Christmas arrives early this year.
There was a time when Steve Saleen's S7 was one of the coolest supercars on the planet. With its 200 mph capability and multiple wins at the American Le Mans Series, the S7 has guaranteed itself a slot in history. We still love it, but it's definitely a thing of the past. Fortunately, Saleen, despite some recent financial difficulties, it getting back in the saddle with plans for a new Chinese market supercar called the S1.
The new comes to us from Chinadaily.com, via AutoGuide, which reports a gasoline-engined S1 will launch first, followed by an electric version but it's still at least a year or so out. The Saleen S1 will be built by Jiangsu Saleen Automotive Technology Co., and it'll be powered by a Ford-sourced turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder. Now, here's where it gets especially interesting: that turbo four will be tuned to produce around 450 hp and 425 lb-ft of torque and will have a top speed of about 180 mph. No details are available yet regarding its transmission or chassis. That new Chinese factory can supposedly produce up to 150,000 cars a year, but it won't be solely limited to the S1.
Saleen Jiangsu's CEO, Charles Wang, confirmed the plan is to "produce all sorts of passenger cars including sedans, SUVs and crossovers." And yes, the Saleen S1 will be sold in the US. In fact, it'll be making its official US debut early next month at the LA Auto Show. As that date gets closer, more details will hopefully arrive. So time to celebrate. Saleen is finally making its supercar comeback.