From the same automotive performance brand that brought the true American Supercar, the S7, Saleen has once again set precedence for a vehicle of epic proportions. The Tesla Model S based Saleen FOURSIXTEEN performance electric car was shown for the first time at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
“Tesla has created an entirely new class of American automobile”, explained Steve Saleen. “There are many similarities to this and how Ford created the ‘pony car’ class in 1964 with the Mustang, which is how these vehicles stand out from the rest of the pack.”
Standing out from the pack is Saleen’s specialty. Whether it’s their winning racing pedigree, expertly engineered Saleen vehicles, or instantly recognizable design. The Saleen legacy is perfectly packaged into the FOURSIXTEEN Model S and hinges on the mantra for the performance luxury electric car that ‘status quo won’t do’.
Purposefully advanced design
From the outside, the FOURSIXTEEN is a harmonious blend of aerodynamic aggressiveness and subtle classiness. Applying the same championship Saleen DNA used over the last three decades, Saleen has created a car that can drive the streets of Monaco and set records at Laguna Seca. From the Saleen crafted front fascia to the carbon fiber rear diffuser, the FOURSIXTEEN aerodynamic design is as inspired as it is functional.
Front aero management vents helps ensure that the Saleen FOURSIXTEEN model maintains a low pressure field as air acceleration increases around the chassis. Assisting the lower aero management is the unique V-shaped hood architecture efficiently directing hot air away from the drivetrain cooling system all while generating valuable downforce across the front section.
The rear fascia design finalizes the aerodynamic system as air moves across the cabin and onto the Saleen designed high-downforce decklid mounted spoiler. Mid-chassis air is directed across the carbon fiber accents stretching between the taillights. Supplying rear wake diffusion is a Saleen diffuser design that boosts aerodynamic downforce capability.
Just like the rest of the Saleen lineup, this car is more than just an eye catching aerodynamic package. Propelling the new FOURSIXTEEN is the 3-phase, four pole AC induction motor and copper rotor with the upgraded Saleen drivetrain including an all-new 11.39:1 final gear ratio for quicker acceleration. Also new for the FOURSIXTEEN is a Saleen specific MAXGRIPTM locking differential that allows each wheel to efficiently apply rotational force and maximize traction and grip in performance environments. All of the Saleen engineered driveline components increase efficiencies in torque management, give a track capable throttle response, and provide faster acceleration. Overall the FOURSIXTEEN is a well-balanced vehicle and sounds great too!
Electric motor cooling has also been made more productive from the Saleen high-efficiency drivetrain cooling system. Comprising the system is a larger volume radiator, upsampled cooling fans, and a high-flow water pump to help maintain consistent temperatures in more stressful performance applications.
“Electric drivetrains are unique in that they can generate an incredible amount of torque at zero RPM”, detailed Sven Etzelsberger, VP Advanced Engineering. “Our challenge was really to find methods to manage the energy that is generated by the electric motor and rotor assembly. With the FOURSIXTEEN we have successfully found a comprehensive solution to increase performance and harness power in an efficient manner.”
Saleen’s design and engineering teams worked together to ensure a functional suspension that doesn’t sacrifice ride quality. The Saleen specific S4 track-calibrated suspension includes a monotube coilover, which works in conjunction with an S4 sway bar setup to increase cornering agility without sacrificing ride quality. The FOURSIXTEEN suspension system can also be ordered in a fully adjustable configuration, allowing the driver to easily increase stiffness for a day at the track and revert to a more streetable setting with simple adjustments.
The Stability Control System has also undergone a track tested performance enhancement. A software change gives the FOURSIXTEEN better cornering response and drivability by allowing the driver to maintain power as traction and vehicle weight distribution change.
Working together with the stability control software, wheel, tire, and S4 suspension system are the Saleen-specific brakes. The standard brake package in the FOURSIXTEEN include 14” 2-piece aluminum hat vented rotors and multi-piston front calipers with performance brake pads. An optional upgrade is the carbon ceramic disc brake system for maximum braking, cooling, and weight reduction. Saleen designed wheels fill out the wheel openings and add an air of performance luxury. All of this combined with the ZR-spec tires make sure the car will hug the corners, accelerate true in the straights, and stop effortlessly when needed.
Supercar inspired interior
The interior refinements of the Saleen FOURSIXTEEN are abundant. From the handpicked leather palette to the carbon fiber dash accents, the cabin environment is as supercar stylish as it is functionally chic. Starting with the seating, black leather is contrasted by perforated leather accents and Alcantara suede inlays providing a true luxury atmosphere.
“Our theme of an electric four-seat supercar really comes to life with the interior of this car”, said Sean Smith, Design Director. “Our design team spent a lot of time evaluating different materials, fitments, and finishes to accomplish the refined interior design of the FOURSIXTEEN while still keeping the modern sports car inspiration intact. I think the result is appropriate for this new class of electric American performance cars.”
A new center console has also been integrated into the interior redesign. This functional aspect gives the driver and front passenger additional center storage, a personal electronic device pocket, and a much needed cupholder all within arm’s reach.
Continuing the track-inspired exterior enhancements, the front and rear seating have been remolded to produce four full bucket seats complete with added bolstering to create a discerning interior that is fittingly built around the driver and passengers. Marrying the seating design to the rest of the cockpit are the Saleen tailor-made door panels and a full leather-wrapped dash both artistically complimented with hand sewn contrast stitching. The final stroke of interior craftsmanship draws attention to the seat shells which have been color matched to the black leather, creating a dynamic modern feel in the rear cabin.
Availability, Pricing and Additional Information
MSRP for the FOURSIXTEEN model is set to start at $152,000 for the complete vehicle, which includes the base P85Model S sedan. This is priced before existing state and federal EV incentives which can range from $7,500 to $15,000 depending on the buyers state (i.e. A California resident would pay $142,000.00).
Warranties are also included on all new Saleen vehicles, components, and labor. Each newly purchased Saleen FOURSIXTEEN will include a 4-year / 50,000 mile warranty to match the manufacturer backed limited warranty.
Purchases for this all new electric vehicle can be placed by contacting Saleen directly for an expedited ordering process of the Saleen FOURSIXTEEN. Orders are now being taken for the FOURSIXTEEN with delivery 6-8 weeks following order confirmation and receipt.
Alternatively, individual FOURSIXTEEN components are also available for Model S owners that are looking to just add a touch of performance or styling to their current vehicle without the desire for a serialized version. Installation can be scheduled through the Saleen Performance Parts division.