from 75 now. He also said the company is starting a training program to teach dealers how to sell performance vehicles.

All three models will be equipped with 4.6-liter V-8 engines.

The base model, which will be launched this month, makes 325 hp and 240 pounds-feet of torque, compared with 290 hp and 330 poundsfeet of torque for the 2004 model.

The supercharged S281 goes on sale in January. It makes 400 hp, up from 375 last year. Torque is 420 poundsfeet, compared with 415 last year.

The E model will arrive in the spring. It is expected to make more than 500 hp, compared with 445 for the current engine.

Prices will be about $39,000 for the base model, $45,000 for the supercharged model and $55,000 for the E.

2005 SALEEN MUSTANG DEBUT

Photos by: Jim Dvorak
Event: California International Auto Show, Anaheim Convention Center

New Saleen Mustang debuts during
2005 California International Auto Show, Anaheim, CA

2005 S281 Supercharged Saleen Mustang
2005 S281 Supercharged Saleen Mustang

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ANY COLOR YOU WANT, AS LONG AS IT’S ORANGE

Automotive Design & Production
May 2004, Vol. 116 Issue 5

Although some people might think that the long-awaited Ford Escape Hybrid* in actual operation was the big news from the Blue Oval at the New York Auto Show, let’s face it: horsepower rules. So it has to be the Ford Mustang GT-R concept, a bright Valencia Orange 440-hp beast that was the real showstopper–even if Kevin Bacon didn’t have the opportunity to pilot it. About the vehicle, J Mays, Ford group vp, Design, remarked, “We think the Mustang GT-R is an appropriate tribute to the car’s 40th anniversary, and a hint at what’s to come.” (See the cover story of this issue for further clues.) Whether it’s “to come” from Ford or not is probably somewhat of a moot point in that there was care in developing this concept to use lots of existing ’05 Mustang: e.g., 85% of the body components are stock (well, will be when the car comes out this fall) and the Ford Racing “Cammer” crate engine that’s available to racers right out of a catalog (if you have $14,995 that you’d like to put under a hood). The GT-R was built at Saleen Special Vehicles (Troy, MI).

The concept differs from the forthcoming Mustang with items such as fulsome fender flares, giant side air scoops, aero effects, and an unfinished carbon fiber hood with appropriate bulge. And there’s a comparable composite rear spoiler to balance things out. What’s more, there are carbon-fiber belly pans. Inside, there is also carbon fiber, on the IP. As this is a race vehicle, there is a Formula One-style steering wheel fitted: it contains most of the gauge information, with the oil pressure and water temperature gauges being the only two in the IP. Explains Doug Gaffka, design director, Ford Performance Group, “Most racers cobble together interiors. The Formula One-style steering wheel significantly reduces dash gauges to help preserve Mustang’s powerful instrument panel, which is the next evolution of our interior design leadership.” Another thing that isn’t inside: seats other than the driver’s–although there are seat mount tracks on the passenger’s side, just in case.

* Ford executives have been talking about the Escape Hybrid for a long time. Less time, however, than the 37-hour drive around Manhattan that was used to launch the real vehicle (finally). The drive was to prove the fuel efficiency of the Escape Hybrid, which proved that it could get 38 mpg. Among those driving were the soon-to-be mentioned Kevin Bacon. Perhaps if all of the people who have six degrees of separation from him buy one…

SALEEN’S SLEEK, SWIFT MACHINES

By: N.A. on March 28, 2004
Original Article: SUNDAY TIMES, THE (PERTH)

CALIFORNIAN-BASED Saleen has made about 8000 vehicles since it was started in 1983 by avid race-car fan Steve Saleen.

The first saleable Ford-based car came in 1986 when the marque won its first major event at the 24-hour race at Mosport Park, Ontario.

It won there again in 1987 and 1988, becoming the first Ford-powered vehicle to win three consecutive series since the Le Mans campaign in the late 1960s.

Saleen’s cars also won all four SCCA championship titles in 1987.

It raced Indy in 1989 and in 1991 won the SCCA Race Truck Championship using a Saleen Ford Ranger ute.

In 1995 Steve Saleen formed a partnership with TV actor/comedian Tim (the Tool Man) Allen to create a Saleen/Allen Speedlab race team to run Saleen Mustangs in the SCCA series.

It won in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

Saleen now makes seven vehicles: The S281, the high-performance S281-E (each in coupe and convertible) and SR Mustang-based cars, the purpose-built S7 racer and more recently a Ford Focus-based N2O Focus.

It used to make the XR8 ute and a modified Ford Explorer.

Details on Saleen are available from www.saleen.com.

YOUR INVITATION: SA-20 ORDERING OPENS

2003 SA-20 invitation
2003 SA-20 invitation

Standard Features and Specifications:
Saleen S281 4.6L 2V 375 HP Engine
Torque 415 ft lb
Saleen Series IV Screw Type Intercooled Supercharges
Saleen Powerflash Performance Calibration
Differential Gear Ratio 3.27:1
Five Speed Manual Transmission
Saleen Twin Gauge Pod, Boost and Air Temperature
Saleen Performance air filter
Saleen Performance Center Exhaust System
Saleen X-pipe

Air Management Design:
Saleen Urethane Front & Rear fascia, side skirts, side scoops
Saleen S281 rear Extreme Wing
Saleen “blacked-out” front grill treatment
Saleen Lightweight vented composite hood
Saleen 20th Anniversary Tonneau

Racecraft Suspension:
Saleen Variable Rate front and rear springs
Saleen front struts (N2) and upper strut bushings
Saleen rear shocks (N2)
Saleen front sway bar and pivot bushings
High performance Pirelli P7000 tires 255/35ZR18 (Front) 265/35ZR18 (Rear)
Saleen Five spoke Special 20th Anniversary Custom Painted pearl white 9″ wheels
Saleen Valve Stem Caps
Saleen high performance wheel alignment and tuned chassis

Styling and Interior:
Saleen 20th Anniversary Special leather sport seats
Saleen 200 MPH speedometer with white face gauges
Saleen performance driving pedals
Saleen close ratio shifter
Saleen 20th Anniversary Special S281 Graphics and Identification
Saleen Windshield graphic
Saleen Fender Badge
Saleen Serialized engine bay plaque
Saleen Serialized bumper number
Saleen Serialized 20th Anniversary console plaque
Saleen Championship wreaths
Saleen 20th Anniversary Special custom carpet door panels
Saleen 20th Anniversary Special custom floor mats
Saleen 20th Anniversary Special key fob
Saleen “Eagle One” detail kit
Saleen owners document portfolio

Color Combination:
Saleen Factory Paint: Pearl White
20th Anniversary Special black and yellow graphics
20th Anniversary Special custom painted Pearl White wheels

Special Anniversary Delivery:
Airfare
Lodging (one night)
Dinner with Steve Saleen
Presentation during 7th Annual Saleen Car Show (September 13th 2003)

Performance Upgrade Options:
Saleen 13″ Brake System
Saleen Performance Cooling Package
Saleen Maxgrip Differential

Exterior Upgrades:
Wheel and Tire Upgrade with 18″ x 10″ Rear Wheels

Click here to participate in the discussion.

REVVING UP FOR FILM ROLES

By: ANDY SEILER on May 21, 2003
Original Article: USA TODAY

‘Terminator 3’ Pops The Top On A Lexus

The hot movie cars of summer range from affordable to inconceivable to downright illegal:

Mini Coopers, which should have star billing in The Italian Job opening May 30, start at $16,975.

A Ferrari 575 Maranello, driven by Will Smith in Bad Boys II, will set you back more than $200,000. Galpin Motors in North Hills, Calif., is selling the Saleen S7 supercar that’s capable of 200 mph driven by Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty for about $500,000.

Some of the cars in 2 Fast, 2 Furious are not street legal in the USA — at any price.

USA TODAY’s Andy Seiler profiles some of the summer’s wild cars, with stries on how they got there.

Ferraris cut to the chase in ‘Bad Boys II’

“There are some epic, massive car chases in Bad Boys II ,” says director Michael Bay (Pearl Harbor , Armageddon ). “I started to get nervous because we were getting very close to shooting, literally a month away, and we did not have a lead car. It’s very important to get the right car.” When Porsche turned him down, Bay decided to make his own car the star: a Ferrari 550 Maranello.

“When you do this, you need three cars, because otherwise you could be shutting down production. I had a Maranello. But Ferrari doesn’t need to put cars in movies. They make something like 250 a year worldwide. People put themselves on lists that are years out from getting one.”

Luckily, Ferrari lent the production two even grander 575s. “I swore on my life that I wasn’t going to damage these cars,” Bay says. “We used the 550 for the heavy stunt work where we could have totaled it so easily.”

Near the end of shooting, “the Maranello was perfect, not a ding. Then Martin Lawrence was driving, and he suddenly rammed this car into a concrete block. I’m like, ‘Martin, dude, what’s going on?’ ”

The ding was “not bad,” he says.

* Other cars in the film: Hummer H2, Cadillac CTS and Buick’s Blackhawk prototype. Bad guys drive vintage cars: 1968 Pontiac Firebird, 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle and ’70 Nova, 1971 Dodge Super Bee and 1971 Pontiac TransAm.

Supercar, muscle car for “Angels’

The Angels’ cars express their personalities, says Cyril O’ Neil, who as car wrangler for Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle has dealt with every car on the screen. His next project is the Spider-Man sequel.

Demi Moore , as a “fallen (former) Angel,” drives a Ferrari Enzo, Ferrari’s newest supercar. “They are essentially barely street legal Formula One cars,” O’Neil says. “The sticker price on the Enzo, if you could find one on a waiting list, is over $600,000.” Only 399 of these next-generation supercars, which can go 217 mph, are being made. “Like Demi’s character, it’s just pure and raw, but somehow distinctly refined power. It is speed, elegance, and there’s nothing like it in the world.”

Lucy Liu does not drive a car in this second episode of the big-screen series, but the other two Angels make up for it: “Drew Barrymore’s character is a rough-and-tumble let’s-go-get-’em kind of woman, so she drives a classic muscle car, a 1970 Chevelle LS6. It’s actually a clone, which means that it is exactly the same car but not a factory-assembled car. It’s a tough car — we blew the thing probably 10 feet in the air when it exploded.

“Cameron Diaz’s character is, of the three, the motoring and automotive aficionado. She’s a vehicle expert, so she drives a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder. That is one of the rarest cars in the world. There were only 100 ever made between 1959 and 1962. There are a handful of them in the United States. We got it from a private collector, and it’s since been sold for $1.3 million.”

* Other cars in the film: 1967 Shelby Cobra, 1967 GTO Pontiac Special Edition, 2003 Maserati Spyder and an unstoppable Osh Kosh M977 HEMTT (heavy expanded mobility tactical truck). There are Suzuki and Yamaha motorcycles in the film, too.

Mini Coopers get the ‘Job’ done

Director F. Gary Gray jettisoned all the characters and much of the plot from the cult 1969 Michael Caine movie The Italian Job.

But he wanted to keep the heist that could be executed only with Mini Coopers during a traffic jam.

“When I read the script, I wasn’t actually sure that they were coming out with new ones,” says Gray (Set It Off, Friday). “I thought we might have to use the old” Minis, as last summer’s The Bourne Identity did. “It was actually a coincidence that they were going back into production. Now I wish I had stock in BMW (which now makes the cars). I love the old ones, but I really love the new ones.”

Mini USA, which first showcased the car in last summer’s Austin Powers in Goldmember (Caine got to drive one again), provided Gray with 30 cars, including three special electric Minis that aren’t available to consumers for a subway system chase scene. “No combustion engines could be used,” Gray says.

Gray preferred wrecking real cars to simulations because he says audiences disengage when they suspect action is not real.

The Minis turned out to be frustratingly safe. “We had to disconnect all the safety features,” Gray recalls.

In one remarkable shot, Charlize Theron screeches into a small parking space between two SUVs. And yes, that really is Theron driving.

“When we sent our cast into training, it was less about training Charlize than trying to hold her back,” Gray says. “I saw her do two reverse 180s with two cameras mounted on the car. She would test the car beyond its limits — and I would totally freak out.”

‘Terminator 3’ pops the top on a Lexus

Villainous Terminatrix Kristanna Loken drives a Lexus SC hardtop convertible in this movie, which just happens to be the same car driven by Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines director Jonathan Mostow (Breakdown ).

“I wanted a cool convertible that hasn’t been too overexposed in the movies,” Mostow says. “I like the idea of a Terminator driving my car! The car suits her personality. It’s sleek, it’s sexy, it’s powerful and it’s fast — which are all traits that fit the character.

“It was a very strange sensation to destroy a car you own,” Mostow says. “Same color, same interior, same exterior colors. I take good care of my car. I love my car.”

Two of the convertibles were destroyed, but Mostow felt less sentimental about the loss of a dozen Toyota Tundra pickups. They were wrecked, and shot from every angle, to create the illusion of just one being destroyed.

“That’s how warped Hollywood filmmaking has become,” Mostow says. “I tell the car company, ‘We’ve got to destroy $150,000 worth of cars.’ And they said, ‘No problem.’ ”

These cars are ‘2 Fast 2 Furious’

“The Mitsubishi Evo that Paul Walker drives is an extension of him,” says 2 Fast 2 Furious director John Singleton.

“It’s kind of cool, because the Evolution VII is the dream car of a lot of people who are into import racing,” Singleton says. “There’s a whole culture of people who are into the whole scene of import racing. The cars are too fast, and they don’t meet U.S. standards, but some people get the cars anyway.

“I think you can get the Evo in the States, but you can’t get a Nissan Skyline GTR, another car Paul drives, because it’s not U.S. street legal. The Skyline has right-handed steering, and it’s like 500 horsepower.”

Walker also drives a Chevrolet Yenko Camaro.

Because the characters in the film are themselves car fanatics, their cars are meant to look like a vehicle they would have designed themselves.

“While Paul’s car is more subdued, more of a racing car, Tyrese Gibson plays a flashy guy, so Tyrese’s car (a Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder) is flashier: more rims, a flashier paint job.”

Gibson also drives a 1970 Dodge Challenger Hemi.

“Suki, played by Devon Aoki , is a live-action girl who looks like an anime character. So her car is a Honda S2000, supercharged and tricked out, with pink neon trim and everything.”

Other cars in the film: 1994 Toyota Supra, 1995 Mazda RX7, 1994 Acura NSX and a 2003 Dodge truck, making this manna for car mavens for the price of a movie ticket.

WILD HORSES: SALEEN S7S, MODIFIED MUSTANGS

By: GERRY MALLOY on August 31, 2002
Original Article: TORONTO STAR (CANADA)

Supercar, Muscle Car Combo Drives Early Racing Success

Steve Saleen stunned the automotive press at the Monterey Historic Races at Laguna Seca when he not only announced that he was going into the supercar business, but unveiled a sleek prototype.

That was two years ago. Much has happened since.

The high-performance, mid-engined supercar is the purest form of the modern automobile.

Exemplified by such exotica as the Ferrari F50, Lamborghini Murcielago and McLaren F1, it is a barely tamed race-car, adapted for use on the street.

Predominantly a product of Europe, the genre has been the subject of numerous North American concept cars. The few attempts that have been made to build and market such cars on this continent have ended in ignominy.

Saleen aims to break that pattern. If anyone outside the Big Three can do it, he is probably the one.

He is already well on his way. When I visited the Saleen assembly plant in Irvine, Calif., his fabricators were working on chassis number 19 in the company’s S7 lineage.

Not only does he have the facilities and expertise to achieve his production goal of 15 to 20 vehicles a year, he has the critical mass to support it; he is also building 20 Saleen Mustangs a week in the same plant.

Total production of those highly modified Mustangs has approached 10,000 units over the 19 years since he began the business.

Saleen himself is a racer at heart. He competed in everything from autocross and Formula Atlantic to Trans-Am and Indy cars.

He is a businessman, with a degree from USC and a flair for promotion. He is the most successful private North American auto manufacturer in modern history.

Because most of his creations are Mustang-based, many regard Saleen as little more than a tuner. But the changes he makes to the Mustangs are such that the cars must be individually certified for both emissions and crash-test performance.

So Saleen’s operations are afforded full-fledged manufacturer status.

Everything about his 14,000-square-metre plant, located in the heart of California’s aerospace and automotive community, supports that designation.

The Mustangs are disassembled as they arrive from Ford, then they go on dollies through a 13-station assembly line, each with its own team and tasks, for reconstruction.

Saleen supplies three body styles: coupe, roadster and speedster for each of three models, designated S281, S281 Supercharged and S281-E.

The number 281 derives from the displacement, in cubic inches, of the Ford 4.6-litre SOHC V8 that serves as a base for modification.

In S281 trim, the Saleen engine is rated at 285 hp. Adding a supercharger bumps that figure to 365, and the E-model raises it again, to 425 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque – which is delivered through a six-speed, quick-ratio manual gearbox.

Suspension, drivetrain, brakes, interior, wiring, front and rear fascias, hoods, and, in some cases, even external body panels, are replaced by Saleen-designed and, in many cases, Saleen-produced components.

Many of the cars are fitted with full roll cages.

A separate finishes-and-composites division, soon to be integrated into the main plant, is responsible for manufacturing many of those parts, and for finishing them and the cars themselves in a range of exclusive and evocatively-named Saleen colours, including Lizstick red, named for his wife.

The combined operations employ more than 150 people, including a support team for Saleen-owners’ many racing efforts.

The success of Saleen’s Mustangs on the track have pushed him and his cars into the limelight, and supported the success of the manufacturing business..

The real excitement these days lies on the other side of the shop in the eight race-car bays where the exotic S7s and S7Rs (the racing versions) are assembled.

Developed with Ray Mallock, a British race- and specialty-car builder of considerable repute, the original protype supercar was as stunning as its Laguna Seca announcement.

Long and low, with the engine amidships and air vents everywhere (every one with a purpose, Saleen says), its silhouette showed the influence of cars such as the Jaguar XK 220 and Lamborghinis and Bugattis.

But it had its own distinctive form.

It remains powered by a 7.0-litre, OHV V8, which had its genesis as a Ford service-parts aluminum racing block, but is now all-Saleen.

The engine is rated at 550 hp at 6400 rpm, and 525 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm – more in racing trim, and more than enough to make it a supercar.

Just as impressive are the rest of its credentials, which resonate pure race car: lightweight tubular-steel space frame with aluminum honeycomb structural panels; carbon-fibre body panels; double-wishbone front-and-rear suspensions; six-speed transaxle; and gigantic Brembo brakes.

Some members of the automotive press, who had seen such hopes raised and dashed before, dismissed the idea as a publicity stunt or a dream.

Saleen made believers by fielding a racing version of the prototype – which showed considerable promise – before the end of the year.

In 2001, an S7R won the 12-hours of Sebring, beating GM’s Corvette C5-Rs, qualified on the GTS class pole and finished on the GTS podium at Le Mans, and propelled lead driver Terry Borcheller to the ALMS GTS driver’s championship, beating out Ron Fellows (who’s dominating this season).

Saleen S7Rs won four separate championships in Europe and North America in their first full year.

Some people, Saleen says, have suggested that he is in the production car business just to support his racing habit – a motivation Enzo Ferrari openly admitted. But he claims it is the other way around; he races to support his production car business.

The production cars reflect this. They have high quality materials throughout, impeccable workmanship and a host of premium features, including a custom-fitted driving seat, an integrated DVD/GPS/TV/NAV-system, and custom-fitted luggage by Mulholland Brothers.

Would you expect less for US$395,000? Automobiles Bugatti of Montreal has been appointed Canadian distributor for the S7, which, Saleen says, will comply with all Canadian regulations, but price and delivery details have yet to be determined.

POWER PASSION DOESN’T GO FOR A SONG

By: ROB GUEST on June 15, 2002
Original Article: HERALD SUN (MELBOURNE)

I LOVE cars. At the last count, I have owned 85 since I began driving in New Zealand at the age of 15. That works out to about two different cars a year.

But I would have to go a long way to beat my latest, a 2001 Saleen Mustang Speedster.

I bought the Mustang, fully imported from the US, on impulse one afternoon while driving around North Sydney.

I just traded in the BMW on the spot, because I loved the Mustang the minute I saw it.

I have owned Jaguars, Porsches, BMWs, a Lotus Esprit and Mercedes but one thing is certain: my passion has cost me a lot of money.

Probably the worst deal I have made was when I bought a black Lotus Esprit Turbo S4. It had been first prize in a raffle. It was worth $215,000 on the road, so I said I would buy it if the highest offer was less than $130,000.

I was doing Phantom of the Opera at the time and my mobile phone rang during the interval to say I had been successful.

I had to sell my Mercedes 500SL Convertible to pay for it and the Lotus proved to be a very unwise investment.

I later sold it for $115,000 with only 3000km on the clock. It was a great car to drive. It would go from nought to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds, but to reach the handbrake I had to rest my head on the windscreen.

My mum has seen at first hand my impulsive nature. I was out with her one day in my black Jaguar XJ6.

I saw a Triumph Stag on a stand at a car dealership. I pulled over, worked out the difference in the changeover, had the stereo moved into the Stag and half an hour later we were off again, in the new car.

The problem is, you never make money on cars. Luxury cars are just that… you never make money on them.

But I just love cars and I always will.

FELLOWS’ WIN BREAKS BAD LUCK SPELL AT SEBRING

By: RICK MATSUMOTO on March 17,2002
Original Article: TORONTO STAR (CANADA)

Ron Fellows has finally captured the elusive 12 Hours of Sebring.

The Mississauga driver brought the Corvette C5-R across the finish line at Florida’s 3.7-mile Sebring International Raceway last night at the head of the GTS class.

The victory came in the fourth attempt by Fellows and Corvette Racing to win the Sebring race, which along with the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Daytona, is considered one of the three major endurance events of world sports car racing.

“Finally, we finally did it,” said a relieved Fellows on the victory podium.

While Fellows, who had put the Corvette on the pole in qualifying, started and finished the race, he shared the driving with long-time co-driver Johnny O’Connell and newcomer Oliver Gavin.

Fellows’ car finished ninth overall, after covering 317 laps, 29 laps behind the winning Audi.

Interestingly, Gavin was one of the three drivers in the Saleen Mustang that upset Fellows and Corvette in last year’s Sebring race. This year, the Saleen S7R placed second with 309 laps.

Fellows had been the surprise overall winner of the 2001 24 Hours of Daytona a month earlier and had been the heavy favourite to win at Sebring. However, major mechanical problems allowed the Saleen to take the checkered flag in the GTS class.

This year Corvette Racing decided to pass up the Daytona race and concentrate its efforts on producing a reliable, as well as quicker, car for Sebring.

Audi, with lead driver Johnny Herbert driving the last hour, won the Prototype 900 class and the overall title for the third consecutive year.

PENSKE TOPS IRL: Helio Castroneves, a pilot for the IRL-interloper Marlboro Team Penske, captured pole position for today’s 200-lapper at Phoenix International Raceway by turning in a blistering lap of 20.0124 seconds around the one-mile oval – a speed of 179.888 m.p.h.

Castroneves nipped defending race winner Sam Hornish Jr. by 0.017 of a second to capture his first IRL pole.