Saleen S1 Surfaced And It Looks Promisingly Astute
Could the S1 work better than the S7?
Published December 18, 2017
The second I saw the new Saleen S1 I thought – a new TVR Griffith. Then, I started reading about it and the TVR Griffith slowly, but completely left my thoughts. Not because it is a better or a worse idea compared with the Saleen, but because these two are quite different regardless of their loose styling similarity.
Saleen S1 From the LA Auto Show To The Streets For 100 Grand
Revealed at the 2017 LA Auto Show by Steve Saleen, the Saleen S1 is the newest addition to the world of fast cars. It appeared after a rather quiet time during which we did not hear anything from the company who turned from tuning Fords to producing supercars.
If we are to believe Steve Saleen, the S1 was designed in-house from an empty sheet of paper. The architecture, the body, the engine – all apparently designed and produced by Saleen. The car itself is a neat piece of styling which fits surprisingly well into the world of cars of today. Considering its cost of $100,000, its main adversary may be the Porsche 911 Carrera. Styling-wise, the Saleen S1 looks like it can take on the German. After all, if you remember that Artega Scalo car at all, you could see a lot of it in the S1 design. Could it do good technologically as well?
Saleen S1 underpinnings promise a lot of fun
Saleen S1 was supported by an aluminum “tub” chassis. Then, the Americans added a carbon fiber body over it. This body comes “exclusively” from China and it was one of the main reasons why the car tips the scales at only 2,685 lbs. FYI, similar to the weight of the TVR Griffith.
Nonetheless, the S1 has got, even more, surprises in store. It does not feature some crazy powerful Ford engine or a V8 of any kind. 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder was dialed up to 450hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Rather impressive. Channeling it to the back via a 6-speed manual will catapult the serious looking car to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. It will top out at 180mph. So, performance-wise it does compare with something like the Carrera, or perhaps the Carrera S. Although purists will undeniably request a manual, the automatic double clutch double-shifter is in store for this one as well. I doubt that opting for the double-clutch would hamper the performance at all.
Power is channeled to the rear wheels with all-new Continental ExtremeContact Sport tires (255 mm wide at the front and 335 mm at the back). There, at the back, 58 percent of the weight presses the tires into the pavement. With wide rubber, the setup would enable the S1 to pull up to 1.2 G of cornering force. At least, according to Steve Saleen.
First cars deliveries scheduled for the summer of 2018
If everything pans out well, the first cars should reach the streets in the second half of 2018. European and American customers will get their cars from Saleen factories in Virginia and Mississippi. Asians will get their car elsewhere – from China. See, Saleen plans to transfer all the production to China in some time. There, they have established a joint venture called the Jiangsu Saleen Automotive Technology. This venture dates back to 2009. It seems that only now, they will actually bear some fruit.
Nevertheless, Saleen plans to produce up to 1,500 units for the first year. You can already place an order for the car and pay $1K up front.
This car, as it turns out, will make a starting point for the whole new line of Saleen vehicles. We haven’t seen any of them yet. Actually, right now, the company is looking to make a dealer and service network. After all, with an in-house designed car, engine and the like, they will need a whole lot of trained personnel. And that is EXPENSIVE.
Categories: New Cars