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.