A while back we had a chance to sample Saleen's take on the Sport Truck phenomenon, the Saleen S331 SC Sport Truck. After driving both the supercharged and normally aspirated versions, we predicted that the SC would sway the bulk of buyers. Turns out we were right, and for 2008, Saleen has dropped the NA version of the S331 all together. Interested Saleen truck buyers will still have some options, however, as the S331 lineup's been expanded to include a new four-door SuperCrew version of the truck. The new S331 SuperCrew was just shown at a Texas State Fair preview. A fitting place to debut the new larger truck, with its full four doors. After all, everything is bigger in Texas, as they say.
There's a full press release after the jump and a pair of larger pics in the gallery, but essentially the 2008 models are the same as the '07s, with the exception of the exhaust system. While the side pipes are still available on the shorter SuperCab model, the standard exhaust for that truck and the new SuperCrew is a rear exit setup. Both models still feature the 450 HP, supercharged V8 and the bespoke Saleen RaceCraft suspension that make this one thoroughly enjoyable truck to drive. Considering the fact that you can still tow up to 9,500 lbs. (with a payload capacity of up to 1,890 lbs.), that starting price of $54,200 seems downright reasonable.
Related Gallery2008 Saleen S331 SuperCrew
In its first year of production, the 2007 Saleen S331 Sport Truck revived the diminishing performance truck segment with the first fully-functional, high-powered sport truck to the market in several years. Many performance trucks quickly followed, but none came close to offering the same combination of functionality, performance and aggressive styling.
The 2008 model-year edition continues to lead the performance truck segment with the same aggressive 450 horsepower, supercharged V-8 engine, Saleen RaceCraft suspension and the addition of a new SuperCrew four-door cab option. The S331 also maintains the ability to tow up to 9,500 lbs. with a payload capacity of up to 1,890 lbs. Designed and engineered by the same technicians that hand-built the Saleen S7 Twin Turbo super car, the S331 continues as a functional truck with the optimum performance and styling of a world-class sports car.
"We couldn't be more pleased with the S331 Sport Truck," Paul Wilbur, president and CEO of Saleen Inc. "In true Saleen fashion, we were able to lead the market and watch others follow. Customers and the press are constantly praising the S331 and asking for more. We like being the company that's ready to give them what they want."
Both the SuperCab and the new SuperCrew receive a new dual, rear-exit, 2.5-inch exhaust as standard equipment, as opposed to the current model's 2.25-inch dual, side-exit exhaust system. The side-exit exhaust is still available as an option on the SuperCab, but will not be an option on the SuperCrew.
Saleen has decided to discontinue the non-supercharged, 3-Valve S331 Sport Truck for the 2008 model-year. This is due to the high percentage of supercharged truck sales in comparison to the lower horsepower model.
Starting at $54,200, the S331 Sport Truck will outperform any truck on the road, tow lots of heavy toys and comfortably carry up to five adults. And since it's a Saleen, the vehicle will maintain a high resale value.
The Saleen S331 Supercharged Sport Truck features a supercharged, 331 CID (5.4L), 3-valve SOHC V-8 engine with a four-speed automatic transmission. This combination packs a punch producing 450 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque, generated by Saleen's patented, high-flow Saleen Series VI Integrated Twin-Screw Supercharger. These elements enhance performance and utility by providing ample power for carrying heavy toys or launching out of the gate.
Saleen Series VI integrated Twin-Screw Supercharger
Saleen has taken the same technology and design used to develop the proven Saleen Series VI Integrated Twin-Screw Supercharger immortalized on the Saleen S281 and re-engineered it to deliver maximum results for the S331.
Unlike other bulky superchargers, the Saleen Series VI Supercharger is sleek in design, light- weight and highly efficient, producing less friction on the engine due to added cooling elements and the presence of the twin screw blower assembly. This patented, innovative design allows the supercharger to turn slower for equivalent boost, producing lower stress and air charge temperatures.
To maximize gas mileage for daily driving, the Saleen Series VI Supercharger features an integrated bypass valve that only produces boost when reaching higher RPMs. This feature also creates more torque and better low-end drivability.
SPORTS CAR AGILITY IN A TRUCK
Designed to create the most agile truck on the road, the S331 is equipped with competition-proven and patented Saleen RaceCraft suspension. The front suspension system includes N2 struts with linear-rate coil-over springs, a tubular anti-roll stabilizing bar and urethane pivot bushings throughout. Because it's a sport truck, all calibrations are specifically set to high-performance levels.
The rear Saleen RaceCraft suspension consists of a live axle, leaf springs and N2 shocks. The overall Saleen suspension system reduces load transfer which improves handling under braking and hard cornering.
This aggressive package is complete with forged seven-spoke, one-piece 23-inch Saleen wheels on ultra-high performance Continental Cross Contact tires (305/40ZR23 front/rear). 23-inch wheels are the biggest standard wheel size offered in the automotive industry.
For responsive braking, the S331 comes equipped with power assisted four-wheel ABS brakes with 13-inch front and 13.7-inch rear vented discs. For maximum stopping power, optional 15-inch slotted and vented discs with Saleen ABS six-piston calipers are also available. This is the same brake system offered on the Saleen S7 super car.
A SPORT TRUCK THAT REALLY HAULS
As with any true performance truck, the S331 was built without the added weight of a hitch assembly for towing. But unlike most traditional performance trucks, the S331 has two optional custom-designed tow packages for owners with heavy toys to haul. For extra-heavy loads, the Class IV tow package allows owners the ability to comfortably tow up to 9,500 lbs. with an increased payload capacity of up to 1,890 lbs. This package includes a load-leveling system that automatically raises the bed of the truck to level when any additional weight is added. For lighter towing, the Class III package is also available and can carry up to 5,000 lbs. with a payload of up to 1,350 lbs.
An aluminum dual-core radiator and high-flow cooling system is also an available option for either towing package, as well as a high output 157 AMP alternator. Both options include a hidden hitch assembly.
"We rode along in an S331 towing a Baja 26 Outlaw powerboat that, together with its tri-axle trailer, weighed about 7000 pounds," an AutoWeek journalist stated. "The S331 didn't flinch."
Saleen S331 Sport Trucks are designed with many of the same styling cues as the Saleen S7 super car. All of the S331's exterior components feature functional aerodynamics with injection-molded panels made from Thermoplastic Olefins (TPO), built to withstand the demands of an all-purpose sport truck. All Saleen front and rear fascias and side skirts are uniquely Saleen-built to be rugged and durable, yet stylish and performance enhancing.
The S331's commanding front grille is also designed for improved aerodynamics. Saleen engineers integrated a unique aluminum hood with an exhaust-venting grille, side fender vents, a stylish rear spoiler and an attractive Saleen-branded tailgate panel. Factory exterior bed options include drop-in or spray-on bed liners or a retractable aluminum tonneau cover.
Available factory-matched exterior Ford colors include: Oxford White, Bright Red, Black, Dark Shadow Grey and Redfire.
For ultimate personalization, the entire line of Saleen specialty paints normally found on the Saleen S7 super car and Saleen S281 models can also be ordered on the S331 Sport Truck. This includes: SpeedLab Yellow, Saleen S7 Silver, Lizstick Red, Pearl White, Black Metallic, Beryllium, Victory Blue and Bright Signature Red.
Saleen also offers Legacy Series paint schemes for Ford GT owners to commemorate Saleen's participation in the Ford GT program.
Like all true performance vehicles, the S331's cockpit has a commanding driving position from two-toned, double-stitched leather sport seats with embroidered head rests. Both the SuperCab and SuperCrew can comfortably seat up to five adults. The driver's view is directed toward a race-derived instrument panel, including a 120 MPH speedometer. A twin-gauge pod is incorporated into the dash unit to monitor the supercharger's air temperature and boost. The trim is complete with chrome dash vent-bezels, leather-wrapped steering wheel and center console, an overhead rail storage system and Saleen race-style pedals.
In addition to the six-disc/MP3/AM/FM audio system, the S331 can be ordered with navigation, Sirius satellite radio, an enhanced Audiophile sound system and the optional Rockford Fosgate "Punch" speaker upgrade. This option adds an additional 150 watt amplifier with a 10-inch subwoofer to the existing sound system. New for 2008, Saleen is also offering an optional moonroof.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Safety is always a priority. Safety features on the S331 include: dual-stage airbags, crash severity sensors, fuel pump inertia shutoff switch, lower anchors and upper tethers for child safety seats, remote keyless and remote illuminated entry system, three-point safety belts for all seating positions and side-impact door beams.
The S331 is protected by a comprehensive three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty from Ford Motor Company. Certain components, modified or installed by Saleen, are covered by a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty.