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Saleen S1 is Chinese money, German architecture, and an American engine

Saleen S1 Exterior 
iKnowAuto Staff
Although the Saleen S7 did appear in many newspaper columns back in the day, the car did not actually take the Saleen to a level one may imagine it to be a car producer. In fact, it almost broke the company because the car production was too expensive. 
DEC 21, 2017

Now, however, with heavy monetary help from the Chinese and the help of some German technology, Saleen has crafted a car that will reach more people than their car that was featured in 50 Cent's "Candy Shop" music video. Regardless of their exceptional focus on tuning, Saleen, with Artega technology, has managed to deliver a car that looks capable of competing with the likes of entry-level 911s, F-Types, or even entry-level R8s.

Aluminum and Carbon for lightness and turbocharger for power

Based on top of the aluminum tubular chassis, the S1 (the official name is the Saleen 1) features an all-carbon body. Provided exclusively by the Chinese, the carbon body and lightweight architecture ensured the exceptionally low weight of the machine, about 2,700 lbs. machinery. Of course, using a small four-cylinder turbocharged engine only contributed to the lightness. Colin Chapman, a man who envisioned and started Lotus, once said: Simplify, then add lightness. It seems that Steve Saleen follows the same principle.

While presenting the car at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, Steve Saleen noted this was an in-house design exercise, including the engine. It is a 2.5-liter turbocharged mill delivering healthy a 450hp and 425 lb-ft of torque. Now, the word on the streets (or on the Internet) is that this engine is actually a retuned and modified Ford 2.3-liter EcoBoost. If it is, it may only improve the experience associated with the new Saleen S1. In short, if something brakes (which it will), you would be able to fix it easily without breaking the bank.

The 450hp machine throws all of its power at the massive 335/25 Continental tires via a six-speed manual or the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Paddles behind the steering wheel?

If you ever saw an Artega GT car (German niche manufacturer), you will be able to notice its shapes on the Saleen S1 as well. New S1 is, more or less, a smartly redesigned Artega GT with sharper edges and, it seems, more modern appearance. Especially at the back with fine wide taillights.

In short, low weight, sleek, aerodynamic shape and advanced drivetrain equal to a lot of speed.

  • 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds
  • A quarter of a mile time in low 11s
  • Top speed of 180 mph

Obviously, a seriously capable machine. More important than its straight-line proves should be its cornering capabilities. Thanks to massive Continentals, the S1 can apparently pull 1.2 Gs. And it will brake hard. 15-inch massive disc brakes are upfront and at the back as well.

Saleen S1
Artega Scalo Superelletra

Before they released the car, Saleen and their Chinese partners stated that the ICE powered machine will be the first one but that an electric car will come. Maybe as soon as this year. After all, Artega does have an electric car based on top of almost the same architecture, called the Scalo Superelletra (as seen above).

And Finally, the Price

100 grand. Yes, $100,000. Considering it can tackle the Porsche 911 or the F-type of the same stature, this doesn't seem like an outrageous price.

The answer comes in the form of Jiangsu Saleen Automotive Technology Group. It is a partnership between Saleen and a Chinese company who looks to invest heavily in car production. They are looking to invest more than $2.5 billion in their production facilities in Rugao, Jiangsu province. Although the first Saleen S1s will be produced here in the US, down the road, the vehicles will come from China.

Jiangsu Saleen Automotive Technology Group has some major plans. Not only the S1. For example, Charles Wang, the chairman, and CEO of Jiangsu Saleen Automotive Technology Co said:

"Porsche will elaborate on its GT and 918 models, but what brings good sales are popular models like the Cayenne, Macan, and Panamera," Wang said. "We will take a similar path and produce all sorts of passenger cars including sedans, SUVs, and crossovers." 
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