2010 Saleen S281 Mustang breaks cover

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

This is the first full look that's available of the new 2010-spec Saleen S281 Mustang courtesy of Brad Barnett. Previously, everyone got a sneak peek when pictures were posted on Saleen's Flickr page in early October. But viewing these recent pictures only made us like the vehicle more.

It's notable that Saleen's designers have succeeded at retaining much of the design language that made previous versions of the S281 so popular while updating the style sufficiently to properly flow with the lines of the 2010 Mustang.

Saleen Performance Vehicles revealed the 2010 Saleen S281 during the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Though this is the second vehicle to be launched by Saleen after the 2010 435S last August, the S281 is expected to be the first in the company’s 2010 line of high-performance vehicles.

Founded on the 2010 Ford Mustang, the S281 exhibited a high quality of design for the exterior and the interior while ensuring that it has the performance that can match it. It also builds on the company’s tradition of offering enthusiasts who want to have an exciting driving experience with high-performance and limited-edition vehicles having the driveability needed for diverse road conditions.

Saleen Performance Vehicles CEO Mike Shields said that the Saleen name has always meant quality in design, driving dynamics, and engineering, for over 25 years. This is seen in the S281 -- proof that the company can turn concept cars to real cars. Saleen added that he is proud of the team for the wonderful job they have done and he is just as proud for being able to offer this model to its customers.

The design of its exterior shows that a large amount of detail had been put into it, with the forms and lines easily flowing to suggest agility, flexibility, and power. There is also the discreet but impressive front fascia and grille.

Saleen-extended rear fascia gets that refined treatment with the trunk lid integrated with an elegant yet simple wing. David Byron, who is the design director of Saleen Performance Vehicles, said that the aim of the company was to have an American sports car that could be considered as the most visually appealing.

With the 2010 Mustang, Ford gave the company the best launching pad allowing it to make a vehicle with world class quality and the authentic Saleen feel. The company took its time and worked on every part of the body and even on each of the fold and stitch in the interior, continued Byron.

The S281 has a V8 4.6-liter engine that comes equipped with the Saleen Series twin-screw VI.5 supercharger and the dual-stage intercooler. As a result, the engine can deliver a total power of 485 hp and a maximum torque at 460 lb.-ft. All of these are sent to rear wheels via the five-speed manual transmission and the limited-slip differential that can give a final drive ratio of 3.73:1.

The S281 uses the new Saleen Racecraft suspension system which has the single-rate springs on the front and rear. It even has its front struts nitrogen-pressurized while the rear shocks have a number of damping adjustments. Finally there is the front sway bar that has also been specially tuned and has the performance pivot bushings.

The interior also has new features like the leather sports seats with its Ultra-Suede inserts and highlighted with the Ultra-Suede chevron-like red tabs of the seatback bolsters. Even the center console, the steering wheel, shifter, and gauges underwent unique treatments.

Additional new features in the interior include the contrasting Saleen logos placed on its door panels as well as the Saleen logos that are in the door sill plates which light up once the door has been opened. The exterior meanwhile has the 7-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels with its high-performance Pirelli P-Zero Rosso tires. Its exterior also has the S281 Supercharged fender badging.

Press Release

Saleen S281 Mustang

Saleen Performance Vehicles today unveiled the first in its 2010 premiere line of high-performance cars, the 2010 Saleen S281. The introduction took place at the annual SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This is the second Saleen vehicle launched this year, following the 2010 435S introduced in August. The S281, based on the 2010 Ford Mustang, displays a premium level of design consideration, both exterior and interior, with performance to match. It builds on the Saleen tradition of offering limited-edition, high-performance vehicles for enthusiasts who are looking for an exhilarating driving experience, with refined driveability for real-world road conditions.

"For more than 25 years the Saleen name has stood for excellence in design, engineering, and driving dynamics," said Mike Shields, CEO of Saleen Performance Vehicles. "The new S281 is an excellent example of what those words mean when we craft concepts into real cars. Our team has done a terrific job; I'm proud of them and proud to be offering this car to our customers." The S281's exterior design features carefully crafted sculptural detailing, with lines and forms that flow naturally and suggest suppleness, power and agility. It features an understated yet imposing grille and front fascia, and a refined treatment of the familiar Saleen extended rear fascia and trunk lid with a simple, elegant, integrated wing.

"Our goal was to create the most visually enticing American sports car ever," said David Byron, design director at Saleen Performance Vehicles. "Ford provided the perfect launching pad with the 2010 Mustang, which allowed our team to create a car that's world class and authentically Saleen. We painstakingly toiled over every bend and break in the body and every stitch and fold in the interior." The S281's 4.6-liter V8 engine is equipped with a Saleen Series VI.5 twin-screw supercharger and dual-stage intercooler. It produces 485 hp and 460 lb.-ft. of torque, sent to the rear wheels through a short-throw, five-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential with 3.73:1 final drive ratio.

The Saleen Racecraft suspension system is new, and includes specially tuned, single-rate front and rear springs; nitrogen-pressurized front struts and rear shocks with a wide range of damping adjustments; and a specially tuned front sway bar with performance pivot bushings. The interior features new, leather sport seats with Ultra-Suede inserts, highlighted by chevron-like Ultra-Suede red tabs in the seatback bolsters, and unique treatments of the gauges, steering wheel, center console and shifter. There also are contrasting Saleen logos in the door panels, and Saleen logos in the door sill plates that illuminate when the door is opened. Additional exterior highlights include unique, 20-inch, 7-spoke alloy wheels with Pirelli P-Zero Rosso high-performance tires, and Saleen S281 Supercharged fender badging.

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