After debuting the company’s first “new” car in more than a decade, Saleen Automotive will reignite the fires that drew global attention to the Southern Californian tuning shop by reintroducing the world to the company’s only supercar; the Saleen S7.
The Saleen S7’s story is truly a fascinating tale of twists and turns. If the tales and rumors are to be believed, the S7 was originally designed for Aston Martin as a successor to the company’s Group C racecar.
However, due to financial limitations, the car was mothballed, then passed along to Reeves Callaway, who in turn showed the design to Steve Saleen.
The S7 was a groundbreaking design and an honest-to-goodness American supercar. When we first drove it, we said it felt like a properly raw racecar for the road, and that was with only 550 horsepower. Now, after almost twenty years, little has changed, except for the fact that the new S7 Le Mans Edition almost triples its original horsepower figure.
According to the company, the basic design hasn’t changed. The S7 still uses a 7.0-liter V-8 engine, but it’s now aided by twin turbochargers that boost the engine’s performance into four digits.
The transmission is said to be a longitudinal 6-speed synchromesh unit that sends the engine’s 1,300 horsepower to the rear wheels through a limited-slip differential.
Like the original, the chassis is a lightweight steel space frame with composite body panels. Little along the car’s styling has changed, as the entire body was shaped to move air as it travels forward.
Inside, the S7 Le Mans Edition will be equipped with an integrated roll cage, A/C, a rear view camera, race-inspired central-mounted tachometer, power windows and locks, and a 240-mph speedometer—although after our initial tests, we’d likely not challenge that speedometer’s veracity.
Of the reintroduced Saleen S7, the company’s founder and namesake Steve Saleen, said “True to our form, we are bringing back America’s only true supercar. We are celebrating our winning heritage and advancing the performance DNA that Saleen was built around.”
The company returned from near death this year with the Artega-based Saleen S1, however, it’s unclear who, or what, is fronting Saleen the cash to produce these vehicles.
As for the rebirthed S7 Le Mans Edition, the company states that they intend to only produce a limited run of seven cars, each, however, is priced at $1 million.