2010 Saleen 435S Mustang breaks cover

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

The first of a series of new performance Mustangs -- the 435S Mustang -- from Saleen Performance Vehicles has arrived despite a pending lawsuit raised by Steve Saleen seeking to bar the use of his name. While the legal battle is ongoing, Saleen Performance Vehicles, which is now owned by MJ Acquisitions, can release as many Saleen-branded models as it wants.

Incidentally, Steve Saleen's SMS performance workshop has recently released its own reworked 460 series Ford Mustangs.

Unveiled this week at an enthusiasts' event in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, was the new 435S. It is fitted with a Saleen Series VI supercharger and makes 435hp (324kW) and 425lb-ft (575Nm) of torque from its uprated 4.6L V8.

Other features include a short-throw shifter for the five-speed manual transmission. The difference between the 435S and the 2010 Ford Mustang is that the former is lowered by 1.5in with a Racecraft suspension kit.

The exterior is fitted with a set of custom 18in alloy wheels as well as Saleen badging and chevrons. Saleen Performance Vehicles' plans include a more powerful version to be unveiled at SEMA later this year. Sales will start next spring.

The design of the interior has been modified to improve the driving experience and to express the character of the car. These include driver-centric gauges and a short-throw shifter to allow faster and accurate gear change. Going back to the gauges, they continue to have Mustang's MyColor capabilities.

This means that customers can choose from a wide range of more than 125 colors for the instrument cluster that can be customized. Highlighting the identity of this model is the Saleen logo that has been embroidered on its headrests.

Shields shared that the company believes that the 435S is the right car at just the right time. She adds that it has the performance value that the company is happy to offer. This is just the first of the many Saleen vehicles that it will be releasing in the future, Shields continued.

Press Release

2010 Saleen 435s Mustang

Saleen Performance Vehicles today unveiled its first 2010 product, the Saleen 435S, based on the new 2010 Ford Mustang. The introduction took place as part of the Special Vehicle Team Owners Association's annual "Mustang Week" event. The 435S is the first vehicle launched under Saleen's new ownership, following the purchase of Saleen Inc. earlier this year.

This car continues the Saleen tradition of offering limited-edition, high-performance vehicles for enthusiasts who are looking for an exhilarating driving experience, with refined drivability for real-world road conditions.

The 435S is designed to provide affordable, high-value performance.

"In these difficult economic times we wanted our first vehicle to deliver a lot for an affordable price," said Mike Shields, CEO of Saleen Performance Vehicles. "It was created much more for 'go' than for show. We focused on power and handling, and it's a great platform to build on if a customer wants to take it farther later on."

Heart of the car's performance is its 4.6-liter, 3-valve SOHC V8 engine, complete with a Saleen Series VI twin-screw supercharger and two-stage intercooler. This engine produces a vigorous 435 horsepower and 425 lb.-ft. of torque. It's mated to a 5-speed manual transmission, and has a 3.73:1 rear axle ratio with limited-slip differential.

The car rides 1.5 inches lower than a Mustang GT, thanks to its Saleen Racecraft performance suspension. The system is designed to reduce body roll, provide nimble, precise handling and improve traction, while retaining the compliant ride of a good daily driver. The suspension package includes springs, a stiffer front stabilizer bar, and nitrogen-pressurized shock absorbers tuned exclusively for the 435S.

The vented brake rotors, front and rear, are slotted and cross-drilled for improved feel and stopping performance. Larger, 14-inch slotted front rotors with 4-piston calipers are available as an option.

The 435S has the Saleen-signature long, low, sleek looks and aggressive stance that have distinguished the company's previous cars. Traditional Saleen styling cues include an understated trim panel between the taillights with "Saleen" in raised lettering, mesh covers over the fog lights in the grille, and the Saleen name and chevrons as graphic elements placed low on each side. An optional Aero Package includes a lightweight chin splitter and rear spoiler for improved aerodynamics.

Other exterior highlights include unique, 18-inch, 5-spoke alloy wheels (19- and 20-inch wheels are available), and "435S" lettered on each side of the hood's power dome.

Inside, the modifications are designed to enhance the driving experience and to express the car's character. These include a new, short-throw shifter for quick, precise gear-changing performance, and new, driver-oriented gauges. These uniquely styled gauges retain Mustang's MyColor™ capabilities that allow the owner to select from more than 125 custom colors for the instrument cluster. The car's identity is highlighted by a Saleen logo embroidered on the headrests.

"All in all, we believe the 435S is the right car at the right time," said Shields. "It's a terrific performance value that we're proud to offer. And this is just the first of many great Saleen vehicles we'll be launching in the future."

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