|Saleen S302 Extreme|
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Saleen Automotive, North America's premiere specialty vehicle manufacturer, today unveiled the latest in a very aggressive 2008 MY product line up. The new "Extreme" unveiled today, technically known as the Saleen S302E, now represents the most powerful Ford derived vehicle that Saleen has ever manufactured and a critical step in earning Saleen's new respect for its products and its brand. The "Extreme", along with 6 other models in Saleen's 2008 model line up, made their world debut today on the runways of the retired El Toro airport runway in Southern California.
The new S302E raises the bar for American performance cars while never sacrificing on style and control. New for 2008, the car affectionately known as the "Extreme" boasts a "Saleen built" 302 cubic inch engine augmented by a patented Saleen twin-screw, intercooled Supercharger. The combination delivers an unprecedented 620 Hp and 600 lb-ft of neck snapping, tire incinerating torque. "We believe that we are in the process of creating a legendary new car. It's thrilling" says Saleen President and CEO, Paul Wilbur. "It seemed to make sense that as we go into our 25th Anniversary as a manufacturer in North America that we make our best and most powerful car yet."
In the automotive history books, all great cars incorporate great hardware and the S302E is no different. The new Extreme features a litany of high quality performance parts that are a direct reflection of the companies race engineering heritage, combined with the best thinking in automotive OEM performance engineering. For starts, the unique motor in the "Extreme" features a forged crank, forged connecting rods, individually blueprinted pistons, a 5 axis CNC aluminium cylinder head, high flow fuel injectors, and high performance forged camshafts. All of these components have been orchestrated to mesh masterfully together, coupled to our best-in-class, patented Saleen twin screw Supercharger. When married to a short throw, 6 speed manual transmission and a Max-grip rear differential, the Extreme screams to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds and clicks through the quarter mile in just under 12 seconds.
"This place represents a kind of automotive 'mecca' for me. We are making limited volume, performance vehicles for people who really love cars, by people who really love cars. I cannot think of a better place to put my 35 years of OEM engineering history to work," says Vice Chairman and Chief Technical Officer Chris Theodore. Theodore is best known as being the father of the Ford GT while Vice President of Advance Product Development at Ford Motor Company. "Now I am helping build great Saleen cars in the same factory that I architected for the legendary Ford GT.'
"This is the best motor that we have ever done", says Powertrain Engineering lead Rob Simons. "We have really benefited from having Chris (Theodore) around. He brings perspective and experience to the company unlike anything that we have known prior."
To get that kind of performance, the team had to get S302E's power to the ground. This is accomplished with standard 20 inch, 5 spoke forged aluminium alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero 'Rosso' tires. Since power is nothing without control, the Extreme also features a Saleen Racecraft suspension and an all new, second generation Watts Link system that is sure to help the driver maintain control through the corners. The chassis system is rounded out by upgraded 4 wheel disc brakes with ABS and traction control. This performance brake system features 15" vented, slotted rotors with 6 piston calipers in the front and 11.8" rear vented discs with single piston calipers in the rear.
"This was an interesting challenge for me. Everything I learned from the past on the S7 race team was put into play for this year's production models. The result is one that I am sure that the market is going to love," says Chassis and Dynamics Team Lead, Derk Hartland.
Most people associate exotic performance only with European made vehicles. We are committed to make Saleen synonymous with the best breeds in the world and to do so from a perspective that is fundamentally American. Saleen accomplished that in racing with the S7, and we like to think that the S7 has helped establish our pedigree. Now we are taking that experience and making it slightly more attainable in a way that is sure to pleasantly surprise our customers. That is the goal of the Extreme and the foundation of a plan that we call the Reawakening of Saleen.
The Reawakening of Saleen is a focus on the fundamentals of the enthusiast customer, led by a solid commitment to great products. The strategy of the reawakening is a simple one... Under promise and over deliver. That is what you find in the Extreme and that is what you should expect from Saleen now and going forward.
The new S302E is slated to begin production in early December with advanced orders being accepted as early as November 16th. "Producing only 100 Extreme units this year, the limited number production run will allow us to build the car and deliver the Extreme to a customer a few days after the customer places their order. Retailing for $79,995, we are confident that our buyers will be very hard pressed to find another vehicle with this performance, this level of balance, and a factory warranty for this price," says McCammon.
'Power in the hands of a few! That pretty much says it all. We will make great, powerful automobiles that will be available to a select few individuals. We are not trying to make volume vehicles for the masses and we recognize the difference. "Make no mistake, we manufacture dreams. That is what Saleen has always done and that is what we will continue to do," says Saleen President and CEO Paul Wilbur.
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