Saleen Automotive, a high-profile American muscle car tuning house, perhaps most known for its bespoke S7 supercar, has showcased its latest creation – the Saleen FourSixteen, based on the Tesla Model S. Welcome to a new age of electric car modification.
Since the Model S is an all-electric machine with no internal combustion engine, Saleen’s experience in motor tune-up gets thrown out of the window. Tesla’s range-topping 416 hp (hence the name)/600 Nm P85 Performance motor gets left well alone, but Saleen brings its own mechanical expertise here too.
The car’s final gear is swapped for a Saleen-specific item, and together with a new locking differential, the FourSixteen boasts improved acceleration compared to the standard car’s 4.2-second 0-96 km/h time. Cooling for the electric motor has been enhanced as well, to support “more stressful performance applications.”
A track-tuned suspension setup (that apparently “doesn’t sacrifice ride quality”, and is upgradeable to a fully-adjustable set) is paired to a re-calibrated stability control system for better cornering response and drivability. Uprated high-performance brakes and optional carbon-ceramic discs are available as well.
The most dramatic addition (enhancement is too strong a word here, we think) is Saleen’s unique aerodynamic package. Tesla’s bluff grille is gone altogether, replaced with a solid nose with aggressive lower air intakes and a fair share of carbon-fibre parts. The comically-large lightweight 22-inch wheels complete the exterior makeover.
Inside, the Saleen looks just as dramatic with a good mix of leather, Alcantara and carbon-fibre. Four heavily bolstered bucket seats now dominate the interior. There’s a new centre console design on board too, which adds an all-important extra cupholder within reach. Say it together, boys: ‘Murica, heck yeah!