• May 18, 2007
Here's another one of those eBay finds that makes us reach for our wallets. It's a rare 1998 Saleen Explorer XP8, the famous Ford tuner's first foray into the world of SUVs. While some might argue that performance tuning should never be applied to these beasts of burden, Saleen went the extra mile to tap every ounce of the Explorer's potential. Saleen's tuned Explorer could be had with a 4.0L V6, the famous 5.0L V8 once used in the Mustang, or a supercharged version of the 5.0 making 268-horsepower. It appears our eBay find carries the naturally aspirated 5.0, which is just fine. It's backed up by a Racecraft suspension that lowers the SUV a full two inches, which tucks the sharp 18-inch Saleen wheels made out of magnesium tightly into the fenders. Like any Saleen, the XP8 sports a full signature Saleen body kit with a rear spoiler balanced at the top of the rear hatch. The Explorer wears its new suit well, and proudly proclaims its origin with a pair of Saleen graphics above the rocker panels. eBay item #290115445535 ends in just 6 hours or so, and the price for this prime example with only 45,567 miles is $11,600. The reserve has not been met, which doesn't surprise us. While not a top of the line supercharged Saleen XP8, this example nonetheless appears to be in pristine condition (as much as one can tell from pictures).

[Source: eBay]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Are there other auto enthusiasts who love all cars for being cars finding the strengths in each while accepting the obvious weaknesses? In a not too distant time and place this was hot stuff. Thankfully, we've moved past it, but calling it a "pig" or a "turd", even a polished one dismisses the star of an era of the automobile.

      The only time I've seen an XP8 in person is at the Saleen trailer at Lime Rock. Thirty years from now when we're all driving Chevy Volts I hope to still see an Explorer here and there. It's what I and a generation learned to drive on.
      • 7 Years Ago
      My mom's 2000 with the 6 rated at 200HP-ish gets out of its own way pretty darn well. Though, I have heard that the V8's stuffed in as factory options for a few years were actually slower, 268 supercharged HP with the obvious potential for more and the lack of anything truly distasteful, like all the newer saleen products, would make it cool to me.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's worth mentioning that the SC version had 333 lb-ft of torque.
      Mrken98765
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have its sister here in the Phoenix area. 98 superchared excellent condition. # 39 of 117. contact me in interested. kennetheford2@aol.com
      • 7 Years Ago
      200hp?

      My Volvo wagon does that...
      • 7 Years Ago
      like putting lipstick on a pig
      saleen53
      • 2 Years Ago
      This was my Saleen. I bought it new at Airlake Ford in MN. Sitting right next to it was a XP6 that is even more rare. I wish I never would have sold it but the past is the past.. It wasn't the fastest vehicle but it was a blast to drive and it turned alot of heads. I'm not certian but I was told it is now in a museum somewhere in Ohio
      • 7 Years Ago
      Are you kidding? I love this thing. It's like automotive camp (this kind of camp: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_(style)). True, it's probably the farthest thing from a performance vehicle, but it's nonetheless a neat little gem of modern automotive history.
      • 7 Years Ago
      $11,600? Wow, if I could afford it now, it would be a great beater to have.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow. Is there anything with a shorter expiration date than a performance SUV?

      The top-of-the-line yielded 268hp... what's this example good for, 215? Motivating how much mass?

      Truly a finely polished turd.
      Bryan
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nice! I have always loved the Explorer. Wish I had the money to buy this rare one.