Tag Archives: S302

TERLINGUA PRESERVATION SOCIETY 2019 RUN

From our friends at Saleen Automotive

We love supporting The Terlingua Preservation Society, an organization who shares a love for all makes and years of Mustangs. At their 11th annual community fundraising event, 40 cars, including our Orange Fury Black Label and silver White Label, made the trip to far west Texas to enjoy 1/4 mile runs and a 250-mile cruise including a 10.2-mile closed road high-speed run.

The event raised more than $30,000, bringing the 11-year total to just over $250,000 in total, LOCAL giving. Congrats, TPS!

[Source: Saleen Automotive]

HOT ROD: A SALEEN MUSTANG COLLECTION TO DIE FOR

A Saleen Mustang Collection to Die For
Power in the Hands of… One?

BY: MARYBETH KICZENSKI on OCTOBER 2, 2019
Original Article: HOTROD.COM

We’ll wager a bet that you’ve heard the name Steve Saleen, and we’ll bet the farm that every Mustang enthusiast knows the name, as the builder of the infamous Saleen Mustangs. Coming from a Formula Atlantic open-wheel racing background, Saleen began turning out modified Fox-body Mustangs in the 1980s, from 1984 to 1993. Roughly 2,700 of the Saleen Mustangs were built during the Fox era, and a bunch more from ’94 to today. The Saleens were among the first “tuner” Mustangs on the market, and with their modified (sometimes Vortech-supercharged) engines and suspensions, they were a bright spot in the often dismal mid-1980s performance scene.

Saleen’s tagline, “Power in the hands of a few,” definitely means a bit more to Scott Warren of Highland Park, Illinois. As an avid Mustang enthusiast, the performance capabilities of the Saleen-modified ones always peaked (piqued) his interest. Scott’s first Mustang was a black-over-grey 1987 GT that would go on to both fuel his addiction to black cars, as well as the quest for a real Saleen.

For Scott, what stood out about the Saleen cars was their track record. Saleen took home the driver, team, and manufacturer’s championships in SCCA Escort Endurance series in both 1987 and Saleen’s winning continued in 1988, including a 1-2-3 in the 24 Hours of Mosport in ’88 with a three-Mustang team, a first for Ford since the GT40 tromping of Ferrari at LeMans in 1966.

Saleen Mustangs are special in that every vehicle is serialized, like Shelbys were and still are. This appealed to Scott, as well. Not only does serializing make each car unique, they also come with a story that can be tracked throughout a car’s history. Scott used this to his advantage in searching out cars from limited-production runs, super high-performance offerings, press cars, test mules, or Saleen’s personal cars—that unique serial number and bumper number tells the story. Scott learned that the cars with low bumper/serial numbers tend to be these special builds or in-house company demos; the ones sold to the public typically begin at number 10 but the numbers also don’t always follow in sequence.

After nearly 20 years from his first encounter with a Saleen Mustang, Scott purchased his first one, a black 1987 convertible. While this car started his journey into actual ownership, it would be the special ones mentioned above that he would ultimately end up with.

While the core of his collection consists of Fox Saleens, his many years of driving and collecting them have led him to appreciate all the body styles. Scott is also an active member of The Saleen Club of America which, as he says, has brought together so many people from across the country who share a passion for Saleen automobiles. Even though the Fox Mustang started it all for Saleen, there are highly desirable variants spanning across various generations of Mustangs, many of which he has in his collection. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?

1993 SC #02

Saleen released its first Mustang in 1984 and to celebrate its five-year anniversary in 1989, produced the Saleen SSC, a special edition of 161 Mustangs with specially modified engines that made 292 hp. The ’89 SSC was the first Saleen to receive full EPA certification. These cars proved popular so in 1990-1993 the model was referred to as the Saleen SC, (for Super Car). The production was skipped in ’92. This car, of which only 26 were built, was designed to showcase how far the Fox platform could be pushed while retaining a warranty, something that’s critically important to anyone purchasing a new car. The production numbers of this top of the line Saleen SC can be broken down like this:

SALEEN SC PRODUCTION
1990 13
1991 9
1992 0
1993 4
TOTAL: 26

All of them, except one, sported unique interiors. They were fitted with unique wheels and a larger diameter exhaust. Engine-wise, Saleen fitted them with a Saleen-specific intake and other engine parts. Some received adjustable suspension bits, and some later models were Vortech-supercharged. In 1990, the SC cars were rated at 315 hp, which was a lot of power for the early ’90s. Saleen offered the package for 1992, but there were no takers. For 1993, four cars were ordered. Of these cars, one was a convertible. What makes this batch special is that they came with a 450hp rating. These cars were identical in performance to the SA-10 models except for paint scheme and interior seat stitching. The ’93 SC cars even had the carbon hood originally offered on the SA-10. Scott’s ’93-’02 SC is the lone hatchback produced with this 450hp combination. What does this equate to in performance numbers? Off the showroom floor the car would bolt 0-60 in 4.8 seconds and cover the quarter mile in 12.9 seconds. Again, for the early ’90s that was fast!

Scott’s 1993 #02SC originally stickered for $39,990 and was used as a daily driver during the first part of its life, where it was traded between collectors. Later it spent several years on display at Performance Autosport in Richmond, VA. Scott was adamant about telling his friend there how much he loved that particular car and this communication proved beneficial when the car came up for sale a few years back. Scott was able to scoop it up with 54,000 original miles.

1993 SA10 #01

The Fox-body Mustang came to an end in 1993 which coincidently was also Saleen’s 10th year of production. To celebrate, the company decided to offer the SA10 model. In order to purchase one of these special edition cars, you had to be a member of the Saleen Owners and Enthusiasts Club. What makes the SA10 models special was that these were the first cars to use sequential serial numbers from Ford. All 10 of the black LX hatchbacks came off the line in order and were shipped to Saleen for the conversion. Exterior wise, the black cars were marked with yellow and white accent decals, a carbon fiber hood, and flat-lipped Stern wheels. Scott notes that these wheels are often copied, and stresses that only 10 or 11 Saleens ever came with them. Interior wise, all but one car received Recaro leather seating. From this point, the customer could pick and choose his/her vehicle’s options from the Saleen Performance Parts catalogue and as such, no two cars are exactly the same. The SA10’s base car, a supercharged Saleen but not an SC, came with 325 hp. Obviously, based on which additional performance goodies were ordered, the car could leave with 450 hp. Less than 10 Fox-body Saleen Mustangs with 450 hp were ever produced—four were the Saleen SC flavor, and the remainder were the SA10 cars.

SA10 #01 was originally built for John McCauley, President of the Saleen Owners and Enthusiasts Club. Like all original purchasers of these special cars, John met with Saleen to discuss the additional details of the build. John enjoyed racing so he wanted this to be a race car. While some collectors would frown upon this decision, others would applaud it—after all, these cars were born from a racing heritage. SA10 #01’s performance story began with a balanced and blueprinted engine fitted with ported cylinder heads. This is the only SA10 with a Saleen-specific intake for more horsepower. From there, a Tremec five-speed and a 3.55 gear with an Auburn differential transferred that horsepower to the ground via heavy duty racing springs and shocks at all four corners. Interior wise, John had the rear seat deleted, and a four-point roll cage installed. A custom Pioneer stereo with a 10-disc changer rounded out the build because, you know, street car! Because of the racing intent for this particular SA10, it would become the most-optioned build, and was built by Joe Gosinski and his team at Saleen. Joe, for those not up to speed on Saleen history, was the man behind the infamous 1994-1999 S-351R but met a tragic end a few years ago—more on that later.

Being the first prototype build, SA10 #01 has a few other details that make it different from the reminder of the SA10s. The graphics are slightly different and the wheels have unique polished center caps. The car also spent time on the show circuit, including being Vortech’s booth car at SEMA. What was the original cost for this special Saleen? MSRP was over $50,000 for this race-ready Fox. Gosinsky would later open Chicane Motorsports in California, A subsequent owner of #01 took the car to Joe’s shop where he refreshed the entire drivetrain and brought the car back to collector-original quality. Scott eventually purchased the car from Mark LaMaskin who owns Performance Autosport in Richmond VA (and helped us with some technical information on this story). The car had been in the Roger Rodas’ collection. Roger was a good friend and client of Mark’s, after Roger’s death Mark helped the family place all of his collectable Mustangs. The SA10s, due to their storied history and performance prowess, firmly place them as one of the most sought-after Fox-body Mustangs. Of the 10 offered, only nine were ultimately built due to a customer backing out on the deal. This car is one of Scott’s most prized possessions, the other being the aforementioned legendary S-351.

The Non-Saleen: 1993 SAAC MKII #01 Convertible

Scott may be a die-hard Saleen owner but that doesn’t limit him from appreciating special cars built by other notable builders. Carroll Shelby, as everyone knows, made history with some of the most incredible Mustangs ever to grace the planet. The SAAC MKI and MK2 cars of the early 1990s have an interesting history due to the fact Shelby was under contract with Chrysler at the time, building the crazy pocket rockets for Dodge. This project was a secret between a few Ford engineers and Shelby, so secret that the first few cars were built in the garage of one of the original people involved in the program. Production was eventually moved to Watson Engineering in MI. Scott’s car was the last one built, and it was assembled at Kar Kraft (home of the Boss 429 Mustangs). The goal was to create a modern day G.T. 350 and they almost pulled it off, but right around the launch of the MK1, Chrysler issued a cease and desist order against Shelby. The cars were quickly rebranded as SAAC (Shelby American Automobile Club) instead of Shelby. Production-wise, 37 white-with-blue-stripes MK1 cars were built. MK2s saw a mix of hatchbacks and convertibles and the colors were expanded to include red and black. Out of the approximate 21 cars made, 12 were convertibles.

The MK cars came with nearly 300 naturally-aspirated horsepower with the GT40 package that consisted of different heads, larger throttle body, and a tubular GT40 intake. The brakes were upgraded to four-wheel discs and three-piece Simmons wheels finished the look. In order to assist with brake cooling, the fog lights were removed in favor of air ducts. Interestingly enough, some believe that without this secret project the 1993 Cobra would have never happened. Ford sold some back-room parts to get the cars built and also used it as the test bed for EPA certification. Also note the lack of fake air scoops that the GT body had.

Scott’s ownership of this car came through an eBay auction—goes to show that sometimes you really can find awesome things on the site. Sitting at around 10,000 original miles, this drop-top Fox is a wonderful example of this complicated three-way relationship that left a sour taste in one manufacturer’s mouth.

1997 S351 #026R

The “R” designation on any Saleen means something special. The S351 series was built from 1994 until 1999, and these legendary cars were the first ones in which Saleen changed out the entire driveline. There were less than 300 produced throughout the entire production run. Some of these cars started out as basic V6s while others were V8s and after Saleen’s swap, power output ranged from 371 hp on the naturally aspirated models to the 505hp fire-breathing supercharged variants. Again, this is the mid- to late-’90s so that kind of power for a car with a warranty was incredible at the time.

Scott acquired S351 #026R after the untimely murder of Chicane Motorsports owner Joe Gosinski in 2010. The car found its way to Joe’s shop with intentions of being turned into a track car. The customer ran out of money, so Joe acquired it as a personal project. A Maximum Motorsports suspension and Global West subframe connectors were installed just prior to Joe’s untimely passing, so when Scott took possession his job was to reassemble and install the original drivetrain and Tremec six-speed. Currently sitting at 15,000 miles, this was one of four cars built with every available option. Those options were the 10-inch rear wheels, 3.55 rear end, two-point chassis brace, and the Recaro leather interior. All S351s received Alcon brakes as a standard feature in 1997. S351 #026R is Scott’s favorite car to drive on the street. He said that the combination of the chassis and suspension work with the sheer power from the supercharged engine make it an absolute beast. Because of his connection with Joe, this car holds a special place in his heart and he never plans on selling it.

1997 S281 Cobra #173

The Supercharged Extreme Rainbow Cobra Speedster Saleen is a mouthful to describe. It is one of 182 cars built on the Cobra chassis and the only convertible ever painted this color—less than 20 Saleens in total were painted this color. Often confused with Ford’s Mystic, this is a completely different color as BASF was a partner of the Saleen/Allen racing team and manufactured the paint for them.

The story of S281C #173 began as a custom build for a customer in Colorado. He insisted on a white top, and the only way to get one was to order a red car, so this car started life as a red cobra convertible. Why is this significant if the car needs to be repainted? Well, Saleen preferred black cars because then they didn’t have to paint the engine bay. A bill for an additional $4,000 for labor was added to the customer’s build in order to remove the drivetrain to paint the engine bay. With an original sticker price of $58,287 and the additional labor costs, plus $4,286 for the supercharger install, this car topped out at $66,573! The original owner supplied a disposable camera to document the build and some photos are said to show the test-fitting of the Vortech supercharger at Saleen’s production facility but Saleen records show that the car was shipped off to a dealer for the supercharger install.

This was another eBay score for Scott. He came across the auction 12 years ago and immediately called the seller to end it. This was his second Saleen and the one he has owned the longest. As it sits today, the car only has about 4,000 miles on it. With the eye-catching paint and unique build details, the car remains one of the most recognizable Saleens out there.

2011 Black Label #01

With all these rare and special Saleen vehicles, what does Scott drive daily? Why a Saleen, of course! True to his collector roots, this also isn’t just “any old Saleen.” The 2011 Black Label (2011-01BL) that serves daily duty started out as a car for Liz and Steve Saleen to use as a commuter for work. At some point, the car was then used as a test mule for what was going to be “George Follmer” editions. A modified engine in addition to suspension tweaks were installed and tested at the track. The car was then shipped to Charlotte to celebrate the Mustang’s 50th anniversary where Steve Saleen gave test rides in the car on the track. Then in 2014, the Black Label body kit was installed and the car was shipped to China as a marketing tool to help launch the brand there. When the Mustang switched body styles in 2015, Saleen sold it to Scott with 26,000 miles on it. Modern Saleens use a “label” to designate the trim levels: White Labels are base models, Black Label is the top trim, and Yellow Label is a White Label with a supercharger. As a true daily driver, Scott has driven this car to over a dozen states and has taken it to two different Saleen Nationals plus Ponies in the Smokies.

There we have it! A somewhat brief history into Saleen as told through the stories of one dedicated owner and his collection of rare and unique Mustangs!

Factoid

In 1985, Steve Saleen’s secretary miscounted the vehicles produced that year, omitting vehicle number 6. Since 1985, Saleen has had the tradition of not issuing the #6 bumper number on any of its vehicles. And now you know.

[Source: Hot Rod Network]

CUSTOM PAINT S302 BLACK LABEL (15-0042BL) HITS BaT AUCTION

BaT Essentials
Lot #23663
Location: La Mesa, California 91942
VIN: 1FA6P8CF6F5323023
26k Indicated Miles
Replacement Supercharged 5.0L V8
6-Speed Manual Transmission
Maliblue Metallic/Black Leather
Carbon Fiber Trim
20″ Wheels
Heated & Cooled Seats
Service Records
Clean Carfax Report
Private Party or Dealer: Private Party

2015 Saleen Mustang S302 Black Label

15-0042 S302 Black Label
15-0042 S302 Black Label

This 2015 Saleen Mustang S302 Black Label was purchased by the seller from Saleen prior to being displayed at SEMA and the San Diego International Auto Show in 2015, and has since been driven approximately 26k miles. Power comes from a replacement supercharged 5.0-liter V8 paired with a six-speed manual transmission, and the car is finished in Maliblue Metallic over black leather. Equipment includes carbon fiber trim, a rear spoiler, blue LEDs, 20″ wheels, slotted and cross-drilled brake rotors, and heated and cooled seats. The radiator and clutch have been replaced by El Cajon Ford under current ownership. This Saleen Mustang is offered with stock taillight panels, service records, a 2019 dyno sheet, a clean Carfax report, and a clean California title in the seller’s name.

15-0042 S302 Black Label
15-0042 S302 Black Label

The body is finished in Saleen Maliblue Metallic and features a vented hood, tinted windows and lights, and a rear spoiler as well as a carbon fiber front splitter, side skirts, and rear diffuser. Flat black taillight panels replace the stock Saleen units, which are included in the sale. The seller states that the front bumper cover and hood have been repainted due to chips, and the front splitter has also been recoated with carbon fiber to repair chips and cracks. Remaining chips and scratches can be seen in the gallery along with broken passenger-side mirror glass.

15-0042 S302 Black Label
15-0042 S302 Black Label

Grey 20″ wheels are mounted with Continental rubber up front and Michelin tires in the rear, the latter of which show 2017 date codes. The car is equipped with Saleen S4 high-performance suspension as well as slotted front brake rotors along with cross-drilled and slotted rear rotors. The seller describes the front tires as in need of replacement and notes that the parking brake is inoperable due to worn pads.

15-0042 S302 Black Label
15-0042 S302 Black Label

The interior features heated and cooled front sport seats upholstered in black leather with white and grey inserts, blue LED lighting, dual-zone climate control, a touchscreen stereo, and an integrated Escort Passport 9500ci radar and laser detector.

15-0042 S302 Black Label
15-0042 S302 Black Label

Instrumentation includes a tachometer and speedometer with inset coolant temperature and fuel level gauges as well as boost and air intake temperature readouts on top of the dash. The digital odometer shows approximately 26k miles.

15-0042 S302 Black Label
15-0042 S302 Black Label

The replacement supercharged 5.0-liter Coyote V8 is said to have been installed by El Cajon Ford and reportedly features forged internal components. An oversized radiator has also been installed along with an Exedy Racing Stage 1 organic clutch kit. A 2019 dyno sheet in the gallery shows peak output of 516 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque at the wheels, with an estimated 609 crankshaft horsepower. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission.

The September 2019 Carfax report shows no accidents or other damage with entries through August 2016. Service records are also included in the sale.

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[Source: Bring a Trailer]

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]

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]