The Los Angeles Motor Show 2017 drew up some interesting new releases this week. The Saleen S1 is one of the more interesting releases. The US company has been widely reported as suffering from financial worries over the past few years. The S1 is said to be a completely new project, intended to revive the fortunes of the legendary tuner.
That said, plainly the S1 is not entirely bespoke. The original plan for Saleen was to acquire the defunct Artega GT platform which has risen from the grave more times that we care to count. It was quickly realised that legalising the platform for the US market would be very complicated. Saleen allege to have started from scratch.
An innocent by-stander might mistake the Saleen S1 for the Artega GT though. So it’s clear than the DNA is not pure Saleen. It’s more likely a modification of the Artega platform. It measures 16 inches longer with a 0.6 inch longer wheelbase.
In terms of powertrain, Saleen have announced a turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine will slot into the engine bay. They are currently focused on producing power figures in the region of 450 hp and 350lb ft of torque. Saleen are apparently saying the engine will be built in-house. We suspect it might be a variant of the Ford ecoBoost powertrain. A 1,218 kg weight leads to a 0 to 60 mph time in 3.5 seconds and a top speed in excess of 180 mph.
Saleen will initially begin to build the car in the US with production set to move to China for cost reasons. Steve Saleen’s new venture, Jiangsu Saleen Automotive Technology Group will take care of the Chinese side of things. Production is set to start in summer 2018.