Tag Archives: Extreme


2008 Extreme Makes its World Debut with More Than 600 Horses and One Bad Attitude

IRVINE, Calif., July 24 /PRNewswire/ — The cars are the stars in DreamWorks’ new hit movie “Transformers,” and the Saleen S281 Extreme is receiving rave reviews as everyone’s favorite bad guy. Appearing in various scenes, the Extreme — disguised as a deceptive police car code-named “Barricade” — pursues lead character Sam Witwicky, played by Shia LaBeouf, and ultimately battles his “Autobot” protector, a 1976 Chevrolet Camaro named “Bumblebee.”

Saleen delivered multiple S281 Extremes to the “Transformers” set for filming, but none were equipped with the new Saleen-supercharged 302 cubic- inch engine of the soon to be released 2008 model. Debuting in late-summer 2007, the new Extreme is expected to set a new benchmark for performance vehicles in its class. Designed by the same engineering team as the Saleen S7, the new Extreme will be the first vehicle to deliver true super car performance in a production sports car.

“Fans of the movie can see the Extreme police car on display at The Saleen Store in Irvine, California,” said Mike Simmons, chief marketing and sales officer of Saleen Inc. “What’s even more exciting is they can actually purchase the production model from their local Saleen certified dealership, without the police badging and vicious alter-ego, of course. The 2008 Extreme is a limited production vehicle of only 200 units and a waiting list is already starting. However, we have two more attainable S281 models that have the same body style as the “Barricade” car. They might not destroy ‘Autobots’ as easily, but they are plenty fast and fun to drive.”

About the 2008 Saleen S302 Extreme

As the headliner of Saleen’s “S” model line, the 2008 S302 Extreme will boast a redesigned and supercharged version of the company’s highly acclaimed and potent 302 engine introduced in 2007. Although official specifications are still under wraps, the new powerplant will produce well in excess of 600 horsepower.

This new Extreme model will replace the current 550 horsepower model. The S281/S302 model line also includes the 335 horsepower S281 3-Valve, as well as the 465 horsepower S281 Supercharged. All three S281/S302 vehicles share like styling cues, but each maintains its own personality, driving dynamics and performance elements.

Exact specifications and performance ratings for the new 2008 S302 Extreme will be released at the time of the launch in late summer 2007. As true with all Saleen vehicles, the 2008 Extreme will be fully certified to meet federal safety and emissions standards.

Individuals can go to www.saleen.com/transformers.htm to find more information regarding Saleen’s involvement in “Transformers” and to learn about the Saleen Extreme and other Saleen models.

Saleen Vehicles in Major Films and Television

“Transformers” — Saleen S281 Extreme 2007
“Entourage” — Saleen S7 Twin Turbo 2007
“The Bachelor” — Saleen S7 and S281 SC 2007
“Red Line” — Saleen S7 Twin Turbo 2007
“Bruce Almighty” — Saleen S7 2003
“Hollywood Homicide” — Saleen S281 SC 2003
“2 Fast 2 Furious” — Saleen S281 SC 2003
“Varsity Blues” — Saleen S281 Speedster 1999


Since the company’s inception in 1984, Saleen has produced over 12,000 complete and EPA-certified vehicles, more than any other specialty automobile manufacturer. In addition, Saleen has equipped more than 600,000 vehicles worldwide, further emphasizing their capabilities and commitment to excellence.

A nine-time Manufacturers’ Champion in GT sports car racing, Saleen manufactures the American supercar – the Saleen S7, as well as the S281 Mustang, S331 Sport Truck and the Saleen/Parnelli Jones Limited Edition Mustang. Saleen also supports OEM partner niche vehicle initiatives including projects such as the Ford GT, Supercharged Harley-Davidson Edition F-150 and the Dodge Viper program. Saleen’s manufacturing facilities are located in Irvine, California and Troy, Michigan.


~ Winner Takes Home a New Saleen S281 “Extreme” ~

IRVINE, CALIF. – Saleen Inc., manufacturer of the world’s fastest production car – the Saleen S7 – today announced it will be sponsoring the world’s largest road rally: “The Great AmericanRun.” This event marks the state-side arrival of Europe’s most famous road rally taking place July 29 – August 4, 2007. To celebrate the inaugural U.S. rally, Saleen Inc. has been commissioned by Cannonball Run World Events, Inc. (CRWE) to uniquely modify 25 stock Saleen S281 “Extreme” Mustangs with an additional 50 horsepower (aftermarket upgrade*), and identical black-on-black paint and graphics packages. CRWE has reserved one of the modified 600 horsepower “Extremes” for the winner of the event.

On July 29, 2007, 400 cars will start from four originating cities: Washington D.C., New York, Atlanta and Miami, to embark on a 3000 mile coast-to-coast free-for-all. Each night, entrants will enjoy luxury hotel accommodations at four star hotels and extravagant parties. Each of the cars will ultimately regroup in Las Vegas, where the remaining drivers will gather for the final leg of the rally to Los Angeles for the event’s award ceremony and track day at the historic Willow Springs Raceway.

“Saleen is proud to support an event of this magnitude that brings together all types of enthusiasts and all types of performance cars – foreign and domestic – in a fun and safe environment,” said Steve Saleen, founder of Saleen Inc. “Our mission is not just about building the highest performance cars in the world, but also about building opportunities for car enthusiasts to share great experiences with each other. The Great American Run will be an experience enthusiasts will talk about for years to come.”

CRWE is well known for developing safe and fun events with a track record of seven successful rallies. In fact, the object of the rally is not who can reach the final destination first, but rather who can most closely attain an average speed of 61 mph over the 3000 mile route.

“Safety is paramount to this event, and in the previous five years and seven events held in Europe, we have never had a serious accident,” said Tim Porter, chief executive officer of Cannonball Run World Events. “We believe that this is due to the way we police our events with very strict rules. The object is to complete the course with an average speed at or below the national speed limit, rather than racing to be the first car to arrive.”


The 2007 Saleen S281 “Extreme” is quickly becoming known as the world’s fastest production Mustang. With 550 horsepower, 525 lb-ft of torque, Saleen’s patented Racecraft suspension, close-ratio six-speed transmission, 4:10 rear gearing with a Maxgrip differential, high-flow cooling system, 15” slotted and vented disc brake system, and numerous additional internal and external performance enhancements; the “Extreme” rivals all competitors in the high-performance sports car world, including the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Ferrari 430, Porsche 911 Carrera and the Dodge Viper SRT-10.

For the “Great American Run,” CRWE will be commissioning Saleen, Inc. to modify 25 stock Saleen S281 “Extremes” and having them converted to 600 horsepower, with aftermarket options available soon through the Saleen SpeedLab®. CRWE has named this exclusive collection of cars “The Ultimate Bad Boy Edition” and will only make them available to race entrants.

The 550 horsepower Saleen S281 “Extreme” is currently available for purchase at “The Saleen Store” and Saleen Certified Dealers for those not participating in the event. Visit www.saleen.com for further product and dealer information.

Saleen S281 Extreme “Ultimate Bad Boy Edition” vehicles are all equipped the same:

2007 Black Saleen S281 Extreme
Aftermarket options include:

  • Forged 5-spoke, one-piece wheels (painted black)
  • 50 Horsepower upgrade* – VOIDS WARRANTY (Aftermarket option available mid-year 2007 as a Saleen SpeedLab product)
  • Numbered gold plaque (provided by CRWE) (Buyers may add upgrades – i.e. scenic roof, tires, stereo system, etc.)
  • Official “Great American Run decals (provided by CRWE)

For more information regarding “The Great American Run” or Cannonball Run World Events, please contact 1-800-619-8593 or visit cannonballworld.com.


Since the company’s inception in 1984, Saleen has produced over 12,000 complete and EPAcertified vehicles, more than any other specialty automobile manufacturer. In addition, Saleen has equipped more than 600,000 vehicles worldwide, further emphasizing their commitment to excellence.

A nine-time Manufacturers’ Champion in GT sports car racing, Saleen manufactures the American super car — the Saleen S7, as well as the S281 Mustang, S331 Sport Truck and the Saleen/Parnelli Jones Limited Edition Mustang. Saleen’s manufacturing facilities are located in Irvine, California and Troy, Michigan. The Michigan facility has just completed all paint and assembly of the Ford GT as a special project for Ford Motor Company.

* Horsepower upgrades are only available on an aftermarket basis and void the manufacturer’s warranty on the vehicle. Customer is responsible for all emission compliance on any aftermarket powertrain modifications. The 550 horsepower Saleen Extreme is fully emissions compliant. Saleen makes no representation as to the emissions compliance of any vehicles modified by CRWE.


The winner of The 2007 Great American Run, starting from a choice of 4 cities in the US on 29 July 2007, will not only be hailed as the ultimate driving hero, but will also be awarded one of only 25 limited edition Saleen ‘Ultimate Bad Boy’ Mustangs that are being built specifically for the event. The 24 remaining cars are available exclusively to Great American Run entrants with 11 sold to date.

Says CEO of Cannonball World Events, Tim Porter: “This limited edition Great American Run Saleen Mustang has to be the ultimate prize for any serious petrol head! Just competing in the Great American Run is going to be the most amazing experience, but to think that there’s a strictly limited edition American muscle car up for grabs at the end adds some real spice to the event!”

All cars feature 600BHP and boast a 0-60 time of under 4 seconds. Each carries a unique 18ct gold plated chassis door plate inscribed with The Great American Run logo and the all important limited edition ID. Further information about entry to The Great American Run and full car specifications can be found on our website or from the UK Head Office on +44 (0)1403 276191.

Non entrants in the UK and Europe wanting to order any other model of Saleen can do so directly through the Cannonball Run World Events Head Office on + 44 (0)1403 276191 or by contacting Tim directly on 001 714-391-2486. The current weak dollar rate means that these muscle cars have a starting price in the order of £24,000 for the 335BHP version to £40,000 for the 550BHP Extreme model.

Further information can be found on our website: www.thegreatamericanrun.com or by calling the UK Head Office on +44 (0)1403 276191.



October 5, 2005 – Anaheim, CA – California International Auto Show: Saleen Inc., the high-performance specialty automobile manufacturer, announced today that all 2006 Saleen models now come with more horsepower under the hood and additional performance for car enthusiasts.

By continuing to improve design, engineering and manufacturing processes, Saleen continues to answer the call from those who have come to expect power and performance from the specialty auto manufacturer. Each and every 2006 Saleen S281 joins a unique blend of highly-engineered engine and advanced suspension technology. Add Saleen styling that is shaped by the wind, and you have an exceptional competitive breed of high-performance cars.

“Saleen is made from racing and we’ve been designing and manufacturing vehicles for nearly a quarter of a century. Couple these characteristics together and it explains why we’re able to get more power and performance from our S281s – and that’s why our vehicles continue to answer the demands of those who live for performance and speed,” said, Steve Saleen, president and CEO.

Adrenaline Producing S281 4.6 Liter, 3-Valve Coupe

The 2006 Saleen S281 3-Valve Coupe jumps to an accelerating 330 bhp. The Saleen S281 does not stop there. Saleen’s S281 lower differential gear ratio of 3.73:1 delivers more off-the-line quickness and thrill-seeking responsiveness than ever before. The combination of aggressive power and performance run deep in the heritage of Saleen. Quarter window design trim and billet aluminum gear shift knob furthers the design attributes that are just part of the distinctive styling available only on a Saleen S281. The Saleen 281’s Racecraft suspension continues the legacy with new features at a base price of $42,281.

S281 4.6 Liter, 3-Valve Supercharged Awakens the Senses

Incredible performance is standard in the Saleen S281 supercharged coupe because in 2006 the car rips at 435 bhp. The engine offers 420 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM and the Saleen Racecraft suspension provides a standard Saleen 14″ brake system. Together it’s an investment in quality that makes sense for those who truly love to drive and have a passion for life. S281 Coupe and Convertible Make Driving a Head-Turning Experience The Saleen S281 3-valve and S281 supercharged coupe and S281 supercharged convertible provide the ultimate in driving pleasure. Every Saleen comes standard with flawless aerodynamic styling which is another expressive benchmark that Saleen has become known for.

With an extensive list of standard features, the S281 supercharged coupe is priced at $51,102 and the S281 supercharged convertible is priced at $55,989 – making them the perfect answer to fulfill the intoxicating infatuation that runs deep into every performance car enthusiast.


Smokin’ Performance From The “Big E”

February 11, 2005 – Chicago Auto Show – Five hundred horsepower. Four hundred eighty pound-feet of torque. Those are serious performance numbers. And we’re not talking Saleen S7 supercar or some other exotic. No, we’re talking 2005 Saleen S281 Extreme or E for short.

2005 S281 Extreme
2005 S281 Extreme

The S281 E represents the pinnacle of the S281 lineup, which also includes the 325bhp S281 3-Valve and the 400bhp S281 Supercharged muscle cars. With 500 snorting ponies and 480 tire-twisting lb-ft of torque, the E will show its twin center exhaust pipes to plenty of sports cars boasting much higher price tags: Porsche 911, Maserati Coupe and BMW Z8 to name just three.

Like the S281 3Valve and SC models, the Extreme starts life on the same great platform Ford has provided via the 2005 Mustang’s all-new architecture. But the cutting-edge S281 E sets up residence in performance territory never explored by a production Ford Mustang.

This newest member of the Saleen S281 performance trilogy is manufactured with the latest in Saleen race-bred technology. At the heart of the S281 E is a unique Saleen-manufactured, high-revving, 4.6liter powerplant built in-house. The 281 cubic-inch V8 uses a special forged steel Saleen crankshaft, Saleen forged steel connecting rods, Saleen-patented forged aluminum pistons and unique Saleen aluminum cylinder heads featuring special valve springs and the latest Saleen performance camshafts.

In addition to the increased rpm available with the E engine, a Saleen-designed Series VI integrated TwinScrew supercharger with two-stage water-to-air inter-cooling is installed. This supercharger is so innovative that Saleen has several patents pending on the design.

Essentially, the Saleen design integrates the previously separate intake manifold, blower housing/assembly and intercooler into one compact unit that nestles neatly into the valley between the heads. This allows for a much wider intake manifold.

Some other significant design features of the Saleen supercharger:

    • It features an integrated bypass for low-speed running; when you are driving at low speeds and don’t require boost, the bypass helps reduce heat buildup in the engine. The Saleen design provides for optimal runner length, resulting in more torque and better low-end drivability.
    • All bends are opened up to provide smooth airflow.
    • It features long, beefy downdraft runners with minimal bends for maximizing torque and horsepower. On the previous design, the air had to make two 180-degree bends. The new design provides a straight, direct shot into the cylinders and about a 50 percent increase in flow compared to last year’s supercharger.
    • The new design is much more maintenance-friendly. It has only one sealing surface; the previous supercharger had four. In addition, you only have to remove the eight screws that bolt the air tube to the plenum for access to all of the blower components. Previously, you had to remove the supercharger assembly from the engine and then disassemble it.
2005 S281 Extreme
2005 S281 Extreme

A PowerFlash performance computer—a sophisticated Saleen-designed engine management control system—determines the precise fuel, air and spark requirement for every running condition. It operates in conjunction with a new-for-2005 engine knock sensor system, allowing the engine to make use of premium fuel for maximum power and torque while minimizing fuel consumption and engine detonation.

The engine is also fitted with a Saleen free-flow air cleaner element.

The exhaust system is an innovative “variable design,” featuring twin mufflers with vacuum-actuated valves that open above a specified back pressure. When these valves open, a portion of the exhaust gases is routed through a second set of tail pipes pointed at the ground.

This design offers numerous advantages. It allows the engine to be calibrated to produce higher torque. Secondly, it provides a free-flowing exhaust system, while still providing the capability for passing mandated pass-by noise regulations in the U.S., Canada and U.K. Thirdly, it makes for some lovely exhaust sounds at wide-open throttle.

The exhaust side of the engine also features a full 2-1/2inch stainless steel exhaust system, running from the exhaust manifold outlet to the tip of the exhaust pipes.

The S281E V8 is coupled to a Saleen heavy-duty 6-speed manual transmission and a high-performance flywheel/clutch disc assembly. Power is delivered to the rear wheels via a Saleen custom balanced driveshaft and a performance differential assembly featuring a Saleen MaxGrip, speed-sensitive, limited-slip differential.

Big power numbers require big brakes. To handle 500 bhp and 480 lb-ft of torque, the E is fitted with 1-piece, 14-inch front brake rotors, the same size brakes used on the 200mph Ford GT. A four-channel anti-lock braking system and all-speed traction control provide additional assistance during emergency maneuvers.

Naturally, the E features a complete Saleen Racecraft suspension system including racing-inspired springs, shocks and anti-roll bars. In addition, the E receives special Saleen boxed rear lower control arms and a Panhard rod specific to this model. The Panhard rod provides precise lateral control of the E’s live rear axle, helping keep the tires flat on the road for greater cornering power and more precise handling.

The E features a 20-inch alloy wheel at all four corners. Those up front are 9-inches wide; the rears are 10 inches. Standard on the Extreme are ultra high-performance Pirelli P Zero Rossos, 275/35ZR20s up front with 275/40ZR20s fitted to the rears.

2005 S281 Extreme
2005 S281 Extreme

Visually, the E is distinguished from the other two S281 models by a unique aero package, including a distinctive front splitter and a rear diffuser, plus a different rear quarter window treatment. Lighting the way are standard Saleen HID headlamps. The interior features a number of Saleen exclusives. A few of these include unique Saleen gauges with black backgrounds, white numbers and easy-to-read silver needles with black inserts, satin aluminum trim, painted accents, Saleen door sill plates and S281 floor mats. Each car also comes with an individualized Saleen VIN number stamped in the chassis, on a dash plaque and on the front bumper. S281 SC and S281E models also feature a Saleen twin gauge pod with readouts for boost and air temperature.

More standard features than ever before include one-touch up/down power windows, power mirrors, keyless entry and power locks, a heated rear window, interval wipers, MP3 capability and a MyColor custom instrument panel. The industry- first, color-configurable MyColor instrument panel offers the ultimate in personalization. S281E owners can mix and match lighting at the touch of a button to create more than 125 different color backgrounds to suit their personality, mood, outfit or whim.

Options include a summer performance tire package consisting of super-sticky Pirelli 285/35ZR19 Corsa tires all around, a Shaker 500 audio system with 500 watts of output and a six-disc CD player. Incidentally, both the standard and optional E wheel and tire packages are also available on the 3-Valve and Supercharged models.

Powered by a supercharged small block V8 producing 500 pavement-shredding horsepower and capable of generating performance figures of around 4.5 sec from 0-60 mph and quarter-mile numbers of about 12.1 sec at 117 mph, comparisons with the 500bhp Corvette Z06 model that Chevrolet will introduce later this year are inevitable.

The S281E is scheduled for introduction in July of 2005, and the price will be announced at that time.


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.


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.



Saleen Pushes Its Own Mustang Envelope With Introduction Of 2002 S281-E

IRVINE, Calif., Sept. 20 – In the world of high-performance automotive manufactures, history has shown that constant refinement and staying true to a company’s founding objectives are the keys to long-term success. Forget the fancy adjectives and PR fluff. The entire objective is to build exciting sports cars that are a blast to drive — period.

In keeping with Saleen Inc.’s colorful 19-year history of manufacturing precisely such aspirational automobiles, the company has announced the release of its most refined sports car to date – the awe-inspiring S281-E. Boasting the most powerful engine available in today’s Mustang-based market, the newest member of the Saleen family is also the most refined Mustang the company has ever offered to the public.

The “E” stands for “Extreme,” and, given the car’s outstanding list of performance features, the new name is certainly justified. Available as a coupe, convertible or speedster, the S281-E uses a specially-prepared Saleen power plant that provides a whopping 425 horsepower at 5,400 RPM, matched by an impressive 440 ft. lbs. of torque.

“We are very proud of our newest addition to the Saleen line-up” Explained company founder and product visionary Steve Saleen. “While our S281 supercharged model sets the benchmark in performance, handling and top speed, we wanted to provide the hard-core enthusiast with the ultimate example of Saleen Mustang technology and innovation. The S281-E is in perfect keeping with our corporate mission of providing our clients with branded products that deliver the ultimate performance combined with real functionality and cutting edge style”.

The life of the S281-E begins, like all Saleen production cars, on the floor of the company’s new 140,000 square foot facility. The new car proceeds down Saleen’s well-organized assembly line and through the hands of the highly skilled technicians.

For the S281-E the list of standard equipment includes:

  • Quick ratio 6 speed manual transmission
  • Complete Saleen racecraft suspension including raced developed shocks, springs and boxed rear control arms
  • A refined rear end assembly featuring the new Saleen “MaxGrip” speed-sensitive limited slip diff
  • A high performance Saleen braking system and complete Saleen interior

Outside the body receives the latest in Saleen designed and manufactured aerodynamics, along with the customer’s choice of Speedlab Yellow, Saleen S7 Silver, Pearl White, Lizstick Red, Black Metallic, Beryllium, Victory Blue or Bright Signature Red by BASF. The S281-E rolls on high performance Pirelli P-zero tires and huge 18″ Saleen-designed alloy.

At the heart of the S281-E’s stunning performance is the highly potent powerplant. Built in-house under the experienced guidance chief engineer Neil Hannermann and engine department manager Bill Tally, the 281 CID (4.6)L engine is comprised of a special forged steel Saleen crankshaft, forged connecting rods, forged aluminum pistons and unique Saleen aluminum cylinder heads featuring special valve springs and the latest Saleen performance camshafts. An 11″ aluminum flywheel uses a Kevlar padded clutch disc to transfer the power to the 6-speed trans by way of custom balanced driveshaft.

In addition to the increased rpm available with the “E” engine, a new developed Saleen Series V “screw type” supercharger is utilized to increase power, along with a Saleen water to air intercooler with heat exchanger. The engine is feed via a specially designed Saleen 90mm Mass air sensor, inlet tube and manifold, while exhaust is routed through a Saleen designed 2.5″ stainless steel, four-way catalytic, high flow exhaust. Engine management is handled by sequential electronic fuel injectors and the new Saleen “Powerflash” performance calibration computer.

The result of this extensive Saleen manufacturing process is one of the most potent cars ever offered to the ever-enthusiastic group of Mustang fans. The S281-E not only represents the latest example of the Saleen automotive philosophy, it is also the logical extension to the company’s growing line of high-performance cars.

“When you look at how far we’ve come in the past 19 year, you can’t help but be proud of a car like the new S281-E.” explained Saleen. “It has all the speed and handling of our monster S351, but in a much more developed package. All of the gains we’ve made in creating reliable horsepower and crisp, but supple, chassis handling have been brought together in all our new 2002 models. The upper step of the Saleen Mustang performance ladder is now occupied by the new S281-E; right behind our radical SR Widebody. Our customers can now truly have the ‘extreme’ in power and performance, while at the same time enjoying the refinement of a BMW.”

Carrying a suggest retail price starting at $59,995, the S281-E takes its place with the rest of the Saleen’s broad line of ultra high-performance sports cars – including the racing-derived Saleen Mustang SR and the incredible Saleen S7 American supercar. Saleen vehicle are available only through a growing network of selected Saleen certified dealers.

Contact: Jack Gerken 949-597-4900

76 Fairbanks
Irvine, CA 92618
t 949 597 4900
f 949 597 0201