While its custom Mustangs continue to astound, Saleen has long since emerged from the field of aftermarket tuners and established itself as a genuine American supercar maker, having produced such heart-racing exotics as the Saleen S7 and Ford GT. With both now out of production, Saleen is preparing for its next supercar to rival Europe's best.

Back in November we brought you a photo of an intriguing clay model in Saleen's Irvine, California plant, and now details are coming into focus. Dubbed the S5S Raptor, Saleen will bring its newest creation to the New York Auto Show later next month. The Raptor is tipped to feature a 5-liter supercharged V8 running on E85 ethanol. To keep the weight down, Saleen will build the chassis from aluminum and the body panels from composites, helping the lightweight S5S Raptor reach speeds of over 200 mph. They might as well have called it "rapture", because we can't wait to see the newest American supercar in the flesh.

[Source: AutoWeek via World Car Fans]