- The Saleen factory press vehicle
- One of only two competition packaged-equipped S7s to produce 1,000 horsepower
- The only example finished in this color combination
- Seen in the feature films Iron Man and Redline
- The ultimate American-made supercar
1,000 bhp, 427 cu. in. DOHC aluminum V-8 with twin Garrett turbochargers, six-speed manual transaxle, four-wheel fully adjustable independent suspension, and four-wheel ventilated Brembo disc brakes. Wheelbase: 106.2 in.
If one were to take the badges off a Saleen S7 and ask people where they thought this car was built, the answers would be predictable. Italy would be at the top of the list, followed by Germany and perhaps England or France. Surely something this extreme, aerodynamic, and fast had to come from Europe.
Imagine their surprise when they come to find out that the S7 was designed, built, and born in the U.S.A.
The Saleen S7 is the brainchild of Steve Saleen, the owner and founder of Saleen Inc., a company known for tuning Mustangs for the street and for being a formidable team in racing. Unlike his previous projects, the S7 boasts a completely unique chassis and was developed for racing, with a series of road cars built for homologation. As it was fitted with an all-aluminum 427-cubic inch V-8 and wrapped in a carbon fiber body, it could sprint from 0–60 mph in just 3.3 seconds and had an estimated top speed of 220 mph. On the track, the S7R quickly earned the respect of some of motorsport's most seasoned professionals, achieving class wins at both the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The S7 Twin Turbo presented here stands out from the rest of S7 production for several reasons. Primarily, it was the first S7 to be fitted with the Competition Package upgrade, and according to Saleen, it is one of only two such cars to produce 1,000 horsepower via increased turbocharger boost and revised engine mapping. This is the highest specification possible, greater even than the 850 horsepower of their competition-spec cars. In order to handle the prodigious amount of power, Saleen also adjusted the suspension and fitted a revised front and rear diffuser to ensure that the car could be kept under control. Furthermore, this car was retained by Saleen for use by the automotive press when it was new. It is finished in the captivating color of Beryllium Orange, a metallic citrus hue that perfectly suits the car’s outrageous design. Only two cars were built to this specification, and this is the only one finished in this color combination.
It goes without saying that the performance figures on this car were mind blowing. Zero to sixty runs done by journalists were recorded between 2.6 and 3.2 seconds, and its top speed was even reported to be 248 mph. These were massively impressive figures for the time, and what was even more impressive was that these figures were not attained by a car produced by a major manufacturer, such as Porsche, Lamborghini, McLaren, Ferrari, or Bugatti.
After its press duties, the car was loaned to Paramount Pictures for use in the 2008 blockbuster movie Iron Man, where it starred alongside Robert Downey Jr. for a scene in millionaire and superhero Tony Stark’s garage. However, this would not mark the end of this S7’s stint on the silver screen. The car scored an additional role in the film Redline, having been purchased by producer Daniel Sadek specifically for this purpose, where it was raced against several other supercars, including a Ferrari Enzo and a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.
After filming for Redline concluded and Sadek sold the car in 2009, it was purchased by the renowned Paul and Chris Andrews Collection, where the car resided until it was acquired by the current owner in 2011. The car currently displays just under 4,650 miles and shows very few signs of wear inside and out. Its dark orange metallic paintwork is in wonderful condition, and its color perfectly suits the extreme character of the car. The S7’s interior is no-nonsense and gives the driver and passenger everything they need and nothing they don’t, including power windows and air conditioning. An additional welcomed feature is a Kenwood stereo that has been wired to a camera on the rear, which greatly assists when reversing the car.
The Saleen S7, representing the United States in a world seemingly dominated by European supercars, is a welcome change for the enthusiast looking for something unique, very fast, and American. As it is easily capable of outdoing the Europeans in terms of horsepower, performance, looks, and overall panache, this S7 offers all that and more.
It is undoubtedly one of the fastest street-legal automobiles that America has ever produced, and it would be an awesome addition to any collection of supercars.