lb-ft @ 4800 rpm
hp @ 6300 rpm
lbs per hp
107.1 hp per liter
seconds @ 136 mph
Press Release) Saleen knows all about power. As in S281 Mustangs, N2O Focuses and the S7,
America’s first (and still the only) mid-engine exotic supercar. When it went on sale in
2002, the S7 was the only street-legal car in the U.S. with more than 500 horsepower
and 500 lb-ft of torque. The media and S7 owners have raved about the car since it
first smoked the rear tires in anger. And it has been recognized by numerous
automotive magazines as the fastest production car in the world.
But during the past three years the automobile marketplace has witnessed an
explosion of performance with models from manufacturers including Ferrari,
Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Chevrolet touting power numbers above the
once magic 500 level.
Saleen is not an organization content to rest on yesterday’s 0-60 mph times or
quarter-mile speeds. So for 2005 it’s “goodbye S7” and “all hail the S7 Twin Turbo!”
This is the first major change to the S7 since its introduction, and it is a BIG
change as in 750 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque, numbers the competition will be
chasing for a long while we predict.
What’s New for 2005
It was pretty obvious to Saleen product planners during the late 1990s that
horsepower and torque numbers were trending upwards, especially among the
purveyors of supercars. And power figures that looked spectacular at that time might
seem quite ordinary a few years down the road. So Saleen engineers have been
planning for this day since they drew the first line on a computer screen for the original
S7’s 7-liter engine.
While there are a number of different roads Saleen’s engine designers could
have traveled down to achieve those high-altitude horsepower and torque figures, for
this second edition of the S7 they decided to think beyond atmospheric. And because
this is Saleen, they added a double twist to a tried and true racing technique for
boosting power and torque: twin turbos.
Aerodynamics has also come under scrutiny for 2005. Unless you place the new
S7 Twin Turbo next to one of the original 2002 models, you probably won’t notice that
the 2005 version has a different diffuser/rear spoiler package and reshaped front
fenders to enhance the S7s already sleek, swoopy and aerodynamic contours.
To complement the Twin Turbo’s enhanced straight-line performance envelope
The S7 chassis has also undergone a fair amount of tweaking. Virtually every
suspension pickup point has been changed, and the suspension geometry has been
modified for less squat and dive during acceleration and braking.
Engine & Drivetrain
Designed by Saleen engineers, the S7's engine and drivetrain incorporate the
latest in modern racing technology. The new all-aluminum V8 engine casting was
engineered and tooled by Saleen to displace seven liters. Redline is 6500 rpm. Space
age materials and engineering are used throughout, including stainless steel valves,
titanium retainers, beryllium exhaust valve seats, an aluminum throttle body, Saleendesigned
aluminum CNC-machined cylinder heads and stainless steel exhaust system.
An exclusive Saleen-designed Front Engine Accessory Drive (FEAD) system
results in an extremely compact engine, allowing for better packaging and overall weight
distribution. The V8 incorporates a unique Saleen-designed side-mounted water pump,
a belt-driven camshaft drive and a Saleen-engineered dry sump oil delivery system.
The engine's mid-chassis placement optimizes weight distribution and center of
gravity, making room for an unusually tall engine that allows for a very efficient induction
system. Air enters a roof intake, passes through a 90-mm mass air meter and feeds
into a carbon fiber plenum. From the plenum the air is routed to the twin ball bearing turbos, is pressurized to 5.5 psi max and then passes through an oval-bore throttle body
into an aluminum intake manifold with eight individual runners.
To feed juice to this setup, the injection system includes dual electric fuel pumps
and high-capacity, return-less, 52 lb/hr fuel injectors.
Neatly engineered and integrated into the S7’s stainless steel, dual, high-flow
exhaust system are two, twin-ball-bearing, water-cooled Saleen-Garrett turbos,
featuring 44-mm wastegates.
The four exhaust pipes from each bank of cylinders merge
into a race-car-like high-efficiency collector. In addition, the exhaust incorporates dual
catalysts per cylinder bank, EGR and those aforementioned twin wastegates.
And because Saleen believes in power and clean air, the emission control
system features dual, heated oxygen sensors per cylinder bank and a high-volume
evaporative emission system along with those four catalysts. Oh, and for good
measure and clean air, the system is OBD-II compliant.
When Saleen’s engineers originally laid out the architecture of the S7’s 7-liter V8,
they purposely over designed all the major components because they knew the car
would be raced, and they were also planning ahead for future increased street
performance. So one of the few internal changes to the twin-turbo engine is a swap
from hydraulic to solid lifters. This change allows the engine to rev higher and “harder.”
Solid lifers don’t “pump up” and “float” like hydraulic lifters can at high rpm, and they
also allow more aggressive cam profiles, which results in more horsepower at the top
end. As with the previous hydraulic tappets, the valves are actuated by low-friction
As is typical with turbocharged engines, the compression ratio has been lowered.
It drops from a very high 12.0:1 in the previous naturally aspirated V8 to a still high
11.0:1. And for increased durability, Saleen engineers also added oil squirters to cool
the undersides of the pistons.
A Saleen PowerFlash™ performance computer, recalibrated for 2005, handles
engine management. The ignition system is integrated coil-on-plug.
A new-generation six-speed transaxle, with a unique Saleen bell housing,
transfers power to the wheels. The clutch is an organic/metallic 8.0-inch, twin-plate unit
with hydraulic actuation.
And if you need any more proof of how Saleen engineers sweat the details, the
stroke of the already short-stroke shifter has been furthered shortened for improved
shifting feel. Say that five times fast, once for each gear change!
Chassis, Suspension & Brakes
The S7 chassis and suspension incorporate decades of Saleen’s experience in
racing, racecar construction and high-performance road car manufacturing. The Saleen
S7 architecture begins with a space frame chassis to which honeycomb composite
reinforcing is grafted. The body is structural, aerospace-quality, autoclave carbon fiber.
Suspension is via fully independent unequal-length double wishbones with coilover
springs, lightweight aluminum dampers (shock absorbers) and stabilizer (anti-roll)
bars front and rear. The uprights at each corner are CNC machined billet aluminum,
flow-through designs that use air to help cool the bearings.
A major improvement in ride is achieved for 2005 with the use of coil springs that
are a dual-stage design. The first spring has a lower rate than the single springs fitted
to the current S7, resulting in softer ride during normal street driving. But if you
remember your history, you know that the S7 is a flat-bottom, downforce car. The faster
you go, the more downforce the S7 develops. In the case of the S7’s new dual-stage
springs, the second stiffer spring starts coming into play at around 100 mph when the
car begins to develop serious downforce.
Chassis tuning also includes revised shock valving front and rear.
Saleen-engineered Brembo-supplied lightweight aluminum six-piston mono-block
calipers are fitted front and rear.
The brakes are among the largest of any production
car with 15-inch vented discs up front and 14-inch vented discs at the rear.
The Saleen-designed forged alloy wheels feature center locking wheel nuts with
automatic safety locks. Sizes are 19 x 9.5 inches up front and 20 x 12 inches at the
Geometry changes, along with new tires, result in about a 30 percent increase in
mechanical grip . . . which is substantial. In a seeming contradiction to current
performance tire practice, the 2005 S7 Twin Turbo is fitted with “taller” tires,
275/35R19s up front and 335/30R20s at the rear, replacing the 275/30R19s and
345/25R20s fitted to the normally aspirated S7. While the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires
have higher aspect ratios, they also lay tire patches that are nearly an inch wider up
front and almost 1.5 inches wider at the rear.
The S7’s beautiful shape was “designed” by the wind. Optimal aerodynamics and top
speed performance objectives were achieved with extensive wind tunnel work. Targets
included a low coefficient of drag, optimum drag-to-lift ratio, and extreme down force.
The S7 has “full tray” body sculpting underneath.
Longtime Saleen design consultant, Phil Frank, and Steve Saleen then
personalized and refined the aesthetics of the S7 to reflect modern supercar thinking.
The gill-like ducting is, of course, fully functional. The autoclaved carbon fiber body
panels incorporate advanced aerodynamics and include integrated split-channel airflow
throughout the car, full underside air management, and advanced front tray and side
skirt designs and an integrated full-body rear spoiler, replacing the wing used
For the 2005 S7 Twin Turbo, the redesigned front and rear diffusers, along with
the new rear spoiler, result in a 40 percent reduction in aero drag and a 60 percent
increase in down force. Those of you who know anything about aero forces recognize
the significance of that last statement. Typically, you would have to trade down force to
reduce aero drag.
The mid-engine Saleen S7 has front and rear trunks and comes with Mulholland
Brothers® custom-made, 3-piece, fitted luggage. In true supercar style, the doors open
up and away from the body.
“When seen in person, the S7 has an amazing overall presence,” says Steve Saleen, founder and president of Saleen, Inc. “It’s quite long and wide, yet only 41.0
inches high, adding to its exotic appearance. We wanted to maintain a ‘form-followsfunction’
look, but one that was esthetically beautiful as well. I really feel we’ve
As much care has been given to the creature comforts of the Saleen S7 as to its
performance. Great attention was given to seating position. The car features
asymmetrical seating, with the driver position moved slightly more to the center than the
passenger. This improves the driver’s ergonomics and the side-to-side weight
distribution. Because the S7 features a custom fitted driver seating position with
adjustable pedals and a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, it comfortably
accommodates tall drivers. While Shaquille O’Neal would have a tough time fitting
behind the wheel of an S7, drivers as tall as 6 feet 6 inches can enjoy the S7 driving
To further improve driving comfort and ergonomics, the S7 Twin Turbo
incorporates a revised pedal box. The clutch and throttle lever ratios pedals have been
changed for lighter pedal efforts. In addition, the three pedals have been spaced farther
apart without impinging upon the dead pedal.
Seats and other interior surfaces are covered in elegant leather and suede. Air
conditioning, power windows, power door locks with remote keyless opening for the
doors and both trunks, an electric-headed front windshield, variable intermittent
windshield wipers, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an AM/FM/CD/DVD/TV
system are all standard. The Saleen S7 also has one unique interior feature: a video
“rearview mirror” — there is a small video camera inconspicuously mounted in the rear
of the car.
A navigation system and polished wheels are among the few available features.
The Saleen S7, America’s first true supercar, has captured the imagination of the
automotive world since its introduction in August 2000 at the prestigious Monterey
Historic vintage car races. Designed to compete with the fastest, quickest, best
handling and most exotic sports cars, the S7 provides a distinctly American driving
experience for the fortunate few who will own one. It also reflects Saleen’s more than
two decades of performance and engineering excellence in manufacturing fully certified
The exotic S7 is designed, engineered, manufactured and marketed by Saleen,
Inc., a high-performance vehicle manufacturer headquartered in Irvine, Calif. Working
with some of the world’s most respected and technologically advanced automotive
suppliers, the Saleen S7 went from prototype to first customer deliveries in less than
The Saleen S7 Twin Turbo was conceived to combine the performance of a
track-only racecar with the driving pleasure of a road car. As a result, while the S7
would be at home on any racetrack, it is also a car that can be driven with pleasure on
highways, Autobahnen and back roads.
“With the improvements made in engine performance, chassis tuning and aero,
the S7 is not only easier to drive at ‘normal’ around town speeds, but also it’s faster and
more fun,” says Steve Saleen.
But don’t expect less of the Saleen ‘attitude.’ The S7, like every Saleen, is a
product of Saleen’s strong racing heritage.
“We wouldn’t feel we’d accomplished our mission if you didn’t come away from a
drive around the block thinking the S7 felt like ‘a race car for the street,’” Saleen
continued. “We designed it that way.”
Unlike most exotic supercars, the racing version, the S7R, has already proven
itself on the international motorsports stage. During the past three years, the racing
version has won more than 50 poles, set fastest race lap over 50 times and has been
victorious well over 40 times, winning seven GT Championships. This incredible record
includes winning the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring and setting a new track record at
the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Last September, the S7R scored one of its most memorable wins, taking the
victory in round eight of the 2004 FIA GT Championship. The S7R has won a number
of FIA GT races so that victory stands as one among many. What was more significant
is that the race took place at Imola, Italy, home track of Ferrari and Maserati, and the
big story that weekend was supposed to have been the heralded debut of the Maserati
MC 12s. Instead, Saleen S7Rs dominated qualifying, placing 5 cars in the top 10 and
added insult to injury when the Vitaphone S7R finished the race with a 43-second
advantage over the second-place Maserati. It was not a happy day for Ferrari-Maserati
management or any of the Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini racing teams.
While the S7 is an American supercar, the vehicle itself reflects a “best-inpractice”
philosophy, where Saleen has incorporated superior components from around
the globe in order to manufacture the best vehicle possible. For example, the Saleen
S7 uses Saleen-engineered/ Brembo-supplied brakes from Italy as well as numerous
high technology pieces from companies located in the Midlands area of the United
Kingdom, a region that is to motorsports what the Silicon Valley is to computers. Initial
wind tunnel testing was conducted at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.
None of the S7’s major supercar competitors, such as the Ferrari Enzo, the
McLaren F1 and the Maserati MC12, are a match for the S7 Twin Turbo’s prodigious
horsepower and torque figures: All are at least 100 bhp and more than 200 lb-ft in
arrears of the S7. Chalk up another victory for good old American V8 engine ingenuity.
It’s also no contest when it comes to price. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail
Price (MSRP) for the 2005 S7 Twin Turbo is $555,000. That’s $100,000 less than an
Enzo (which is out of production and escalating in price) and nearly $300,000 fewer
dollars than the Maserati. And you could have Her and His S7s for the price of the
When it comes to performance AND value, nothing on his planet can come close
to matching the S7 Twin Turbo.