Tag Archives: Mustang

PRE-PRODUCTION S281 EXTREME (05-0001E) TO HIT BARRETT-JACKSON, LAS VEGAS

Lot #645
2005 FORD MUSTANG SALEEN EXTREME PROTOTYPE #001
Auction: Las Vegas 2019
Reserve: NO RESERVE
Status: Available
Price Request Bidder Info
Lot: 645
Year: 2005
Make: FORD
Model: MUSTANG SALEEN
Style: EXTREME PROTOTYPE

Details
VIN: 1ZVFT82H755131288
Exterior Color: SPEEDLAB YELLOW
Interior Color: CHARCOAL
Cylinders: V8
Engine Size: 4.6-LITER SUPERCHARGED
Transmission: 6-SPEED MANUAL

Description
Lot #645 – This is a fully documented 2005 Saleen Extreme S281 R&D Prototype finished in Speedlab Yellow over a Dark Charcoal leather interior with black graphics. It’s a true one-of-one car with 21,727 actual miles, most of which occurred during factory testing, and is powered by a 4.6-liter V8 engine backed by a 6-speed manual transmission.

Saleen did not release the Extreme model to the general public for purchase until 2006. This Saleen was used as the promotional Extreme model, which was unveiled at the Chicago and New York auto shows, generating pre-orders for 2006 production. This exact car can also be found within factory promotional literature. The 2005 Extreme Prototype story is very unique. In the Saleen production logs there were three prototypes set for production in 2005: #0001E, #0002E and #0003E. In reality, the #0003E car was never actually produced. The #0002E car, Sonic Blue in color, was purchased by an R&D employee and totaled while driving in the rain a short time after. This #0001E car is not only the first 2005 Extreme prototype but also the only remaining prototype in existence for the ’05-09 lineage. Many components on the car are hand-built and first of their kind, from the quarter-window deletes and carbon diffusers to a host of custom Saleen internal engine components.

In 2018 the 05-0001E was shipped to Corona, CA, not only for firsthand factory authentication, but to attend the Saleen World Car Show. For the show, the Saleen family selected one car from each production lineage to be parked in front of headquarters on display, and the 05-0001E was selected to represent the ’05-09 lineage. Ultimately, the one-of-a-kind 05-0001E was selected to receive The Best of Show award. While at Saleen Headquarters, Steve Saleen personally signed the dash with the #1 designation, and signed the engine compartment as well. Molly Saleen also signed her picture endorsing the 05-0001E at the show. All documented signatures, video of Steve Saleen signing 05-0001E, signed Factory Authentication Letter, processed Saleen Best of Show Award check, Saleen World Car Show numbered vehicle entry pass, and a factory brochure with 05-0001E featured will accompany the car. CARFAX shows Ford Motor Company manufacturer safety recall issued on 01/27/2019: Passenger airbag inflator replacement.

Click here to participate in the discussion.

[Source: Barrett-Jackson]

AUTOMOBILE: 2019 SALEEN S302 WHITE LABEL REVIEW

SALEEN’S S302 WHITE LABEL FORD MUSTANG IS A MORE DIALED-IN GT
More muscle, more moxie, and getting back on track for Saleen’s 35th anniversary.

BY: ED TAHANEY | PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ED TAHANEY on SEPTEMBER 17, 2019
Original Article: AUTOMOBILEMAG.COM

Back in 1984, Steve Saleen upgraded a Fox Body Mustang with a sweet body kit, added a Racecraft suspension, larger wheels and tires, and a big-ass wing, among other cool bits. It was an instant hit and won races at the track and on the streets. If you grew up on the East Coast, it was the type of car usually driven by guys named Tony and gals named Tina. They’d do donuts next to Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel and cruise up and down the Jersey Shore all summer long.

Fast forward 35 years and despite plenty of business-related twists, turns, and detours along the way, Saleen is still kicking and still cranking out some seriously modded Mustangs. The latest Ford Mustang GT is already one hell of a car, and Saleen’s S302 White Label treatment makes it even better—despite a name that reminds us of a new line of perfume or a special batch of homegrown hooch.

2019 Saleen S302 White Label
2019 Saleen S302 White Label

The S302 White Label is the tamest pony in the Corona, California–based tuner’s present day corral, checking in with 15 more horses than the base GT at 475 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. The increase is thanks to a few minor enhancements, but mainly its performance exhaust system. The V-8 is mated to a six-speed manual transmission fitted with a fun-to-operate short-throw shifter. Mash the pedal, listen to the engine roar, drop it into gear, and away you go in a cloud of smoke.

While it’s not a supercharged beast like Saleen’s higher-spec Yellow and Black Label Mustangs—read our recent review of the 800-HP Black Label here—the ride and handling of the 35th Anniversary Edition S302 White Label has been dialed up dynamically thanks to a unique Saleen strut tower brace and a specially tuned Racecraft suspension.

Visually, the Saleen package screams, “Hey, look at me!” and you’ll get plenty of stares and thumps up while racing from stop light to stop light thanks to a Saleen-specific front fascia; a rear wing; and distinct, 20-inch five-spoke wheels that sit over bright-yellow four-piston calipers. It’s a look that was nicely complemented by our test car’s Oxford White paint and would be right at home in towns from Bakerfield to Bensonhurst, where this pumped-up pony car would be welcomed with open arms. The SALEEN windshield sticker and custom grille with a thin red accent will further announce the car’s specialness, as will that throaty growl emanating from the custom exhaust and mufflers. It was certainly sweet music to our ears.

2019 Saleen S302 White Label
2019 Saleen S302 White Label

If you’re the massive-horsepower type, you can always step up to Saleen’s aforementioned supercharged Yellow Label with 715 horsepower or the super-duper-charged 800-hp Black Label. We had a chance to sample the White and Black Labels back-to-back, and while we appreciate the latter’s extra ponies, the White Label version is more tractable and feels just right. Don’t get us wrong, the Black Label is wicked fun, but is more akin to a race horse with anger-management issues—exhilarating to ride but difficult to tame.

Inside, the White Label looks a lot like a similarly priced 2019 Mustang GT Coupe Premium trim model minus the leather-trimmed seats. Our Saleen test car came with black cloth seats instead, albeit with Saleen-branded headrests. It also featured a sporty Saleen steering wheel in leather and suede, white face gauges, a billet shifter, Saleen quarter window covers, and B-pillar trim. The limited-production car also sports a serialized dash plaque and embroidered floor mats to let any passengers who happened to completely overlook the exterior cosmetics know this isn’t your garden-variety Mustang.

The Saleen 302 White Label also comes with a three-year/36,000-mile limited powertrain warranty. Even better, the test model we drove checked in at a relatively affordable $47,195. If you’re looking for a somewhat unique Mustang that can roam at the front of the pack with the best stock GTs, look no further. Now excuse us—we need to drive this beast to Nathan’s for some clams.

2019 Saleen S302 White Label Specifications
ON SALE Now
PRICE $47,195 (base)
ENGINE 5.0L 32-valve DOHC V-8; 475 hp @ 7,000 rpm, 430 lb-ft @ 4,600 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 3,750 lb (est)
0–60 MPH 4.2 sec (est)/td>
TOP SPEED 155 mph (est)

[Source: Automobile Magazine]

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]

FORD AUTHORITY: DRIVING THE SALEEN S302 WHITE LABEL, PART 1

Driving The Saleen S302 White Label: The Exterior

By: ALEX LUFT on SEPTEMBER 6, 2019
Original Article: FORDAUTHORITY.COM

One look. That’s all it takes to realize that the 2019 Saleen S302 White Label is no ordinary Mustang. And that’s because it is anything but ordinary. We spent the past two weeks with this beauty, and enjoyed every minute of it. First things first, let’s get a good gander at this breathtaking exterior.

2019 Ford Mustang Saleen White Label Exterior Ford Authority Front Three Quarters
2019 Ford Mustang Saleen White Label Exterior Ford Authority Front Three Quarters

The S302 White Label serves as the entry-level model in the Saleen model hierarchy. It starts out as the Mustang GT with Ford’s naturally-breathing 5.0L V8 Coyote engine, which receives a 15 horsepower bump at the hands of Saleen. From there, California-based firm makes a host of very tasteful and appropriate improvements and customizations to deliver a very unique package. Our tester was coated in Oxford White in the base (non-Premium) trim level and had black cloth seats.

2019 Saleen S302 White Label Vitals
Exterior Interior Mechanical
Saleen front fascia Saleen white face gauges 5.0L Coyote V8 tuned to 475 HP
Saleen rear wing Saleen billeft shift knob 6-speed manual transmission
Saleen 20-inch white wheels Saleen embroidered floor mats Saleen performance exhaust
Saleen white B-pillar trim Saleen signature steering wheel Saleen RaceCraft suspension & strut tower brace
Serialized limited production

Now, about that exterior: the Saleen Mustang White Label is one great-looking machine. The front end features a unique front fascia with a unique black billet-style grille with a red accent, along with an aggressive lower fascia. The modifications fix the sad and frumpy appearance introduced by the facelifted 2018 Mustang, giving the pony the more aggressive look it deserves.

2019 Ford Mustang Saleen White Label Exterior Ford Authority Frond End And Grille
2019 Ford Mustang Saleen White Label Exterior Ford Authority Frond End And Grille

The 001 ahead of the driver’s-side headlight denotes that this is the first Saleen S302 White Label for the 2019 model year. That number also appears on the serialized plaque inside the pony as well as under the hood.

A neat-looking 302 decal on the front fender denotes the engine size in cubic inches, tactfully letting others know that this is no ordinary Mustang. Slightly below that signage sit two more badges – one denoting the Four Valve configuration of the 5.0 Coyote engine and another denoting Saleen tuning. The B-pillar features white trim with Saleen script.

But the arguable piece de resistance of the Saleen S302 White Label are the wheels: a set of white-painted 20-inch wheels (9.5 inch in the front, 10.5 in the rear) make the coupe truly stand out on the road. Yellow brake calipers in the front make things pop.

2019 Ford Mustang Saleen White Label Exterior Ford Authority Side Profile
2019 Ford Mustang Saleen White Label Exterior Ford Authority Side Profile

Out back, a large rear wing complements the Mustang’s fastback proportions, while also providing functional downforce at higher speeds. Saleen script on the black decklid insert and Saleen dual exhaust with a diffuser round out the package.

2019 Ford Mustang Saleen White Label Exterior Ford Authority Rear Three Quarters
2019 Ford Mustang Saleen White Label Exterior Ford Authority Rear Three Quarters

During our two full weeks with this pony, not a day went by that someone did not come up to us to ask or talk about it, or give us a thumbs up. Observing fellow motorists in traffic was also fun, as Saleen’s pony turned heads when rolling up to a stop light or passing other vehicles. But none of that can truly describe how this car looks, and it looks absolutely stunning.

Walking up to the Saleen S302 put a smile on my face. Every. Single. Time. And I often caught myself looking out the window of my office on purpose just to catch a glimpse of this white knight. Having caught that glimpse, in turn, made me want to go out and drive it.

Anecdotally, a guy pulled up next to me in downtown Miami to ask what spacers the car was running, at which point I explained that there are no spacers, just really wide wheels. He was impressed. But the icing on the cake was walking out to the car after a gym session and seeing a group of teenagers taking selfies with the pony. It commands attention at every turn – it’s just that kind of car.

2019 Ford Mustang Saleen White Label Exterior Ford Authority Front Wheel
2019 Ford Mustang Saleen White Label Exterior Ford Authority Front Wheel

Indeed, the Saleen S032 White Label is no ordinary Mustang, and it shows. The entire package is very well thought-out and tastefully done. After two weeks with the car, I did not look forward to giving it back.

We’ll have much more about this gorgeous steed, including driving impressions, in the days ahead, so be sure to stay tuned and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Mustang news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

[Source: Ford Authority]

1995 S351 R-CODE (95-0095) HITS “RACING JUNK”

1995 Saleen S351 Mustang

1995 S351 R-Code, 95-0095
1995 S351 R-Code, 95-0095

Price: $35,000.00
Private Seller: jimbos
Location: Burke, VA
Contact: (703) 728-0404

Item Details:
Ad Number: 183955623
Condition: Used
Mileage: 18,000

Description
1995 Saleen S351 R code. #95. White/Blue saleen stripe. excellent original condition. Documented in Saleen Registry. Saleen Black Leather. Magnesium wheels. other options.

Click here to participate in the discussion.

[Source: Racing Junk]

ROAD|SHOW: 2019 SALEEN S302 REVIEW

2019 SALEEN S302 BLACK LABEL QUICK DRIVE REVIEW:
TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

By: STEVEN EWING on SEPTEMBER 2, 2019 5:00 AM PDT
Original Article: CNET.COM

Orange you glad this Mustang has 800 horsepower?
Orange you glad this Mustang has 800 horsepower?

Eight hundred horsepower sounds awesome in theory. But in the case of Saleen’s latest supercharged Ford Mustang, the S302 Black Label, it proves to be both a blessing and a curse.

You’ve seen this formula before: Take a stock Mustang GT, tweak the bodywork, upgrade the suspension, bolt a supercharger onto the engine and give it an exhaust that’ll wake the neighbors. Saleen has been building hot ‘Stangs since the 1980s, and it certainly knows how to make a statement.

The Black Label starts as a Mustang GT Premium optioned with the imaginatively named Equipment Group 400A, meaning you get things like heated and cooled seats and the full-fledged Sync 3 infotainment system with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The most noticeable interior update is a new set of seats, which are comfortable but seriously lack lateral support. White gauges take the place of the Mustang’s standard readouts, and a boost gauge is fitted atop the dash. Otherwise, the Black Label’s cabin is like any other Mustang, festooned with Saleen logos in the appropriate places.

Instead, it’s outside where the Saleenification is almost painfully obvious. Saleen fits its own hood, front and rear fascias (which actually shorten the car’s length by about 5 inches), quarter window trim and myriad vents and scoops. The overall look is definitely about flash as much as it is about function, with Saleen saying its bodywork has been optimized for improved aerodynamics. However, the keen-eyed among you will notice that several of the vents aren’t actually functional, so take that with a grain of salt.

The taller hood is necessary to accommodate Saleen’s big honkin’ supercharger, which delivers up to 12 psi of boost. Matched with Ford’s 5.0-liter Coyote V8, Saleen says the Black Label puts out a monstrous 800 horsepower and 687 pound-feet of torque. A new engine oil cooler and high-performance exhaust system are on hand to help this swole powerplant perform at its peak. Unfortunately, this is where things start to fall apart.

The Saleen-specific bodywork is... not my thing. A Racecraft suspension gives it a lowered stance on its 20-inch wheels.
The Saleen-specific bodywork is… not my thing. A Racecraft suspension gives it a lowered stance on its 20-inch wheels.

Power delivery is consistently inconsistent.

Power delivery is consistently inconsistent. Rolling onto the throttle in first gear is easy-peasy, with a heavier-side-of-perfectly weighted clutch and solid action from the six-speed manual shifter. But the minute you start running at higher revs in higher gears, you’ll encounter weird peaks of sudden thrust. The throttle is like a light switch; you’re either full-on or full-off, and this makes the Saleen incredibly difficult to drive smoothly. The engine hiccups at higher revs, which unsettles the car, reducing your willingness to push harder.

Aside from some Saleen badges and some comfy-but-unsupportive seats, the Black Label's interior is standard Mustang GT fare.
Aside from some Saleen badges and some comfy-but-unsupportive seats, the Black Label’s interior is standard Mustang GT fare.

On the other hand, when everything does go just right, this car is a thrill to launch. My official seat-of-the-pants acceleration readout is “f*cking quick,” and there’s enough power to get you up past go-directly-to-jail speeds before you reach the end of second gear. Still, what good is having 800 horsepower if a car doesn’t compel you to drive it fast?

Saleen fits the Black Label with Racecraft springs, struts, shocks and sway bars at the front and rear, and upsized brakes sit behind large, 20-inch wheels. This car doesn’t ride half as poorly as you’d expect it to on a public road. Yes, you’ll feel every bump, but the Black Label is shockingly amicable around town — not something I can say of most tuner cars.

Sadly, the General G-Max summer tires fitted to this test car leave a lot to be desired. They don’t provide the sort of traction you’d want from a car with this much power. In fact, the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires that come on the stock Ford Mustang GT with Performance Pack 2 are a far superior choice, both in daily driving comfort and outright cornering grip. Add in the fact that the Black Label uses the Mustang GT’s factory traction control system, which simply isn’t programmed to allow 800 horsepower to get to the wheels, and you have a car that rarely actually lets you exploit its capability.

Perhaps the most compelling part of the Saleen S302 Black Label package is its price: $78,495. That’s no small sum, but it puts this car in reach of many buyers — folks who might otherwise purchase something like a 797-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody, which starts at $76,245.

The lowered stance is courtesy of the Racecraft suspension hardware.

Plus, you can’t put a price on exclusivity; how many times have you seen one of these at your Saturday morning cars-and-coffee meet? And unlike some tuned machines, every Saleen vehicle comes with its own three-year, 36,000-mile warranty for added peace of mind.

But as far as fast Mustangs go, you’re better off with something like Ford’s Shelby GT350, with its razor-sharp handling that rivals the world’s best sports cars. Don’t forget, Ford’s also got the Shelby GT500 up its sleeve — a fully baked supercar-killer with 760 horsepower on tap.

The Saleen S302 Black Label is best purchased as a collector’s item or showpiece, which is a shame, since this car is brimming with performance potential. More than anything else, it’s a reminder that power — even 800 horsepower — isn’t everything.

[Source: Road Show by CNET]

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]