Tag Archives: Saleen

CRADLE TO GRAVE

By: DUTCH MANDEL on September 25, 2000
Original Article: AUTOWEEK, VOL. 50, ISSUE 40

With his six-figure S7 supercar,
Steve Saleen aims to prove he’s not just another pretty tuner

The question resonates like a church bell at high noon: Does the world need another supercar? If Steve Saleen is tugging the rope, the answer is listen. And watch.

At Monterey in late August, we watched Saleen unveil the S7, his latest-and to date, grandest-effort in the specialty car manufacturing universe. S7 is aeroslick and represents for Saleen the culmination of more than 17 years of car building and car racing efforts. The recipe for S7, while simple, is nonetheless ambitious: It bakes in tried and true manufacturing processes with robust performance hardware. Its skin is wind-tunnel honed, its interior is a combination of utilitarian and exotic design. How well it runs is a question that must wait until the second quarter of next year when Saleen himself promises customer cars will be ready for delivery.

Sign up today and be first on your block to get yours for $375,000.

S7, Saleen touts, is going to be a supercar unlike any other. While that is an automotive mantra we’ve heard before-can you say Bricklin, DeLorean, Mosler, Weigert?-there are reasons to believe some of Saleen’s claims. What he says has a throw-weight behind it others did not. Take for example Saleen’s small-batch manufacturing experience as well as the ever-important financing courtesy of mega-busi-ness guru Tony Johnson, head of Hidden Creek Industries, a $6.5 billion company.

That Steve himself asserts that S7 will have performance superior to that of the upcoming Mercedes Vision SLR supercar is reason enough to raise hackles of skepticism. That he plans to charge half again the price of the SLR’s reported $250,000 for his car leaves us flat dumbstruck. Still, admire his chutzpah.

The S7 is so named for a combination of Saleen and the car’s 7.0-liter powerplant displacement. Though targeted at a highly rarefied market, its genesis is aimed at driving home a much larger point: That Saleen does not make “tuner” cars.

Saleen tells all who’ll listen that he’s a specialty manufacturer who undertakes far greater effort and overcomes greater obstacles than those who merely bolt on fiber wings or pop in performance chips. Aside from completely stripping each car with which he begins the Saleen transformation, his company has learned to leap through state and federal regulatory hoops, create shop and owner manuals, establish a dealer network and provide customer warranties, to name just a few steps. These efforts go well beyond what tuners can and will do for customers; they are the efforts of carmakers. By the end of this year, Saleen will have built in his history a total of 8000 cars.

“Given what we’ve done with Mustangs-our touching every element on these cars-this S7 is the next step,” says Saleen. “We were convinced [we could do this project] after we showed the Saleen SR, a Mustang derivative that debuted at the L.A. auto show, which had everything changed on it but the window glass.”

According to Saleen, that car was well-received, along with its $158,000 price tag. “That [SR] was our catalyst for the next generation of cars.”

His next-generation car, this car, starts with a simple tube-frame chassis and honeycomb construction, a basic layout with a long wheelbase and compact drivetrain that allows for a roomy interior. Saleen subcontracted chassis design and manufacture to Ray Mallock Ltd., a British firm that specializes in building race-winning touring cars.

Reasons for dishing out the chassis were many. First, RML knows racing; it has won multiple British Touring Car Championships-driver and constructor-in recent years. (No wonder S7’s chassis is something like you’d see in the sports car racing world.) Because it knows racing, it knows design, manufacturing speed and flexibility-keys to a project like this. As is the case with many race car builders, RML wants to grow outside its competition confines and into the “real” car world. Finally, RML gives Saleen a ready-made European delivery outlet for these cars; Saleen plans to have S7 sold worldwide, and as such it has been engineered with both left- and right-hand-drive models.

RML will supply Saleen with a complete chassis and suspension with uprights, parts that are broken down and air-freighted to Saleen’s Irvine, California, manufacturing center. Once in California, Saleen will drop in a Ford 7.0-liter, all-aluminum 427 engine mated to a six-speed ZF transaxle.

As for performance, well, Saleen makes super claims: The S7’s 550-horsepower engine will move it to 60 mph from a standing start in less than four seconds, with a top speed in excess of 200 mph. “The drivetrain is a derivative of both our racing and production knowledge that we’ve gained over 17 years,” Saleen says.

The S7’s interior can best be described as spartan elegant. Spread throughout is Connolly leather and suedes, brushed aluminum touch pieces and ever popular “jewel-like” gauges. According to Saleen, the effort is “to put a premium on the cockpit without compromising performance.” If you have a chance to sit in an S7, you’ll notice the cabin is slightly asymmetrical. The effect is to have the driver sit more inboard. But once in S7, you’re there.

“If you’re looking for ease of entry and exit, you may want to get a [Ford] Focus,” says Saleen with a chuckle, and adds that “once in the car, you’ll be well wrapped.” Call it a nod to its racing heritage, but S7 has a removable steering wheel that clearly aids getting in and out.

A rooftop scoop forces cooling air into the engine, which may be key for performance cars, but does little to increase rearward visibility. To that end, Saleen incorporates a rearward-mounted television camera and couples it to an in-dash monitor that gives the driver a clear view of what evil may lie behind S7.

As for its exterior design, it was a semi-collaborative effort between Saleen himself and longtime Saleen designer Phil Frank. Still, the absolute shape is the result of many hours working with a one-third-scale model in a rolling plane wind tunnel. Obviously, not an inexpensive undertaking, but one Saleen sees as paramount to making S7 both visually rakish and stable at high speeds.

Saleen sees S7’s competition measured two ways: price and performance. Naturally, less-expensive supercars are the Lamborghini Diablo, Jaguar XJ220, Lotus, Porsche and some Ferraris. Additionally, he points to the aged McLaren F1, a $1 million technological toy, as the kind of car his might run for pinks.

Saleen sees a three- to four-year production run for S7 with a total of 300 to 400 built for world-wide sale. Among his targeted buyers are newly rich e-commerce mavens, but he’ll gladly sell to anyone with the cash.

“The car is built with a big frame, and that will allow for the professional athlete and that level of demographic,” he says.

S7 will not be able to push aside its racing heritage. Eventually it will make its way to competition on the racetrack in sports car racing-the arena where Saleen feels most at home.

When Steve talks, he shifts between the first and third person. The effect is disconcerting, but what to do if your name is on the car? “The total concept is 100 percent Saleen. We wanted to do a high-performance, worldwide vehicle.

“I’ve wanted to do a mid-engined, two-seat sports car for a long time. We have been making a hard push to get people to understand Saleen is not a tuner. We want to produce vehicles as we do now-from cradle to grave-and this is a proof of concept for what Saleen has already done.”

Sorry to disappoint, Steve, but proof of the status you seek comes later, when and if the current iteration of Saleen is still in business, having made enough money to tool up and manufacture the car that comes after S7.

BUILT FOR SPEED

By: DAVID ORLOFF on September 18, 2000
Original Article: ORANGE COUNTY BUSINESS JOURNAL, VOL. 23, ISSUE 38

After Revving Up Mustangs, Saleen is Building Its Own Speedster

It’s good to have deep pockets when you want to sell a $375,000 car.

That’s why Steve Saleen said he is happy to have industrialist S.C. “Tony” Johnson as a partner in his Saleen Inc. of Irvine.

For more than a decade, Saleen’s company has bought Mustangs from Ford Motor Co., souped them up and turned them over to dealers who sell them as big-ticket toys to wealthy speed demons.

Now Saleen is crafting from scratch a car of his own that he hopes will rival the Ferrari and Lamborghini. While Saleen’ s Mustangs go for $30,000 to $50,000 apiece, the asking price for his new S7 is nearly $400,000.

Johnson is the president and chief executive of Minneapolis-based Hidden Creek Industries, a holding company specializing in the automotive industry. Hidden Creek counts about $6 billion in annual revenue from portfolio companies such as Dura Automotive Systems Inc., Tower Automotive Inc. and J.L. French Automotive Castings Inc. Johnson’s companies make engine components, windows, doors and other auto pans.

Johnson became an investor and partner in Saleen Inc. in 1993. Saleen, the company’s founder, president and a former professional race car driver, said he needed some capital to help the company out after recession a decade ago.

“To withstand for a longer time, I needed to have better capitalization,” Saleen said.

Back then, Saleen Inc. sold off one of its parts divisions “to keep the company going,” Saleen said. “That’s when I looked for a partnership.’s’

Saleen didn’t have to look beyond his own client list. Johnson is a car enthusiast and bought a Saleen Mustang in the early ’90s.

When the time came to make a deal, Saleen chose Johnson, who now serves as Saleen Inc.’s chairman.

“We are fifty-fifty partners,” Saleen said.

The Saleen Mustang is a high-performance version of the Ford sports car. The Saleen version has more horsepower, a racing suspension, new body trim and other custom pans. Saleen Inc. is considered a specialty vehicle maker under federal government guidelines and has put more than 7,000 vehicles on the road to date.

The company is 10 months into the development of its new S7, a 550-horsepower supercar.

“It’s a very fun project to do,”

Saleen said. Saleen designed the car with Phil Frank, a longtime product designer and consultant. The company used Ray Mallich Ltd., an English automotive company, to develop the car’ s chassis and recruited the University of Glasgow in Scotland to handle the car’s aerodynamics.

Unlike the development process for most cars, Saleen skipped the clay model step and went straight from computer-aided drawing into production. A number of manufacturers are interested in how he developed the car, he said, since skipping the clay model brought down the cost.

“It saved time and money,” Saleen said.

Saleen’s bid to make his own car grow out of his 16 years of bolstering Mustangs. Saleen Inc. designs, develops and makes a specialty product line with 2,000 performance and custom automotive products ranging from engine components and body pieces to floor mats and speedometers. For the body of the S7, Saleen incorporated the carbon fiber technology used in the Formula One race cars.

The S7 was unveiled last month at a car race in Monterey, Calif.

Saleen now is testing the vehicle for proper engine function and throttle response as well as the temperature and cooling systems. It will start speed tests this month and should finish testing by the end of the year, he said. Saleen will produce about 100 cars per year and they will be on select showroom floors in the second quarter of 2001.

As for the demand for the S7, Saleen already has orders for eight cars, he said.

Demand is “a lot higher than anticipated,” Saleen said.

Saleen said he expects to produce and sell 300 to 400 of the cars in the next four years.

The S7 will also be sold in 15 exotic car dealerships around the nation, he said.

All of the manufacturing and tooling of the vehicle is being done in Irvine, but to do so, the company needs more space, Saleen said.

It is currently looking for a 125,000-square-foot facility in Irvine to consolidate its six facilities. It has two buildings in Lake Forest, two in Huntington Beach and two in Irvine, including its headquarters, assembly line and showroom. The main building also houses the design and engineering operations as well as the customer service center and parts distribution facility.

“Irvine has turned into Detroit West,” Saleen said. Orange County is now home to the headquarters for 10 automotive brands, while Los Angeles boasts a few carmakers as well.

“We like Southern California. It is a hub of automotive enthusiasts and a supplier base,” Saleen said. Plus, he added, “Orange County is a very nice place to live.”

The move will come at the end of the company’s lease in March and will give Saleen Inc. about 25,000 more square feet of space. Saleen has 115 employees, a number that won’t change much when the full-scale production of the S7 begins. Saleen said the current staff can handle most of the work.

The company’s operations produce five Saleen Mustangs per day. Saleen has made a few hundred performance Ford Explorers and a few Ford Contours. Saleen also made a performance minivan out of a Ford Windstar for comedian Tim Allen.

“We’ve done a number of items for him,” Saleen said.

Allen is a racing enthusiast. The star of “The Santa Clause” is a partner with Saleen in Saleen/Allan Speedlab, a racing team and development division of Saleen Inc.

IRVINE, CALIF., AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURER HOPES TO ENTER LUXURY CAR MARKET

By: CHRIS KNAP on Aug 20, 2000
Original Article: ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, THE (SANTA ANA, CA)

Aug. 20–Specialty-vehicle builder Steve Saleen will expand his business next year with the production of a $375,000 supercar intended to challenge Ferrari, Lamborghini and Jaguar.

Saleen was to unveil the prototype of the Saleen S7 at the Monterey Historic Races Saturday.

He eventually hopes to build 100 of the 550-horsepower road rockets each year at a new factory in Irvine.

“Part of the American dream for every kid is to build your own car. I’m fortunate in that I’m in a position to realize that dream,” Saleen said in an interview.

Some might call him a tuner, but Saleen prefers the term manufacturer. In the past 17 years, he has built more than 7,000 high-performance Mustangs. He does this by stripping factory-fresh cars and reconstructing them with bigger brakes, more powerful engines and race suspensions, among other improvements. The Saleen Mustangs sell for $33,000 to $75,000.

The S7 is a quantum leap forward.

The car will be based on a Saleen-built chassis with a body built of carbon fiber, an aerospace material similar to, but many times stronger than, fiberglass.

The engine will be a 7.0-liter aluminum V-8 mounted behind the driver mid-engine in sports-car parlance. The car will feature leather on every interior surface and a built-in camera and video screen for better rear vision.

“We are basically building our own car from the ground up,” Saleen said. Building your own supercar is a risky and expensive venture, a lesson many automotive entrepreneurs have learned the hard way.

Gerry Wiegert, builder of the much-heralded 600-horsepower Vector sports car, ran out of capital in the 1980s after building fewer than 15 cars.

Even Carroll Shelby, who built the legendary Cobra sports cars of the 1960s, has run into trouble with his latest project, an Oldsmobile V8-powered supercar called the Shelby Series 1.

After taking deposits from dozens of buyers, Shelby had to tell them the car would be months later than expected and cost $25,000 more than first promised. Saleen has one asset these other builders didn’t have: a substantial line of capital from his silent partner, auto-parts millionaire Tony Johnson, who is the chairman of Dura Automotive Systems and Hidden Creek Industries of Minneapolis. “Saleen certainly has the financing behind him to make this project happen,” said Gordon Wangers, managing partner of Automotive Marketing Consultants Inc. of Vista.

“With the strength of the automotive market and the enthusiast market, they might have a chance of doing it. “But at $375,000, it better be a true supercar.”

Saleen promises it will be. With a weight estimated at 2,700 pounds, Saleen promises that the car will accelerate to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds and complete a quarter-mile in 11 seconds. The cars will be sold through the 75 Ford franchises already certified as Saleen dealers, plus 15 new exotic-car dealers that Saleen is recruiting. Saleen, whose 150 employees are headquartered in Irvine, plans to move to a larger factory by early next year.

SALEEN’S S7: A WORLD CLASS SUPERCAR WITH WORLD CLASS SUPPLIERS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Small Volume Manufacturer Pioneers New Methods

IRVINE, Calif. — The Saleen S7, unveiled at the 2000 Monterey Historic Races, is an American supercar. Like most things American, the S7 has its roots in other parts of the world, as the internationally known specialty vehicle manufacturer searched the world over for top components for its new vehicle.

“Niche manufacturing is about using the best available from the world’s high-quality suppliers,” said Steve Saleen, president and founder of Saleen, Inc. “It’s a non-traditional way to build a car, but for small-volume manufacturing it’s the most effective and efficient method to bring a quality car to market quickly and with minimal cost. And I can tell you the big car companies are watching us very closely.”

For example, the 2001 S7 utilizes world leading Brembo supplied brakes from Italy, a Ray Mallock, Ltd (RML) chassis, and numerous elements from suppliers in the Midlands area of the United Kingdom, a region that is to motorsports what the Silicon Valley is to the world of computers. Adding to the international flavor, the S7 was wind tunnel tested at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

“The S7 reflects a “best-in-practice” philosophy,” said Saleen. “We handpicked the top OEMs [Original Equipment Manufacturers] from around the globe to produce the best vehicle possible.”

Saleen selected RML to assist with engineering and design work for the Saleen S7, the first joint venture between the companies, because of their outstanding chassis and suspension reputation. The pre-production chassis and body were constructed at RML’s facilities in Wellingborough, England, while the final assembly of the prototype car took place at Saleen’s facility in Irvine, Calif. The two companies have entered into an agreement to work together on the development of cars for both street and race use.

“As we expand our product line, having the talents and expertise of RML available to augment our own design and engineering staff will create even better vehicles,” said Saleen. “The automotive world is rapidly evolving and Saleen is evolving to continue to offer enthusiasts and racing teams the ultimate in performance, technology and value.”

The Saleen S7 is certified for sale in both the United States and United Kingdom. Designed and built at Saleen’s Irvine, California manufacturing facility, the S7 is sold in the U.S. through select Saleen Certified Ford dealers and other newly added Saleen Certified dealers specializing in exotic automobiles. Vehicles for Europe and the Middle East will be produced at a satellite facility in conjunction with RML located in England. Worldwide volume is projected to be 300-400 cars over the estimated four-year production run. Work has begun on a less-expensive, higher volume model that will help achieve sales goals.

The Saleen S7 went on sale at its introduction at the famed Monterey Historic Races on August 19, 2000. First vehicles will be delivered to customers in the second quarter of 2001. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $375,000.

The 2001 Saleen S7 is a proof of concept for what Saleen, Inc. has been building for 17 years. As a federally certified specialty vehicle manufacturer, Saleen has produced over 7000 vehicles – using and perfecting the efficient Niche Manufacturing process, which is now being studied and adopted by the world’s major automakers as they strive to quickly and economically bring small volume products to market.

Saleen, Inc. facilities include total research, design, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities. The company’s line also includes the Saleen S281 Mustang, Saleen XP8 Explorer, the SR Widebody, Saleen Performance Parts, and Saleen Engineering and Certification Service.

Contact:
Michael F. Hollander, Pacific Communications Group – 310.224.4981

S7 Release, S7 Chassis, S7 Engine, S7 Body and Design, S7 Features, S7 Manufacturing

SALEEN S7 FEATURES EVERY COMFORT FOR THE HIGH-PERFORMANCE DRIVER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Performance, Luxury, & Style Co-exist In S7 Interior

IRVINE, Calif. — The S7, built by Saleen, internationally known specialty vehicle manufacturer, features blinding performance, attention-grabbing exterior design, and space-age aerodynamics. That same flair is evident in the S7’s interior, mixing luxury with functionality in the driver-friendly cockpit.

From its plush Connolly leather covered interior surfaces, to adjustable pedals and a removable steering wheel, driver comfort is a priority of the S7. The movable pedals and detachable steering wheel make the S7 more suitable for taller drivers than other supercars, and allow for easier entry and exit from the vehicle.

In the asymmetrical cockpit, the driver’s seat is subtly moved toward the center of the cabin, enough to increase the driver’s position and visibility. This enhanced seat position contributes to an improved center of gravity and better weight distribution.

Weight distribution is also a factor in the storage compartments. With a mid-chassis engine location, the S7 features a trunk in the front and rear of the vehicle. The S7 comes equipped with custom-fit luggage for use on long trips.

The culmination of the interior sophistication is a unique video rearview “mirror,” utilizing a rear-mounted video camera and liquid crystal display (LCD) located where a traditional rearview mirror would be, near the top-center of the windshield. The powered side mirrors are mounted on pillars.

Traditional creature comforts included on the S7 are power windows and locks, as well as air conditioning. An AM/FM audio system with 6-disc CD player is standard. The instrument panel features easy-to-read analog gauges and center-mounted tachometer. Interior accents are brushed aluminum with body-color highlights.

The Saleen S7 is certified for sale in both the United States and United Kingdom. Designed and built at Saleen’s Irvine, California manufacturing facility, the S7 is sold in the U.S. through select Saleen Certified Ford dealers and other newly added Saleen Certified dealers specializing in exotic automobiles. Vehicles for Europe and the Middle East will be produced at a satellite facility in conjunction with RML located in England. Worldwide volume is projected to be 300-400 cars over the estimated four-year production run. Work has begun on a less-expensive, higher volume model that will help achieve sales goals.

The Saleen S7 went on sale at its introduction at the famed Monterey Historic Races on August 19, 2000. First vehicles will be delivered to customers in the second quarter of 2001. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $375,000.

The 2001 Saleen S7 is a proof of concept for what Saleen, Inc. has been building for 17 years. As a federally certified specialty vehicle manufacturer, Saleen has produced over 7000 vehicles – using and perfecting the efficient Niche Manufacturing process, which is now being studied and adopted by the world’s major automakers as they strive to quickly and economically bring small volume products to market.

Saleen, Inc. facilities include total research, design, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities. The company’s line also includes the Saleen S281 Mustang, Saleen XP8 Explorer, the SR Widebody, Saleen Performance Parts, and Saleen Engineering and Certification Service.

Contact:
Michael F. Hollander, Pacific Communications Group – 310.224.4981

S7 Release, S7 Chassis, S7 Engine, S7 Body and Design, S7 Features, S7 Manufacturing

SALEEN S7 BLENDS BEAST AND BEAUTY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Slinky Shape Refined In Wind Tunnel

IRVINE, Calif. — There’s something about a supercar that’s different – sensuous lines, scoops and wings, an aerodynamic purposefulness that sets these cars apart. Supercar design traits must combine form and function in order to permit stable speeds in excess of 200 mph while also pleasing the eye. The all-new Saleen S7 meets both challenges.

Phil Frank, a long-time design consultant with Saleen, penned the S7’s body, using computer-aided drawing techniques. Saleen, Inc. and famed British racing house Ray Mallock, Ltd. used extensive work in a wind tunnel to add superior aerodynamics to the finished skin. The S7’s shape says “supercar” but the overall design is distinctive and not derivative of any other car.

The drag to lift ratio, center of gravity, co-efficient of drag and the downforce generated by the S7’s body were all considered as part of the refinements produced in the wind tunnel. Full underside aerodynamics help reduce turbulence below the body and improve overall stability at high speed. Traditional Saleen design signatures – like functional gills and fascia openings –provide cooling and are integrated to also provide superior airflow around, through and under the car. Example: Side scoops help cool the transmission while split radiators exhaust under the car and to the sides to create additional down force. The Saleen S7’s shape provides arguably the best overall aerodynamics of any production car ever built.

The team selected an autoclaved composite body over a space frame chassis with honeycomb reinforcement. By using the carbon-fiber composite, a significant weight reduction was possible while providing increased strength over steel.

“The carbon fiber body is so beautiful, we hated to paint it,” said Steve Saleen. “But the BASF paint we’ve selected provides smoothness and a beauty of its own.”

The body houses trunks front and rear and provides through the rear window a unique view of the engine – a feature mandated from the beginning to help define the S7’s supercar status. Steve Saleen describes it as, “American V8 under glass!”

The S7’s doors open up and away from the body, another distinctive feature designed into the car as part of its supercar pedigree. A unique and functional roof intake system feeds air to the engine, while a nose scoop supplies high volume flow-through cabin ventilation.

Electrically controlled side mirrors extend on pillars to provide optimum utility. Covered projector beam headlights meet worldwide regulations.

The Saleen S7 is certified for sale in both the United States and United Kingdom. Designed and built at Saleen’s Irvine, California manufacturing facility, the S7 is sold in the U.S. through select Saleen Certified Ford dealers and other newly added Saleen Certified dealers specializing in exotic automobiles. Vehicles for Europe and the Middle East will be produced at a satellite facility in conjunction with RML located in England. Worldwide volume is projected to be 300-400 cars over the estimated four-year production run. Work has begun on a less-expensive, higher volume model that will help achieve sales goals.

The Saleen S7 went on sale at its introduction at the famed Monterey Historic Races on August 19, 2000. First vehicles will be delivered to customers in the second quarter of 2001. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $375,000.

The 2001 Saleen S7 is a proof of concept for what Saleen, Inc. has been building for 17 years. As a federally certified specialty vehicle manufacturer, Saleen has produced over 7000 vehicles – using and perfecting the efficient Niche Manufacturing process, which is now being studied and adopted by the world’s major automakers as they strive to quickly and economically bring small volume products to market.

Saleen, Inc. facilities include total research, design, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities. The company’s line also includes the Saleen S281 Mustang, Saleen XP8 Explorer, the SR Widebody, Saleen Performance Parts, and Saleen Engineering and Certification Service.

Contact:
Michael F. Hollander, Pacific Communications Group – 310.224.4981

S7 Release, S7 Chassis, S7 Engine, S7 Body and Design, S7 Features, S7 Manufacturing

SALEEN S7’S DRIVETRAIN PUSHES TECHNOLOGY ENVELOPE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aerospace Materials And Advanced Engineering Used Extensively

IRVINE, Calif. — The Saleen S7’s 7-liter engine is a technical tour de force, producing 550 horsepower at 6400 rpm. Based on a Ford form factor, the Saleen-massaged all-aluminum V-8 follows traditional American cam-in-block design to produce significant horsepower and torque with high reliability. The engine generates 520 foot-pounds of torque at 4000 rpm, transferred to the rear wheels through a new generation six-speed transaxle.

Although the casting is based on a traditional Ford design, it was completely re-engineered by Saleen to be eight inches shorter than the block on which it was based. This Front Engine Accessory Drive (FEAD) system permits the use of a Saleen-designed, side-mounted water pump to help improve weight distribution and packaging.

Air flows into the engine through a carbon fiber induction system leading to a magnesium throttle body and intake manifolds. Induction is through a true downdraft port fuel injection system directly to the intake ports. Intake trumpets are matched to each cylinder.

The S7 engine uses materials and engineering from aerospace to reduce weight and improve reliability. The all-aluminum Saleen cylinder heads are created using Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) lathes. Beryllium exhaust valve seats allow more efficiency by transferring heat away from the cylinders. Stainless steel valves and titanium retainers are used for durability. Forged pistons reduce reciprocating weight while providing improved strength. Piston rods are made of the latest material, EN40B billet steel. Saleen designed its own crankshaft for the S7, using 4340 forged billet steel.

A Saleen dry sump oil delivery system ensures reduced friction while providing enhanced lubrication to the reciprocating parts. This allows for improved ground clearance and more importantly, in hard or sustained cornering, prevents oil starvation.

Engine placement in the S7 was a consideration as part of the complete engine design process. The mid-engine placement allows the engine to be tall. This design also provides advantageous placement for the induction and exhaust plenums. The camshaft is belt driven to provide more accurate valve placement and reduce noise compared to a chain drive.

The S7’s Saleen-designed muffler is enormous, reducing unwanted noise, and acting as part of the rear impact crumple zone. The exhaust exits through catalytic converters, as the S7 engine is designed to meet all Federal and California emission-control standards as a transitional low-emissions vehicle (TLEV). A Ford EEC V engine management system with direct ignition and OPD II helps the S7 meet the requirements.

The Saleen S7 is certified for sale in both the United States and United Kingdom. Designed and built at Saleen’s Irvine, California manufacturing facility, the S7 is sold in the U.S. through select Saleen Certified Ford dealers and other newly added Saleen Certified dealers specializing in exotic automobiles. Vehicles for Europe and the Middle East will be produced at a satellite facility in conjunction with RML located in England. Worldwide volume is projected to be 300-400 cars over the estimated four-year production run. Work has begun on a less-expensive, higher volume model that will help achieve sales goals.

The Saleen S7 went on sale at its introduction at the famed Monterey Historic Races on August 19, 2000. First vehicles will be delivered to customers in the second quarter of 2001. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $375,000.

The 2001 Saleen S7 is a proof of concept for what Saleen, Inc. has been building for 17 years. As a federally certified specialty vehicle manufacturer, Saleen has produced over 7000 vehicles – using and perfecting the efficient Niche Manufacturing process, which is now being studied and adopted by the world’s major automakers as they strive to quickly and economically bring small volume products to market.

Saleen, Inc. facilities include total research, design, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities. The company’s line also includes the Saleen S281 Mustang, Saleen XP8 Explorer, the SR Widebody, Saleen Performance Parts, and Saleen Engineering and Certification Service.

Contact:
Michael F. Hollander, Pacific Communications Group – 310.224.4981

S7 Release, S7 Chassis, S7 Engine, S7 Body and Design, S7 Features, S7 Manufacturing

SALEEN S7 CHASSIS RACE-BRED FOR ULTIMATE ROAD PERFORMANCE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

2001 S7 Mixes Sophisticated Materials And Track Proven Technology

IRVINE, Calif. — Saleen, Inc., internationally known specialty vehicle manufacturer and racecar builder, has created the first true American supercar with the launch of the 2001 S7. The S7 is designed to compete with the most exclusive high performance cars in the world, while providing a distinctly American driving experience. Top speed, quickness, and racecar handling are combined with luxury and everyday road dynamics.

The S7 chassis and suspension is the result of Saleen’s years of racetrack and racecar experience. As part of their industry leading Niche Manufacturing process, which uses best-in-practice original equipment (O.E). support from around the world, famed British racing house Ray Mallock, Ltd. (RML), was enlisted to assist in developing the S7’s advanced chassis, suspension system and overall packaging.

The S7 architecture begins with a space frame chassis to which honeycomb composite reinforcing is grafted. Suspension is fully independent unequal length “A” arms. Distinctive CNC machined billet aluminum spider web-like uprights allow airflow to brakes and wheel bearings, which facilitates cooling and increases durability. Lightweight aluminum dampers with coil over springs are used on all four corners.

With a 106-inch wheelbase and 68.75-inch front track, the S7 has a relatively big footprint. This works to enhance stability. Overall the Saleen S7 is 188 inches long and 78.3 inches wide. The car is only 41 inches high, three inches lower than a Lamborghini Diablo, and tips the scales at about 2750 pounds, again besting the Diablo by 650 pounds.

Brakes are Saleen engineered/Brembo-supplied with 6-piston 15-inch ventilated discs in front and 14-inch for the rear. Wheels are center hub-mounted units specially engineered for the S7. The car is fitted with Pirelli P-Zero Rossa tires, with fronts being 275×30-19 and the rears 355×25-19.

The S7 fuel tank is in the center of the car, which allows for better overall packaging, increased safety and less handling deviation between full and light fuel loads.

In designing the S7, Saleen put drivability on a wide variety of road surfaces high on the list of objectives. And, while the S7 would be at home on any racetrack, it is also a car that can be driven with pleasure on highways, autobahns and back roads. The Saleen S7 hit its engineering target of providing best-in-class performance with great driving pleasure.

The Saleen S7 is certified for sale in both the United States and United Kingdom. Designed and built at Saleen’s Irvine, California manufacturing facility, the S7 is sold in the U.S. through select Saleen Certified Ford dealers and other newly added Saleen Certified dealers specializing in exotic automobiles. Vehicles for Europe and the Middle East will be produced at a satellite facility in conjunction with RML located in England. Worldwide volume is projected to be 300-400 cars over the estimated four-year production run. Work has begun on a less-expensive, higher volume model that will help achieve sales goals.

The Saleen S7 went on sale at its introduction at the famed Monterey Historic Races on August 19, 2000. First vehicles will be delivered to customers in the second quarter of 2001. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $375,000.

The 2001 Saleen S7 is a proof of concept for what Saleen, Inc. has been building for 17 years. As a federally certified specialty vehicle manufacturer, Saleen has produced over 7000 vehicles – using and perfecting the efficient Niche Manufacturing process, which is now being studied and adopted by the world’s major automakers as they strive to quickly and economically bring small volume products to market.

Saleen, Inc. facilities include total research, design, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities. The company’s line also includes the Saleen S281 Mustang, Saleen XP8 Explorer, the SR Widebody, Saleen Performance Parts, and Saleen Engineering and Certification Service.

Contact:
Michael F. Hollander, Pacific Communications Group – 310.224.4981

S7 Release, S7 Chassis, S7 Engine, S7 Body and Design, S7 Features, S7 Manufacturing

SALEEN S7 BRINGS SUPERCAR CROWN TO AMERICA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

2001 Model Takes On Most Exclusive Cars In The World

IRVINE, Calif. — Saleen, Inc., a specialty vehicle manufacturer for 17 years, has created the first true American supercar with the launch of the Saleen S7. The S7 is designed to compete with the fastest, quickest, best handling, most luxurious grand touring cars in the world, while providing a distinctly American driving experience for the fortunate few who will own one.

Designed, engineered, certified, manufactured and marketed by Saleen, the S7 was conceived to combine the performance of a track-only racecar with the driving pleasure of a road car. Working with some of the world’s most respected and technologically advanced automotive suppliers, the Saleen S7 will have gone from concept to first customer deliveries in just 18 months.

A true supercar, the Saleen is S7 is capable of over 200 miles per hour. Zero-to-60 time is under four seconds. With its extreme ground effects engineering, at 160 mph the car could be driven upside down and still stay attached to the road.

When designing the S7, Saleen put drivability on a wide variety of road conditions high on the list of objectives. And, while the S7 would be at home on any racetrack, it is also a car that can be driven with pleasure on highways, autobahns and back roads.

The Saleen S7 architecture begins with a space frame chassis to which honeycomb composite reinforcing is grafted. Suspension is fully independent unequal length “A” arms. The S7 chassis and suspension are the result of Saleen’s years of racing, racecar building and high performance road car manufacturing experience. Famed British racing house Ray Mallock, Ltd. (RML) was enlisted to assist with the design and building of the chassis and packaging of the S7’s advanced suspension system.

The S7 engine and drive train are Saleen designed and incorporate modern racing motor technology and engineering. Saleen/Allen Speedlab race team engine builder, Bill Tally, is the engine’s designer. Based on a Ford-cast all aluminum block re-engineered by Saleen, the cam-in-block 7-liter motor generates 550 horsepower at 6400 rpm. Redline is 7000 rpm. The motor delivers 520 foot-pounds of torque at 4000 rpm. Space age materials and engineering are used throughout: magnesium throttle body and intake manifolds, carbon fiber induction system, stainless steel values, titanium retainers, beryllium exhaust valve seats, ceramic coated stainless steel exhaust system, and race-derived all-aluminum CNC machined Saleen designed heads.

An exclusive Saleen-designed Front Engine Accessory Drive (FEAD) system results in an extremely compact motor, allowing for better packaging and overall weight distribution. The motor incorporates a unique Saleen-designed side mounted water pump, extremely accurate belt-driven camshaft drive, and a Saleen-engineered dry sump oil delivery system.

The engine’s mid-chassis placement optimizes weight distribution and center of gravity, making room for an unusually tall engine that allows for a very efficient plenum arrangement. With true “downdraft” induction, fuel is fed through matched trumpets in a straight shot to the ports.

A Saleen PowerFlash control system computer handles engine management. The ignition system is integrated coil-on-plug.

A new generation longitudinally mounted six-speed transaxle, with unique Saleen bell housing, transfers power to the wheels. The clutch is a metallic 5.5 inch, four plate unit with hydraulic actuation.

The S7’s shape was “designed” by the wind. Optimal aerodynamics and no compromise top speed performance objectives were achieved with extensive wind tunnel work. Targets were high co-efficient of drag, optimum drag-to-lift ratio, and extreme down force. The S7 has “full tray” body sculpting underneath.

With the performance targets met, longtime Saleen design consultant Phil Frank then personalized and refined the aesthetics of the S7 with the addition of signature Saleen elements. The gill-like ducting is, of course, fully functional. The autoclave carbon fiber body panels beautifully incorporate the advanced aerodynamics and include: integrated split-channel air flow throughout the car, full underside air management, advanced front tray and side skirt designs, and integrated full body wing.

As much care has been given to the creature comforts of the Saleen S7 as to its performance. Great attention was given to seating position. The car features asymmetrical seating, with the driver position moved slightly more to the center than the passenger. This improves the driver’s ergonomics, improves the weight distribution, and allows the passenger side to have a narrower threshold. The S7 is unusually accommodating of tall drivers.

Upholstery is covered with Connolly leathers and suedes. Accents are brushed aluminum and painted body-color highlights. Air conditioning, power windows, adjustable pedals, and a 6-disc CD player are all standard. The Saleen S7 has two unique interior features. The first is a live video rear view “mirror” – there is a small video camera inconspicuously mounted in the rear of the car – and the second is a steering wheel that can be removed if wished to ease ingress and egress.

The mid-engine Saleen S7 has front and rear trunks and comes with fitted luggage. In true supercar style, the doors open up and away from the body.

“The car, when seen in person, has an amazing presence,” says Steve Saleen, founder and president of Saleen, Inc. “It is quite long and wide, and only 41 inches high, which adds to its exotic appearance. We wanted a ‘form-follows-function’ look, but also one that was beautiful. I’d say we succeeded!”

While the S7 is an American supercar, the vehicle itself reflects a “best-in-practice” philosophy, where Saleen has incorporated superior components from around the globe in order to manufacture the best vehicle possible. For example, the 2001 Saleen S7 utilizes Brembo brakes from Italy as well as numerous high technology pieces from companies located in the Midlands area of the United Kingdom, a region that is to motorsports what the Silicon Valley is to computers. The S7 was wind tunnel tested at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

The Saleen S7 is certified for sale in both the United States and United Kingdom. Designed and built at Saleen’s Irvine, California manufacturing facility, the S7 is sold in the U.S. through select Saleen Certified Ford dealers and other newly added Saleen Certified dealers specializing in exotic automobiles. Vehicles for Europe and the Middle East will be produced at a satellite facility in conjunction with RML located in England. Worldwide volume is projected to be 300-400 cars over the estimated four-year production run. Work has begun on a less-expensive, higher volume model that will help achieve sales goals.

The Saleen S7 went on sale at its introduction at the famed Monterey Historic Races on August 19, 2000. First vehicles will be delivered to customers in the second quarter of 2001. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $375,000.

The 2001 Saleen S7 is a proof of concept for what Saleen, Inc. has been building for 17 years. As a federally certified specialty vehicle manufacturer, Saleen has produced over 7000 vehicles – using and perfecting the efficient Niche Manufacturing process, which is now being studied and adopted by the world’s major automakers as they strive to quickly and economically bring small volume products to market.

Saleen, Inc. facilities include total research, design, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities. The company’s line also includes the Saleen S281 Mustang, Saleen XP8 Explorer, the SR Widebody, Saleen Performance Parts, and Saleen Engineering and Certification Service.

Contact:
David Boulé, Pacific Communications Group – 310.224.4959
Michael Hollander, Pacific Communications Group – 310.224.4981

S7 Release, S7 Chassis, S7 Engine, S7 Body and Design, S7 Features, S7 Manufacturing