Saleen knows all about power. As in S281 Mustangs, N2O Focuses and the S7, America’s first (and still the only) mid-engine exotic supercar. When it went on sale in 2002, the S7 was the only street-legal car in the U.S. with more than 500 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque. The media and S7 owners have raved about the car since it first smoked the rear tires in anger. And it has been recognized by numerous automotive magazines as the fastest production car in the world.
But during the past three years the automobile marketplace has witnessed an explosion of performance with models from manufacturers including Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Chevrolet touting power numbers above the once magic 500 level.
Saleen is not an organization content to rest on yesterday’s 0-60 mph times or quarter-mile speeds. So for 2005 it’s “goodbye S7” and “all hail the S7 Twin Turbo!”
This is the first major change to the S7 since its introduction, and it is a BIG change as in 750 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque, numbers the competition will be chasing for a long while we predict.It was pretty obvious to Saleen product planners during the late 1990s that horsepower and torque numbers were trending upwards, especially among the purveyors of supercars. And power figures that looked spectacular at that time might seem quite ordinary a few years down the road. So Saleen engineers have been planning for this day since they drew the first line on a computer screen for the original S7’s 7-liter engine. While there are a number of different roads Saleen’s engine designers could have traveled down to achieve those high-altitude horsepower and torque figures, for this second edition of the S7 they decided to think beyond atmospheric. And because this is Saleen, they added a double twist to a tried and true racing technique for boosting power and torque: twin turbos.
Aerodynamics has also come under scrutiny for 2005. Unless you place the new S7 Twin Turbo next to one of the original 2002 models, you probably won’t notice that the 2005 version has a different diffuser/rear spoiler package and reshaped front fenders to enhance the S7s already sleek, swoopy and aerodynamic contours.
To complement the Twin Turbo’s enhanced straight-line performance envelope The S7 chassis has also undergone a fair amount of tweaking. Virtually every suspension pickup point has been changed, and the suspension geometry has been modified for less squat and dive during acceleration and braking.