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450bhp Saleen S1 revealed

Lee Stern
1 Dec 2017

New American lightweight sports car debuts at the LA motor show.

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Saleen, the American concern famed for racing and increasing the performance of Ford products has unveiled the Saleen S1 at the LA motor show. Although deliveries aren’t due until the summer of 2018, the firm is taking deposits of £750 to secure a build slot for the £75,000 car. There’s no word yet on if it will be sold in the UK.

The car on display at the LA motor show isn’t the finished product, although it’s unlikely to change much before the final design is signed off. The S1 will be manufactured by Jiangsu Saleen Automotive Machinerynology Group, a joint-venture formed by Saleen and its chinese partners. The Chinese connection will provide additional funds and production capacity for the S1.

> Click here to read our Ford Focus RS review

The S1 is powered by a turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine producing a substantial 450bhp – given the size of the engine – and 350lb ft of torque. For now, all we know is that the engine will be built in house by Saleen, but whether it's related to a Ford ecoboost in anyway, or a completely bespoke engine, is not yet clear. Either way, it will be mated to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard or optional automatic paddle-shift unit. Saleen is claiming impressive performance figures for the S1: 0-60mph in 3.5sec and a top speed in excess of 180mph.

The aluminum tub is clothed in a carbonfibre body helping to establish a low kerbweight of 1218kg. Further details are scarce for now, but on Continental tyres the S1 is capable of generating 1.2G of lateral cornering force.

When production begins Saleen S1s will be built in the US, before the Chinese take over manufacturing responsibility to increase production volume.

 

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