2005 Saleen S7
"Twin Turbo Competition Package"
Configuration: Longitudinal rear-engine
Engine: Ford V8
Displacement: 427 cu. in./6.99L
Torque: 700 lb. ft. at 4,800 RPM
Max RPM: 6,500 RPM
Transmission: 6-speed manual
A Little History
The Saleen S7 was developed and produced by Steve Saleen, owner and founder of Saleen Inc., a company known for tuning Mustangs and competing in the GT racing circuit. The S7 was entirely handmade, the first car to be completely produced by Saleen, and America’s first rear-engine production supercar. It boasted 550hp at 6,400RPM, a top speed of 220MPH, and was made between 2000 and 2006.
In 2005 through 2009, the S7 was upgraded to the S7 Twin Turbo, featuring two enormous Garrett turbochargers, boosting the horsepower from 550 up to 750 and reaching a top speed of 248MPH. Throughout the entire production range of both the S7 and S7 Twin Turbo, there were only around 75 chassis sold, as each car took a long time to build.
In 2006, Saleen tacked on the factory-optional Competition Package for the Twin Turbo, seen on this car, which pushed the horsepower up to an astounding 1000.
As the S7 and S7 Twin Turbo were actually manufactured as homologation models for the S7-R, the race version, many of the car’s design elements are better suited for the track. It has a tubular space frame car with honeycomb construction, and the engine is made primarily of aluminum. It bears more air intakes and heat dissipation grills than any other car on display. The front wheels each have air intakes situated on the front fenders, and dissipation grills behind in order direct air over the rocker panels and into the rear wheel intakes to create extra downforce and improve aerodynamics. Located in front of each rear wheel, as well as on the top of the car are air intakes to cool the engine compartment. The resulting hot air is pushed out through the grill surrounding the exhaust on the rear of the car.
On the interior, the S7 is all business. It has a Formula-1 style steering wheel and minimal additions to the gauge cluster and center console. Despite its incredible speed, it has a manual shifter, as opposed to paddle shifters as seen in many other cars on display. It also has no power steering, power brakes, traction control, stability control, or noselift capabilities. It was truly made to race in a straight line, and is rather difficult to handle on every day roads.
On the Track:
The Saleen S7-R was produced from 2000-2007, and was designed to compete in grand tourer-style races, such as the FIA GT Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans. A total of fourteen S7-Rs were assembled to race-ready condition throughout the production period. The S7-Rs were run primarily by Konrad Motorsports, a German-based racing team. Under Konrad’s leadership, the S7-R was driven to a sixth-place finish in the FIA GT championship in 2003, as well as fourth-place 2004 FIA GT championship and nearly a dozen class victories. Unfortunately, due to financial problems, Konrad Motorsports, as well as their collaborator Vitaphone Racing, were forced to abandon their work with the S7-R due to financial issues during 2005. Though Saleen tried to help in further customizing the remaining S7-Rs and selling them to other race teams, the car was never able to achieve victory in a championship, and shortly disbanded because of production costs.
Did you know?
- This exact car was featured in two major movies: Iron Man and Redline.
- The car currently on display was the first of only two S7 Twin Turbos to be fitted with the Competition Package.
- This is the only example finished in this color combination, Beryllium Orange, and was the official Saleen factory press vehicle.