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RE: Saleen raises hopes with 450hp S1

RE: Saleen raises hopes with 450hp S1

Friday 1st December 2017

Saleen raises hopes with 450hp S1

The Chinese-backed American brand used the LA show to launch the S1 - an oddly familiar mid-engined Cayman rival



Interesting firm, Saleen. The path from race team to tuner to low volume manufacturer could hardly be more familiar, but not every such business manages to launch a mid-engined supercar (as Saleen did in 2000 with the S7) or receive a contract from a major car company to help them build their own (as it did from Ford in 2004 when it needed assistance with the first generation GT).


Of course none of that ensures a firm's health over the longer term, and with founder Steve Saleen resigning in 2007, the end of the decade saw the brand floundering. Now though, it seems health is restored. Not only is its former boss back on board, but the company now has Chinese investment capital rolling into it - in sufficient quantities for Saleen to have unveiled an all-new model at the LA show this week.

The car is dubbed the S1, and the eagle-eyed among you might have noticed that it looks a little like the Henrik Fisker-designed Artega GT - a German sports car discontinued in 2012. Well, congratulations, because Jiangsu Saleen Automotive Technology Group (as the Chinese/American partnership is called) bought the model's tooling from Artega in 2015.

Certainly that blueprint has been to the S1's advantage, because rather than turning out too, ahem, 'American' in its ethos or proportions, the new car is impressively svelte - being around the same size as a Porsche Cayman. Thanks to its aluminum tub and carbon fibre bodywork, it ought to be light as well; Saleen claiming a kerbweight of 1,218kg.


There's even the promise of an interesting (and appropriately sized) engine: Saleen having built its own 2.5-litre turbocharged four-pot from the ground up. Word is that it produces around 450hp and 350lb ft of torque - good for 3.5 seconds to 60mph via a standard manual six-speed gearbox.

That all sounds rather hopeful, and if the reports from China are to be believed, JSATG has already committed to building a factory in the Jiangsu Province. The plan, clearly, is to eventually move production there and then produce the S1 for international markets - including Europe.

Naturally that's all for future (and therefore not entirely set in stone) but the word from LA is that the S1 looks impressively well finished, with an interior to match. With the continuing dearth of genuine rivals for the Cayman - the imminent Alpine A110 notwithstanding - we await further news of Saleen's ambitious plans with crossed digits.

 

 

   
Author
Discussion

wab172uk

Original Poster:

949 posts

152 months

Friday 1st December 2017
quotequote all
Looks like they've knicked the wheels off the new TVR

Ikobo

315 posts

74 months

Friday 1st December 2017
quotequote all
Just be grateful they didn’t copy the car as well

RichardR

2,837 posts

193 months

Friday 1st December 2017
quotequote all
The colour has triggered my mind to think that the new Griffith would've benefitted from those nose and wheel designs. scratchchin

RoverP6B

3,540 posts

53 months

Friday 1st December 2017
quotequote all
2.5 turbo flat-four, so it's Subaru-powered... eh, I'd rather have the Scooby 3.6-litre N/A flat-six in there.

Lordbenny

6,960 posts

144 months

Friday 1st December 2017
quotequote all
It’s got a big arse.....too much going on behind the rear wheel IMO
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F1GTRUeno

3,440 posts

143 months

Friday 1st December 2017
quotequote all
The original Artega was a lovely looking thing. This isn't.

Wonder if it's still got the B6 A4 dashboard?




KTF

7,535 posts

75 months

Friday 1st December 2017
quotequote all
Maybe the basic structure?


MikeGalos

164 posts

209 months

Friday 1st December 2017
quotequote all
Just once I'd like to see a new car introduction NOT include a discussion of which Porsche the editors think it should compete with.
Seriously.
Once.

lewisf182

1,688 posts

113 months

Friday 1st December 2017
quotequote all
Loved the look of the artega so glad it’s being used again! Really like the look of this and the powerplant sounds interesting!

Would love if they could make them for a decent price but i suspect it’ll be around £100k? Needs to be sub £50k to compete tbh

ZX10R NIN

9,241 posts

50 months

Friday 1st December 2017
quotequote all
I'm glad another small volume maker is back in the mix.

Evolved

1,654 posts

112 months

Friday 1st December 2017
quotequote all
MikeGalos said:
Just once I'd like to see a new car introduction NOT include a discussion of which Porsche the editors think it should compete with.
Seriously.
Once.
PistonHeads... the new Evo mag!

drpep

1,164 posts

93 months

Friday 1st December 2017
quotequote all
4 cylinders... no thanks. Not for exotica. Gotta be 5 minimum.

unpc

1,781 posts

138 months

Saturday 2nd December 2017
quotequote all
RoverP6B said:
2.5 turbo flat-four, so it's Subaru-powered... eh, I'd rather have the Scooby 3.6-litre N/A flat-six in there.
It doesn't say it's a flat 4 but it does say that the engine is their own work, which I find difficult to believe.

98elise

11,409 posts

86 months

Saturday 2nd December 2017
quotequote all
Lordbenny said:
It’s got a big arse.....too much going on behind the rear wheel IMO
I don't think the small side windows help. It makes the bottom of the car look oversized.

And172940

140 posts

73 months

Saturday 2nd December 2017
quotequote all
lewisf182 said:
Loved the look of the artega so glad it’s being used again! Really like the look of this and the powerplant sounds interesting!

Would love if they could make them for a decent price but i suspect it’ll be around £100k? Needs to be sub £50k to compete tbh
With the whole car including engine being built in China, they could probably sell them for £30k and make a profit but it will be priced to 'compete' with it's rivals.

Cold

3,545 posts

15 months

Saturday 2nd December 2017
quotequote all
MikeGalos said:
Just once I'd like to see a new car introduction NOT include a discussion of which Porsche the editors think it should compete with.
Seriously.
Once.
+911

cmoose

40,223 posts

154 months

Saturday 2nd December 2017
quotequote all
unpc said:
RoverP6B said:
2.5 turbo flat-four, so it's Subaru-powered... eh, I'd rather have the Scooby 3.6-litre N/A flat-six in there.
It doesn't say it's a flat 4 but it does say that the engine is their own work, which I find difficult to believe.
Indeed. And if it is true, fairly depressing.

If they built the engine from the ground up and still opted for a four-pot turbo...it's one thing going for one because there's nothing else available off the shelf. Quite another to dump a load of money into such an uninspiring configuration.

RoverP6B

3,540 posts

53 months

Sunday 3rd December 2017
quotequote all
Hmm, I thought the article said flat-four when I read it, maybe it's been edited, or maybe I just imagined it.

Yeah, it's one thing buying a turbo four off the shelf. Quite another building your own.

jkh112

2,082 posts

83 months

Sunday 3rd December 2017
quotequote all
cmoose said:
Indeed. And if it is true, fairly depressing.

If they built the engine from the ground up and still opted for a four-pot turbo...it's one thing going for one because there's nothing else available off the shelf. Quite another to dump a load of money into such an uninspiring configuration.
Evo are mentioning the ford ecoboost engine as a possible source, but only a guess.

cmoose

40,223 posts

154 months

Sunday 3rd December 2017
quotequote all
jkh112 said:
Evo are mentioning the ford ecoboost engine as a possible source, but only a guess.
Yeah. As the guy mentioned above, find it hard to believe they did one themselves from scratch.