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AUTOBLOG: SALEEN S302 BLACK LABEL | AMERICAN MUSCLE, BABY

2019 SALEEN MUSTANG S302 BLACK LABEL FIRST DRIVE
AMERICAN MUSCLE, BABY!

Saleen’s hottest supercharged Mustang claims 800 horsepower

By: SCOTT OLDHAM on SEPTEMBER 12, 2019 at 2:43PM
Original Article: AUTOBLOG.COM

AutoBlog: 2019 Saleen S302 Black Label
AutoBlog: 2019 Saleen S302 Black Label

SAN GABRIEL MOUNTAINS, Calif. — Steve Saleen has been building his tweaked and tuned high-performance Mustangs since the 1980s. Thirty-five years later his early Fox-body machines have become bonafide collectables, and his SN95 efforts aren’t far behind. With the blessing of the Ford Motor Company, Saleen (it’s pronounced Sah-leen, not Say-leen) has also produced hot rod versions of the F-150 pickup, Explorer and Focus hatchback, and for a while even the mid-engined S7 supercar. And this 2019 Saleen Mustang S302 Black Label, in all its bright orange glory.

This Mustang is the product of a time-tested operation. Saleen buys a batch of 5.0-liter Mustang GTs from Ford and builds them up at its facility in Corona, Calif. Then the cars are sold through Saleen-certified Ford and exotic car dealers around the country. It offers three versions of the Saleen S302: the naturally-aspirated 475-horsepower White Label ($47,000), the supercharged 740-hp Yellow Label and the also-supercharged Black Label ($78,495, essentially the same price as the supercharged Roush Stage 3 Mustang we reviewed earlier this year) with a claimed 800 hp at 6,000 rpm and 687 pound-feet of torque at 5,200 rpm. More importantly, Ford’s own supercharged Shelby GT500 will be packing 760 hp for $73,995.

Let’s cut to the chase and address the Black Label’s numbers. Saleen installs its own 2.6-liter screw-type supercharger and intercooler system with a 103 mm throttle body. It makes 12 psi of boost. The engine also gets 47-lb fuel injectors for increased flow, a cold air induction system, a retuned ECU and a “Saleen-tuned exhaust system with high performance muffler.” According to the company, the double overhead cam 5.0-liter is otherwise stock, and these changes increase the V8’s power by 340 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque without voiding Ford’s full warranty.

Plausible? Sure. But if the Saleen is really packing the horsepower of a Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye and nearly as much torque, it should be a serious handful. It should be the kind of car you fear. Just looking at its throttle should turn its 275-mm wide rear tires into liquid, and a hard run up a twisty mountain road like Angeles Crest should be a death-defying operation of tire-churning oversteer as you fight to keep the 3,785-lb car between the lines. Put simply, the Saleen should have the world’s worst traction problem.

But it doesn’t.

The 302 Black Label just doesn’t hit that hard off idle or for the first third of its tachometer – there just isn’t much grunt below 4,000 rpm, much like its Roush counterpart. Botch a launch by dropping the Saleen’s clutch without enough revs and the 5.0-liter falls on its face as you wait for it to build rpm and boost. It’s not nearly as ferocious as a Challenger Hellcat, nor does it have that car’s traction problems (even with the Widebody’s massive 305-mm tires). We should note that Saleen uses the Mustang GT’s MT-82 six-speed, factory clutch and limited-slip differential with an optional 3.73 rear axle ratio. A 3.55 ratio is standard.

Don’t misunderstand, the Saleen S302 Black Label is seriously quick and it will destroy a set of tires if that’s your thing. The Mustang’s DOHC V8 just isn’t known for its bottom-end torque and Saleen’s modifications don’t change its power delivery characteristics. We would gladly trade some of its upper rpm performance for some more thrust down low.

AutoBlog: 2019 Saleen S302 Black Label
AutoBlog: 2019 Saleen S302 Black Label

Adding to the problem, the traction control intervenes with a heavy hand. Turn it off and the Saleen spins its rear tires through the tach’s top half and it’ll keep them lit through all of second gear. The company says 0-60 mph takes 3.7 seconds.

And it sounds great. The 5.0-liter thunders to life and there’s a pleasing thump thump to its idle. They’re going to hear you in the drive thru. Around town, the soundtrack is part exhaust rumble, part blower whine, but the supercharger isn’t as heavy in the mix as it is in a Hellcat. Lift off the throttle and there’s a satisfying crackle, pop and bang from the Black Label’s carbon fiber exhaust tips. It’s louder than the Roush.

Unfortunately, its throttle response can be inconsistent. Sometimes it’s duller than a dictionary, other times it’s so sharp it’s difficult to drive the Saleen smoothly. We asked a Saleen rep about the problem, but he offered no explanation. After a while you learn to drive around the issue, but the Saleen’s throttle mapping should be better. Another livability issue is the Saleen’s fuel consumption. When you’re averaging just 11.7 mpg, the S302 has a practical fuel range of just 200 miles. To be fair, fuel range is also an issue in Ford’s own Shelby GT350.

Angeles Crest is all third gear in the Saleen and here forward bite isn’t an issue. With its revs held high, the Mustang explodes from corner to corner, putting its power down cleanly and pulling with considerable might to its 7,400 redline where it hits the mother of all fuel cutoffs.

It’s easy to keep a seriously quick pace. The Saleen has a sharp turn-in and it takes a nice set in fast corners, with very little body roll, but it doesn’t have the lateral grip or athleticism of a Shelby GT350 with the optional Handling Package. The Saleen’s 20-inch General G-Max RS tires, which are wrapped around a sexy set of optional Carbonite Monaco five-spoke alloys, aren’t nearly as sticky as the Shelby’s wider 19-inch Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber. The Shelby’s stiffer suspension also delivers a more locked down feel than the Saleen’s. On the upside, the Saleen rides better than the Shelby and the firmer Roush. Saleen installs different shocks and springs but denied our request for its spring and damping rates.

AutoBlog: 2019 Saleen S302 Black Label
AutoBlog: 2019 Saleen S302 Black Label

Supplied by Wilwood, our test car’s optional brakes consisted of drilled and slotted front rotors measuring 15-inches with 6-piston calipers. They offered a firm pedal and they were easy to modulate around town and in the hills. Heat was never an issue, even running back down the mountain on that 95-degree afternoon.

Saleen also dresses up the interior a bit, adding its own upholstery, Alcantara to the steering wheel, a billet/leather shift knob, and white faces to the speedo and tach. An auxiliary gauge pod adds instruments for boost and intake charge temperature, however, we think Saleen should also add oil pressure and oil temperature dials like you get in the Shelby. It just seems like important information.

Its fiberglass hood is heavy and it doesn’t fit as well as it could. The scoop is a faker, but the vents are open. When you’re sitting at a redlight you can see the waves of underhood engine heat escaping. The splitter, rocker trim and rear diffuser are high-quality carbon fiber. Those sizable fender vents are also for show, but Saleen calls that appendage glued to the trunk a “high downforce” rear wing. Maybe it is, but the car would look better without it.

Still, there’s no denying this Black Label’s visual impact. Saleen’s have always looked cool and this one turned heads and drew stares from motorists and pedestrians all over Los Angeles. One Mustang driver even pulled out his phone and recorded the car in traffic, while several onlookers complimented its Orange Fury paint job. It’s a Ford factory color, although Saleen also offers the Black Label in 13 of his own exclusive colors with cool names including Burnout Black Pearl, Tire Smoke White Pearl and Lizstick Red Metallic.

During our photo shoot on the city’s famous Angeles Crest Highway, a couple of millennials pulled up in an E46 M3 on oversized rubber. Like us, they seemed to be spending their sunny Thursday afternoon making passes up and down the mountain. They pulled up close, rolled down the passenger side window and yelled over, “American muscle! Yeah, baby.” Then the guy behind the wheel went wide open and accelerated up the hill before we could respond. Thanks guys, whoever you are.

[Source: AutoBlog]

AUTOMOBILE: 2019 SALEEN S302 BLACK LABEL REVIEW

2019 SALEEN S302 BLACK LABEL REVIEW: EIGHT. HUNDRED. HORSEPOWER.
This supercharged Ford Mustang is a hell of a machine.

BY: AARON GOLD | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ED TAHANEY on AUGUST 29, 2019
Original Article: AUTOMOBILEMAG.COM

Eight-hundred horsepower.

Let that figure marinate in your brain. Roll it around and taste it like fine wine.

If you don’t really consider its implications, 800 is just a number, another one-up in the ever-escalating struggle for horsepower bragging rights. But it’s significant, and essentially doubles the threshold for the most serious muscle cars of the 1960s and ’70s. Subtract it from a base Dodge Challenger Hellcat, and you’ll get nearly a Chevrolet Spark’s worth of power in change.

Eight-hundred horsepower is what you’ll get should you opt for Saleen Automotive’s current latest and greatest package for the Ford Mustang GT, the Saleen S302 Black Label. We’d call it the pinnacle of Saleen’s 35-year history of tuning Mustangs were we not nearly certain something even more bonkers is just around the corner.

And this car is bonkers. Since the obvious comparison is with Dodge’s 797-hp Challenger Hellcat Redeye (we’ve yet to drive Ford’s 760-hp Shelby GT500), we’ll compare away. Both cars are equally willing to stun you, but they do it in very different ways.

2019 Saleen S302 Black Label
2019 Saleen S302 Black Label

The Hellcat is all torque, all the time, to the point that it’s nearly impossible to open the throttle wide on a public road. Floor it from a standstill and you turn the tires to butter; floor it on the move and in two seconds you’re at automatic license-suspension speeds. On paper, the Saleen’s 687 lb-ft splits the difference between base (656) and Redeye (707) Hellcats, but the Saleen doesn’t unleash full boost unless you’re high on revs and deep into the throttle.

This has the advantage of giving you better control over the power, but it also means the throttle response is ridiculously twitchy at high revs and low accelerator positions, to the point that a bumpy road can shake your foot enough to set the car porpoising rather alarmingly. Smooth progress requires shifting up early, and that puts you a gearchange away from showing off the Black Label’s potential. (We suspect the throttle response is tuned to provide some protection for the Ford Coyote engine.)

But when the conditions are just right to unleash all 800 horses, the sensation can only be described with a string of expletives upon which common decency would frown. We’ve driven plenty of fast and loud cars, but few deliver the noise and fury of the S302 Black Label at full tilt. It’s as if all the evil in the universe has been released on an unsuspecting society—but it’s okay, because you’re in charge.

Happier yet is the fact that you don’t need to go WOT to revel in the Black Label’s absurdity. Just starting the engine produces one of the best exhaust notes ever to reverberate against the walls of our El Segundo headquarters. Noisy cars, enjoyable as they are in short bursts, can wear on the nerves after a while, but we never tired of the S302’s almighty rumble.

There’s more to the Black Label than the powertrain. Saleen also beefs up the suspension with Racecraft springs, dampers, struts, and anti-roll bars, and a bastion of body panels massage airflow to increase downforce as well as brake and engine cooling.

We took the S302 Black Label to our favorite canyon road and cautiously ramped up our pace. It was early morning and the roads were still damp with morning dew, so we were extra cautious with the accelerator, but as we built up speed we were impressed with how well the S302 gripped the pavement, especially at the back. In other words, if you’re going to drive an 800-hp car, this is the way to do it.

2019 Saleen S302 Black Label
2019 Saleen S302 Black Label

Now, lest you think the S302 Black Label is as tractable as a Volkswagen Golf R, think again. You can’t just jump in and drive fast; you need to take your time, commune with it, get used to its ways and let it get used to you. And before you manipulate any of the controls—especially in anger—you need to think carefully about what will happen next.

It’s worth noting that at the same time we drove the Black Label car, we also had an S302 White Label, which combines many (but not all) of the Black Label’s suspension, airflow, and interior upgrades with a non-supercharged 430-hp engine. A few people in the office have opined that the White Label is the better car to drive because you can floor the throttle with reckless abandon and not worry about disastrous consequences—in other words, it’s a better way to enjoy the rest of Saleen’s upgrades.

Still, the S302 Black Label reminded us of the vagaries that come with driving a tuner car. We had a couple of glitches with power delivery at full throttle. The speedometer does the opposite of many performance cars and reads a few mph low, as if the car weren’t enough of a ticket magnet already. And while we can’t be sure, it seemed like the gravelly noises from the supercharger became louder as our time with the car marched on. Based on experience, it’s likely that the factory supercharged Shelby GT500, like the Hellcat, will be a better integrated and more holistic product for less money. That said, the GT500 will only come with a dual-clutch automatic, whereas the Black Label gets a six-speed manual.

And then there’s the simple fact that 800 horses are gonna eat a lot of hay. Drive it like a sane person and the supercharged S302’s fuel economy isn’t too terrible, but once you tap into the boost, the fuel flow is akin to Niagara Falls. We’re talking single-digit gas mileage, which means you must keep a careful eye on the fuel gauge when driving fast.

Still, the S302 Black Label is a hell of a machine, delivering a mind-bending horsepower number with all the attendant Wagnerian drama one could hope for. Some people will dismiss it as ridiculous overkill—but those people aren’t driving around in 800-hp cars.

2019 Saleen S302 Black Label Specifications
ON SALE Now
PRICE $78,495 (base)
ENGINE 5.0L supercharged DOHC 32-valve V-8; 800 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 687 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm
TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual
LAYOUT 2-door, 4-passenger, front-engine, RWD coupe
EPA MILEAGE N/A
L x W x H 188.5 x 75.9 x 54.2 in
WHEELBASE 107.1 in
WEIGHT 3,765 lb
0–60 MPH 3.7 sec
TOP SPEED N/A

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[Source: Automobile Magazine]

SALEEN BUILDS ORANGE FURY S302 BLACK LABEL

From Saleen Automotive.

Our newest creation, an Orange Fury Black Label. If this doesn’t grab your attention we give up!!!!!

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[Source: Saleen Automotive]

ONE-OF-A-KIND 2014 S302 BLACK LABEL SPEEDSTER (14-0020) HITS eBay

Price: $59,995.00
VIN: 1ZVBP8FF3E5259295
Vehicle Title: Clear
Year: 2014
Make: Ford
Model: Mustang
Sub Model: Saleen S302 Supercharged
Body Type: Convertible
Number of Cylinders: 8
Engine: 5.0L 302 Cu. In. V8 Supercharged
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Transmission: Manual
Exterior Color: Speedlab Yellow
Interior Color: Charcoal
Mileage: 3,643
For Sale By: Naples Motorsports
eBay #: 254224598755

Vehicle Description

2014 SALEEN 302 BLACK LABEL
CONVERTIBLE W/SPEEDSTER PACKAGE

LOADED WITH FEATURES AND OPTIONS:
SALEEN SIGNATURE SERIES POWERTRAIN
Supercharged 302CI DOHC V8 Engine
Saleen Supercharger
Horsepower: 625
Torque: 550 ft-lb
Low Pressure Drop Internal Intercoolers
High Volume Intercooler Water Pump
Remote External Heat Exchanger
High Performance Calibration
47lb Fuel Injectors
Cold Air Induction with High Performance Air Filter
High Performance Dual Exhaust with High Performance Mufflers
Polished Stainless Steel Exhaust Tips
6-Speed TR3650 Manual Transmission
3.73:1 Final Gear Ratio
625 AMP Maintenance Free Battery
Black Label Serialized Engine Bay plaque

SALEEN SIGNATURE SERIES AIR MANAGEMENT
Front Fascia w/High Volume Radiator Intake, Brake Intakes and Side Vents
Blade Front Grille
Integrated Front Splitter with Heat Exchanger Intakes
Side Skirts with Integrated Brake Intakes
Quarter Window Trim
Deck Lid Center Insert with License Plate Mounts
Rear Fascia with Dual Exhaust Cooling Vents
High Downforce Rear Diffuser w/Integrated Exhaust and Center Vent w/LED Race Lamp
Aerodynamic Rear Deck Lid Spoiler and Rear Fender End Caps
High Down-force Rear Wing
Hood with Dual Side Accents

SALEEN SIGNATURE SERIES S4 HIGH PERFORMANCE SUSPENSION
S4 Specific Rate Front and Rear Springs
S4 Front Struts
S4 Rear Shocks
S4 Front and Rear Sway Bars with High Durometer Pivot Bushings

TIRES / WHEELS
High Performance Tires 275/35ZR20 (front)
High Performance Tires 275/40ZR20 (rear)
SALEEN SIGNATURE SERIES WHEELS
5-spoke Alloy Wheels Black Chrome 20”x9” (front)
5-spoke Alloy Wheels Black Chrome 20”x 9” (rear)

SALEEN SIGNATURE SERIES BRAKES 302
14.0” ABS Cross Drilled Front Rotors with 4-Piston Powder Coated Calipers

SALEEN SIGNATURE SERIES EXTERIOR TRIM
Model Specific Fender Chevrons
Saleen Windshield Banner
Saleen Fender Model Description Emblems
Saleen Front Emblem
Saleen Rear Model Designation Emblem
Saleen 30th Anniversary Wreath Rear Window Decal
Front Bright Work Trim Package
Saleen Serialized Front Bumper Numbers

SALEEN SIGNATURE SERIES INTERIOR
Saleen Steering Wheel Emblem
Leather and Alcantara Two-Tone Chevron Performance Seating
Leather Wrapped Shift Knob and Shift Boot
Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel
Saleen Stainless Steel Door Sill Plates
Embroidered Model Designation Floor Mats
Embroidered Model Designation Trunk Mat
BLACK LABEL Serialized Dash Emblem
Saleen Owners Document Portfolio and Warranty Guide
Steve Saleen Personally Signed Dash

SALEEN SIGNATURE SERIES WARRANTY 302 SC
3 Year / 36,000 Mile Limited Warranty

FORD MUSTANG CONVERTIBLE BASE CHASSIS
302CI 4-Valve DOHC V8 Engine
Navigation System
HD Radio™ Technology
Shaker™ Audio System
Ambient Lighting
SYNC® with AppLink™
Auxiliary audio input jack
2 power points
Remote Keyless Entry System
Electrochromic Auto-dimming rear view mirror
Universal Garage Door Opener
MyKey®
LED Sequential Rear Taillamps
Autolamp headlamps
SiriusXM Satellite Radio
USB
Power Seats
Electronics Package
Dual Zone Climate Control
Comfort Package
Heated Front Seats
Heated Exterior Mirrors

CALL US TODAY
239-430-5655

Email Us At
NMS@NAPLESMOTORSPORTS.COM

SOUR APPLE GREEN S302 SHOWN AT FABULOUS FORDS ’19

Saleen Automotive displayed their optional custom color Sour Apple Green paint during the 2019 Fabulous Fords Forever car show.

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[Source: Saleen Automotive]

BLACK LABEL (19-0011) HEADS TO WOODY FOLSOM FORD

From Saleen Automotive.

New S302 Black Label coupe, 19-0011. First BL for the model year headed to Woody Folsom Ford, Inc. in Baxley GA.

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[Source: Saleen Automotive]

S302 BLACK LABEL (14-015) TO HIT BARRETT-JACKSON, PALM BEACH AUCTION

Lot #654
2014 FORD SALEEN MUSTANG

Auction: Palm Beach 2019
Location: Tent 4 D-26
Reserve: NO RESERVE
Status: Available
Price: Request Bidder Info
Lot: 654
Year: 2014
Make: FORD
Model: SALEEN MUSTANG
Style: COUPE
*Includes Buyer Commission

Details
VIN: 1ZVBP8CF3E5247765
Exterior Color: BLACK
Interior Color: BLACK
Cylinders: 8
Engine Size: 5.0-LITER
Transmission: 6-SPEED MANUAL

Description
Lot #654 – This 2014 Saleen Mustang Black Label 302SSC is powered by a 625hp 5.0-liter V8 with a Saleen supercharger, backed by a 6-speed manual transmission, and has 630 actual miles. Serial #15 for 2014 Saleen cars built, this example is one of 10 302SSC coupes built in 2014. The dash is signed by Steve Saleen, and the car comes with a Saleen build book containing pictures of the build. This modern muscle car was originally purchased new by Valvoline LLC and was used as a promotional vehicle before being placed in warehouse storage. In 2018 it was rediscovered and displayed at corporate employee events. Valvoline LLC has now decided to return the car to the Mustang and Saleen collector community. CARFAX shows Ford Motor Company manufacturer safety recalls issued on 05/27/2015: Driver airbag inflator replacement; and on 01/26/2019: Passenger airbag inflator replacement.

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[Source: Barrett-Jackson]