Tag Archives: Saleen Canada


Scratch and win contest gives contestants the chance to win up to $10,000 towards the purchase of a new or pre-owned Ford.

Toronto, Ontario (PRWEB) March 12, 2007

One of the largest Toronto Ford dealers, Erinwood Ford, has announced its second annual Driving For Dollars contest.

Driving For Dollars takes place from Thursday, March 1 to Thursday, May 31, 2007. The scratch and win contest allows contestants the chance to win the vehicle they test drive or up to $10,000 towards the purchase of that vehicle. Any new 2007 or 2008 Ford model and all pre-owned vehicles are eligible for the contest . With SUVs such as the Ford Explorer to the two-door compact Ford Focus, and over 100 pre-owned vehicles in stock; a complete selection of cars is available.

“Last year, the contest was a huge success,” Sean Hallett, CEO of Erinwood Ford states. “It was so successful that we’ve decided to make it an annual event.”

To participate in the contest, contestants must test drive any new or pre-owned vehicle at the Ford dealership. The driver will then receive a scratch and win card to determine whether they are a winner. Odds of winning are 1 in 20.

One entry per driver and household. The complete rules of the Driving For Dollars contest can be found by visiting Erinwood Ford.

About Erinwood Ford
Located in Canada’s oldest and largest auto mall, the Erin Mills Auto Super Centre, Erinwood Ford is one of the largest volume Ford dealers in the Greater Toronto area. Erinwood Ford is also the GTA’s first and only retailer of Saleen, limited edition, high performance mustangs.

Specializing in the sales of new Ford cars and trucks, as well as all pre-owned makes and models, they are “committed to being the best dealer you will ever do business with.”

Press Contact:
Joanne Yulo
2395 Motorway Boulevard
Mississauga, ON,
L5L 1V4



By: ERIC DESCARRIES on February 22, 2007 | Updated: February 22, 2007 at 9:27
Original Article: AUTO.LAPRESSE.CA

Joe Visconti, president of Saleen Canada could more than double the capacity of its body shop.  Photo: Patrick Sanfacon, La Presse
Joe Visconti, president of Saleen Canada could more than double the capacity of its body shop.
Photo: Patrick Sanfacon, La Presse

The Texan Carroll Shelby was the first to discover the Mustang performance potential in 1965. He managed to convince Ford to change versions of high-performance and racing and make marketing. The Californian Steve Saleen took over in the eighties. This wizard automobile could see that there was a demand for its Mustang in Canada, but for Saleen US to import Mustangs that meet Canadian legal requirements and return them to the country once modified, made no sense from the point of economic view.

That was when the Montreal Joe Visconti suggested a deal with the transformation of Saleen Mustangs in Canada. It’s trade in exotic cars or luxury, in Dorval, Auto Bugatti, had already established a fine reputation. The American businessman hesitated because he believed in his own team. Mr. Saleen sent his vice president Fred Blum to Auto Bugatti. What Blum saw in the body shops of the Quebec company surprised him so much that he advised Saleen to trust Joe Visconti even mentioning that their work would be higher than Californian workshops.

Ford of Canada Joe Visconti helped to build a network of a dozen Ford dealers to display the Saleen product. In the first year, Saleen Canada found 27 buyers of S-281 Mustangs, quite a feat for a great car. In 2006, forty brand new enthusiasts have ordered their Canadian Saleen, but Mr. Visconti expects that it will need to build 80 to 100 next year.

Here is the S-331 pickup truck
This increase in production is due to the arrival of another vehicle within the Saleen range, the S-331. This is a pickup based on the Ford F-150. Saleen Canada workshops have had to work extra hard to build their copy, just in time for the Auto Show in Montreal. The truck had quite a success there and the manufacturer has twenty firm orders for the S-331, available in a basic version with 325 horsepower V8 ($59,000 USD) or supercharged 450 horsepower ($69,000 USD). Incidentally, the Saleen S-281-based 335 horsepower has a base price of $58,000, while the supercharged 465 horsepower Supercharged starts at $68,000.

These vehicles come in their original form to Dorval workshops where Saleen Canada technicians start by changing the mechanical (different suspension, souped, redesigned exhausts) before moving on to the body shop where the original bumpers are replaced by Saleen parts. The instrumentation and several interior details are also replaced by parts from Saleen. Wheels and original tires are replaced with performance parts.

It will enlarge!
The Saleen body shop is already busy despite its 12,000 square feet of surface. It can modified a dozen cars a day, a capacity that could double. But Mr. Visconti believes that it will not be sufficient (they are also repairing luxury cars). Of the thirty people who work at Auto Bugatti / Saleen Canada, fifteen are assigned to the body and the exterior finish. There is even a program to accept individual customer cars who want to turn their Mustang GT into a Saleen, if only partially.

[Source: LA PRESSE]


One of the largest Ford Dealers in Toronto, Erinwood Ford,
expands their marketing campaign.

Toronto, Ontario (PRWEB) November 27, 2006

One of the largest Ford dealers in Toronto, Erinwood Ford, has expanded their marketing campaign to include an aggressive web promotion strategy. Their presence on the web will be promoted by Toronto Web Services.

Toronto Web Services is ideally positioned to promote Ford dealer, Erinwood Ford, to an even larger audience than ever.

“This is simply an indication of how vital internet marketing is these days,” states president of Toronto Web Services, Ted Thrasher. “Millions of people surf the net everyday. The car sales business is not immune from the tidal wave of internet development. Web marketing is key to this business just as any other.”

In recent years, the marketing of both used and new cars has taken a turn towards the internet. Before buying or selling a car, most consumers will access the convenience and accessibility of the internet to view their options. As a result, the internet is becoming a key portal to developing powerful new communication channels with prospective customers. Such trends have dictated that it is no longer enough to have only a bricks and mortar dealership, even if located in a highly visible area of the city. Being visible online has become just as important to car sales at Ford dealers in Toronto as the salesmen on the floor.

Located in Mississauga at 2395 Motorway Blvd, Erinwood Ford is the largest volume Ford dealer in the city. Erinwood is also the GTA’s first and only retailer of Saleen, limited edition, high performance mustangs. Specializing in car sales, they are “committed to being the best dealer you will ever do business with.”

For more information on how to market aggressively on the web, contact Toronto Web Services at 416.826.0660.

About Toronto Web Services:
Founded in 2002, Toronto Web Services has been at the forefront of search engine optimization since its inception. Utilizing one of the most available and pervasive technologies the world has ever seen, Toronto Web Services specializes in making the internet work for their clients.

Press Contact:
Ted Thrasher
25 Dunblaine Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
M5M 2R6



By: GRAEME FLETCHER on May 20, 2005
Original Article: WINNIPEG FREE PRESS (MB)

New models given a few nips and tucks

TREMBLANT, Que. — After its launch for the 2000 model year, the Ford Focus might have been more aptly named the Ford Recall — it went through so many it boggles the mind. That was then, this is now. Not only has its quality been improved — J.D. Power & Associates now ranks the lineup as “above average” and on par with the well-respected Honda Civic — it has the power and handling it cried out for from the beginning.

As before, there are three- and five-door hatchbacks, a four-door sedan and a wagon.

Rather than being a full-on model change, the 2005 Focus underwent some nips and tucks — the upcoming 2006 models, available in August, follow this lead, adding a new in-dash, CD/MP3 player and, taking a page out of Mazda’s book, a ground-effects package (the GFX pack). This adds front and rear air dams, rocker extensions and a rear spoiler. It will be standard on the ’06 Focus ST — offered in sedan guise and capped at five per cent of production, which is done to protect the company’s corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) rating — and optional on all other models.

The good news is that Saleen, a highly respected manufacturer/tuner, offers an over-the-top kit for the three-door ZX3 — the Saleen N2O Focus. Along with the cosmetic add-ons — a body kit that adds far more aggressive front and rear fascias, rocker extensions, fender flares and a large spoiler — come some worthwhile functional upgrades.

The N2O on view at Mont-Tremblant was also equipped with Sony’s Xplod sound system (and an extremely gaudy set of decals). This audio package, which includes a video game, is insanely loud (1,400 watts of output power tend to do that) and occupies most of the trunk.

Lift the hatch and the amplifiers look like one half of a V6 engine — yes, that big. Crank the sucker up and the speakers make the entire car shake: Just make sure you have earplugs in place first.

To understand the significance of the work done to the Saleen, it helps to know how much Ford has improved the ST.

For example, the ST shares its front struts and multi-link rear suspension with the other models, but the tuning is 50 per cent stiffer thanks to the use of the European Focus’s ST170 shocks and springs, and it rides on larger 205/50R16 tires.

As a result, when flogged around Tremblant’s challenging race track, the ST responds to input surprisingly well. Certainly it understeers, and there is some body roll, but neither gets to the point where the driver starts to pucker up.

Likewise, the steering is both communicative and precise, pointing the car into a turn with poise — all of which means the ST is more than up to chasing its competition around a fast corner.

The N2O Focus adds a cross-car brace under the hood, ups the spring and damping rates by a further 30 per cent, firms the anti-roll bars and fits massive 215/45ZR17 rubber to attractive alloy wheels.

The result is a car that rides flatter than gravy on a plate without beating up the passengers on a rough road. Sadly, a track session was not in the cards, as that Sony sound system added the equivalent of two linebackers to the back end of the car, hardly the best way to ensure nimble road manners.

A choice of two upgraded engines power the Focus. The base 2.0-litre engine gets a much-needed hike in horsepower (24 per cent) from a pedestrian 110 to a usable 136.

At the same time, the Duratec 20 drops tailpipe emissions by a whopping 50 per cent, while marginally improving fuel economy, which is the automotive equivalent of the Triple Crown.

The ST uses the Duratec 23 — a 151-hp, 2.3L four. It is essentially the same engine used in the uplevel Mazda3 and Mazda6, thus bringing instant credibility and even better performance. The 153 pound-feet of torque on tap hauls the 1,214-kilogram ST off the line with more authority and on to 100 km/h in 8.6 seconds.

The Saleen Focus takes a slightly different route to performance — a modified air intake and exhaust system adds 18 hp to the base 2.0L, its 154 hp giving it more grunt than the 2.3L engine. It also punches out 150 lb-ft of torque through a taller 3.82:1 final drive, which makes it feel even livelier.

There is, however, a gripe with both the ST and the N2O — they are 20 or more horsepower and one gear shy of the key competition.

The Corolla XRS has 170 hp, the Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V 175 and both drive their front wheels through six-speed manual gearboxes. To counter this, Ford is actively looking at performance improvements — both turbocharged and supercharged engines have been built and are being tested. Stay tuned.

Once the poor relation in the compact segment, the reworked Focus is now a well-conceived and executed set of wheels.

It may not outdo the competition, but it is more than a match. Prices range from $16,695 for the base to $24,045 for the ST. As for the Saleen N2O kit, it adds $9,000 to the ZX3’s $17,555 retail price.

Given my druthers, I would take the functional aspects and forget the cosmetic stuff. This would deliver a car as affordable as it is capable.

–CanWest News Service

Focus STS
Engine: 2.3L DOHC four-cylinder
Power: 151 hp, 154 lb-ft of torque
Transmission: Five-speed manual
Price as tested: $24,045

Focus N20
Engine: 2.0L DOHC four-cylinder
Power: 154 hp, 150 lb-ft of torque
Transmission: Five-speed manual
Price as tested: $26,555 (est.)


By: KELLY TAYLOR on May 20, 2005
Original Article: WINNIPEG FREE PRESS (MB)

New Mustang droptop as impressive as the coupe

The problem with second chances is that they often show you got it wrong the first time around.

When I first drove the 2005 Ford Mustang — the new one — I was impressed at how well the latest generation of pony cars handled despite its yestertech solid rear axle.

Then when I took it on the track at last year’s Canadian Car and Truck of the Year TestFest, where cars are put through an exacting four-day test program and where the Mustang emerged as Canadian Car of the Year, I was further amazed. Solid axles aren’t supposed to work this well.

So when I stepped into the Mustang this week at Le Circuit de Mont Tremblant racetrack northwest of Montreal, I was expecting to find the problems I missed the first time around.

And while I was able to pick a few nits after driving a convertible back to Montreal, I still couldn’t find any reasonable complaints to make about the Mustang and its surprisingly good handling.

I tried. I went around the circuit for at least 15 laps, including three others with Champ Car racing star Alex Tagliani at the wheel, but it proved itself once again as the best sports car bargain on the market today.

You can toss it through corners with near-reckless aplomb. You can try to force its hand by running it over the apex curbs.

As with any car, you can get it out of shape. A grass fire in the driver’s rear wheel after a 445-horsepower Saleen Mustang got loose and found turf proved that. But you really have to be trying to be an idiot for that to happen.

“I want to know how close to the fence you were,” Tagliani said as graciously as possible to the driver who lost it just ahead of Tagliani.

“I was going too fast,” said the driver sheepishly. Hardly the car’s fault.

But even in non-Saleen form, the Mustang acquitted itself very well on the track. Considering you can get in to a Mustang GT for just a hair over $32,000, that’s quite an accomplishment.

While we had seat time in a coupe, the real purpose was to highlight the convertible, which went on sale this spring.

Considering the few visible changes to the body shape from the coupe, the convertible was surprisingly stiff, thanks to an extra 70 kilograms of high-strength steel in strategic locations around the chassis and an extra brace under the hood.

While it wasn’t as stiff as, say, a BMW Z4, the convertible displayed excellent handling overall, navigating the race track as adeptly as the coupe. Wind noise, at highway speed with the top down, was more than manageable, with fellow auto scribe Harry Pegg and I able to carry on a conversation as easily as in a hardtop.

There was some cowl shake on the worst bumps, and Quebec roads are notorious for their condition, but it was certainly not objectionable. Especially considering the price: $27,995 for a V6 base price and $36,795 for the GT.

The bump to the GT gets you a delightfully throaty, powerful V8, delivering 300 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. The V6 acquits itself nicely at 210 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque.

The nits I found to pick had nothing to do with its handling, power or overall performance. Sure, the five-speed gearbox takes a bit of getting used to before third gear engages smoothly, but there’s little else to complain about performance wise.

Complaints instead are generally minor, with one exception: driving a convertible back from Mont Tremblant to Montreal showed the aluminum brightwork across the dash kicks up waaaay too much glare under sunny skies than is tolerable for the passenger, where the aluminum is most expansive, but also for the driver. The flat black is a much better choice.

Some of the finish work is a tad crude: the box housing the overhead lights seems plunked unharmoniously on the headliner, with crude-looking but good-feeling switches for the lights.

The only trunk release other than on the trunk lid itself is on the key fob, which means you have to fumble for the fob if you need to open the trunk but don’t want to take the keys out of the ignition.

Admittedly, minor, but no objective report on the Mustang could exclude them.

Overall the Mustang, in coupe or convertible form, remains a head-turner.

New for 2006 is a Pony Package, which brings to the V6 version the fog lights of the V8, upgraded suspension and some brightwork inside (fine for the coupes, see above), and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Also out now is the Saleen Mustang, which includes a number of upgrades, starting with a new grille, new front fascia, new rear fascia, new exhaust system and upgraded shifter knob. For even more dough, Saleen will bolt on an intercooled supercharger, bringing horsepower up to 445 horsepower as well as a healthy increase in torque.

An upgraded suspension — but still not independent rear — makes the car handle better but also makes it less forgiving to less-skilled hands. Saleen takes the cars from Ford and does their work before selling them, with warranty, to the public. Saleen Canada is working to line up a dealer in Winnipeg — as part of an existing Ford store — soon.


Our trip to Mont Tremblant was also intended to highlight the improvements to the 2005 Focus. And while I was quite impressed with its handling on the track, two of the Focuses were retired. One died, another was losing power, a malady corrected quickly with the scan tool. The problems on the one that died weren’t diagnosed. After lunch, no more Focuses were allowed on the track.

Granted, track time stresses a car much more than street driving, especially when piloted by journalists of varying skill levels.

But while driving the Focus on the street, it proved itself as one of the leading cars in the economy segment. It handles great, it’s comfortable to drive and it comes with the Canadian winter package, which adds heated seats and heated mirrors as well as traction control. Good value on those cold, slippery January days.

Aside from some cosmetic changes, which include stiffening for crash safety and a new interior that replaces the odd-looking creation in the original, the Focus remains on the same platform as before.

Look for the next Focus to ride on a revised version of the wonderful Mazda3 platform.


Nauman Farooq grabs the latest news from Canada

Saleen has finally arrived on Canadian shores with Auto Bugatti in Montreal being the official importer for Canada. They have a few outlets on the go to sell the Saleen Mustangs, however boss Joe Visconti will handle all the S7 deliveries himself.

Visconti, president of Auto Bugatti and Saleen Canada said he has orders for 12 S7’s already. Deliveries should start later this year. Price $430,000 US.

At the end of the day I struck lucky. Whilst waiting to watch the S7 be driven out I engaged Joe Visconti in conversation and the next thing I knew I was being given a ride out of the show in the Saleen!

The S7 is a mean looking machine, as you can see from the pictures, and it is suppose to be as close to a race car for the road as possible. Therefore you sit as low in a car as possibly imagine. Think go-kart low and you’ll get the picture.

Saleen S7 Unlike a race car, this has a passenger seat, albeit not a very spacious one. The footwell is very narrow, so you’re best to sit there with one leg streached out and one bended knee, however that is not as uncomfortable as you might imagine. The driver gets a bit more space, mainly because the cockpit is designed to cater for the driver. When you get in, you notice the driver is very much towards the middle of the car, thus the reason the passenger only has enough space for one leg in the footwell.

Pushing the driver towards the middle allow the pedals to be directly ahead of the driver, despite the big wheel wells.

Despite being a race car for the street, the car does have a few toys. You get power windows and locks and even mirrors. You also get a stereo system, and most importantly, you have a camera in the tail, and its images are shown on a screen in the dash – very nice.

Despite the luxuries, the S7 still weights less than a Ferrari Enzo, tipping the scales at 1250 kg, 15 kg less than the Enzo.

Anyway, out of the arena we went. The engine – a 7-litre V8 – in 2004 spec, pumps out 575 hp and 525 lb/ft of torque. According to Saleen, the famed 0-60 mph run takes just 2.9 seconds, and a top speed of over 220 mph!

As we moved out of the arena, Joe slightly teased the throttle and the car just erupted forward. Hard on the brakes immediately cause we had reached the intersection to join the main road.

Stepping out onto the road, and you’re an instant celebrity. Everybody, and I do mean everybody looks at this car. You could be walking down the street with Janet Jackson and even that wouldn’t cause quite the stir the S7 does.

We were basically making our way to find the transport truck that was waiting for the car. After we got the location homed in, I navigated the best route for the location, and thankfully, there wasn’t much traffic on some of those streets either, so I got to get a sense of what this car holds in its belly.

Speaking of belly, don’t go for a run in this car after a big meal, since the stiff ride will ensure you’ll see your meal again, but what did you expect from a supercar, especially one that rides on 345/25 ZR20 Pirelli P-Zero tires (rear).

If you are one of those people who think modern supercars have become too soft, too namby pamby (like the Ferrari 575M) and prefer cars as raw and hardcore as the Ferrari F40 for instance, then you’ll love the Saleen S7. This car blends old school supercar’s with new school technology (this car is built entirely out of carbon-fibre), and the result is astonishing.

Joe is a serious fan of the marque and has himself has ordered an S7, in red. Call me when you get it Joe – I want more!

Links: www.saleen.com , www.autobugatti.com

[Source: PistonHeads]


IRVINE, Calif., July 31, 2003 — Steve Saleen, president of Saleen, Inc., announced today the formation of Saleen Canada. This company, set up under a special manufacturing and licensing agreement with Joe Visconti, president of Saleen Canada, will manufacture and sell Saleen automobiles through select Saleen-certified Ford dealers throughout Canada.

The manufacturing facility will be located in Montreal and will produce specific Canadian-certified Saleen models, including the S281 and S281 Supercharged Mustangs, the Saleen Thunderbird — Bonspeed Edition in both naturally aspirated and supercharged configurations, and a special version of the Focus.

“This is a natural “next step” in the growth of our company,” commented Saleen. “For a number of years we’ve had strong demand for Saleen products from our neighbors to the North,” he continued. “We’ve been considering this expansion for some time and Joe Visconti is a perfect partner for Saleen to expand its expertise in niche manufacturing and performance sales throughout Canada.”

“I am very proud and excited to be a part of Saleen Canada at the very beginning,” said Visconti. “As for the S281 – what can one possibly buy in the market place that gives the same performance numbers with a factory warranty to boot?”

“Our Canadian facility will build the same high quality products we turn out in our Irvine, California manufacturing plant.” Saleen stated. “And we’ll follow the same procedures and ‘best practices’ to manufacture Saleen vehicles in compliance with all Canadian regulations.”

This isn’t the first expansion for Saleen beyond its Southern California base of operations though. Last December, Saleen signed an agreement with Martin Josephi, former president of VW of Mexico, to sell the full product line of Saleen vehicles, including the S7 supercar, throughout Central America. And in March of this year, Saleen began assembling the first prototypes of the legendary Ford GT in a second manufacturing facility near Detroit.

During the past 20 years, Saleen has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to design, engineer, manufacture and market high performance specialty vehicles working closely with Tier 1 suppliers around the world.

“The experiences we gain by expanding throughout North America will hopefully lead to Saleen becoming a world player in niche vehicle manufacturing and sales,” Saleen commented.

About Saleen

Since the company’s inception in 1984, Saleen has produced over 8,000 vehicles, more than any other specialty manufacturer. An eight-time Manufacturers’ Champion in GT sports car racing, Saleen’s facilities include research, design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities. The company’s line of products and services also includes the Saleen S281 and S281-E, the exotic, mid-engine Saleen S7 supercar, Saleen Competition, Saleen Performance Parts, and Saleen Engineering and Certification.

Saleen has also been commissioned by Ford to help produce the legendary Ford GT in a second Saleen manufacturing facility near Detroit.

Contact Saleen at 949-597-4900, or for more information about Saleen – its people and products – visit the web site at www.Saleen.com.

Saleen Canada can be contacted through Umberto Bonfa, director sales & marketing, at 514 631-0071 or by email: ubonfa@saleencanada.com.


By: ERIC DESCARRIES on Friday, June 13, 2003
Original Article: AUTO123.COM

If you are a lover of high performance cars, you know the Saleen brand. Otherwise, know that Saleen is a small manufacturer that uses a base Mustang GT to produce a car with more powerful features that are astonishing, the Saleen S281. But this has nothing to do with a Mustang. Canada has a few copies of these cars, but most retain their American origins. However, we learn that soon the Saleen will not only be sold at home, but they will also be assembled in a small Quebec plant located near Dorval Airport, Saleen Canada.

In fact, when Steve Saleen, the Californian creator of the brand, wanted to explore Canada, he contacted Mr. Nicky Ruccolo, president of Pirelli in country, the brand of tires that shoe these performance cars. Mr. Saleen wanted to know who could take care of its Canadian subsidiary. He was then referred to Mr Joe Visconti, President of Auto Bugatti Cote de Liesse in Montreal. The latter accepted the mandate to take delivery of a brand new Canadian Mustang GTs and turn them into S281 or, even more powerful S281E. In addition to the suspension add a supercharger to the 4.6-liter V8 engine in addition to a host of other technical equipment. Then the car will be moved to the Canada Saleen body shop, Avoca Street, to receive new distinctive parts, fit for the brand.

Saleen Canada’s role will be to find the countries specialist Ford dealers capable of marketing the fireball offered in coupe or convertible. Giovanni Farinacci, Director of Sales Auto Bugatti, will support Mr. Visconti in this area. Initially, it has a dozen dealers who, according to their hopes, will sell a hundred cars a year in the country. Later, one might even see the exotic Saleen S7 in this business. Sale prices may vary, depending on the options chosen, between $65,000 and $68,000 for the S281 model. In addition, Saleen modifies a Ford Thunderbird, and you may see this version found in us as well. So an exciting record to follow.

[Source: auto123.com]