Now that Steve Saleen is back to leading the company that bears his name
, it makes perfect sense to reintroduce iconic products from the builder’s past. The current Saleen Mustang, which gets its power from a 302 cubic-inch (5.0-liter) engine, is well established, so the company has chosen the Los Angeles Auto Show to announce the rebirth of the Saleen 351 Mustang.
Last sold in 1999, the Saleen 351 Mustang is known for its extreme performance. Of the previous version, Motor Trend
wrote that controlling the supercharged, 495-horsepower beast was “mostly an exercise in tire-spin control.”
We’ve come a long way since then, thanks to modern electro-nannies like launch control, traction control and stability control, and it’s now possible to buy a 662-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang
right off the local Ford dealer’s showroom floor.
In keeping with tradition, the new Saleen S351 will come to market with a 351 cubic-inch (5.75 liter) V-8 engine, built with the same rear-tire-shredding purpose in mind. When equipped with Saleen’s 296 supercharger system, output is rated at 700 horsepower and 655 pound-feet of torque.
Ensuring that gets to ground, Saleen is using its own clutch system to link the engine and the six-speed manual gearbox, which powers the rear tires though a 3.73:1 final drive ratio. Expect a big brake kit and staggered wheels (20 x 10-inch rear, 20 x 9-inch front) to be part of the package as well.
On the outside, Saleen 351 Mustangs will come with the company’s Red Butterfly Center Ram Induction System poking through the hood, a full carbon fiber front splitter and side sills, a carbon fiber rear diffuser and an F-1 style tail lamp. Cars will carry Saleen 351 badging and graphics, too, letting other know what they’re up against.
Availability and pricing details have yet to be announced, but we’ll bring these to you as soon as we find out ourselves.