- Repair & Care
Saleen also turned out the special-edition S281 Ford Mustang and the Explorer XP8, a high-performance sport utility vehicle. In 2001, Saleen began to ease into the production-car arena with the mid-engine S7.
Designed and engineered by Saleen Inc. in Irvine, Calif., the S7 is said to have a top speed of more than 200 mph. Based on a Ford aluminum block, the fully re-engineered engine produced 550 horsepower. A huge, Saleen-designed muffler not only reduced noise, but it also served as part of the car’s rear-impact crumple zone. Extensive wind-tunnel testing resulted in a highly aerodynamic body featuring panels made of carbon fiber.
At the 2004 Chicago Auto Show, founder Steve Saleen announced several S7 changes for the current year. The rear spoiler has been revised, and engine output gets a boost to 575 hp and 570 pounds-feet of torque, which cuts the 0-to-60-mph acceleration time to less than 3 seconds. Saleen said developers also made the car easier to drive by adding a “new relaxing type of clutch.”
Purchases can be made at Saleen Certified Ford dealers and at other Saleen Certified dealerships that specialize in exotic motorcars.