If you've noticed that there are more than a handful of Mustang variations out there, then consider Steve Saleen a trend setter. He's been tweaking Mustangs for 25 years now, and even though he and Saleen, Inc. parted ways last year, Steve has continued to work on Ford's ponycar with his new company, SMS Limited. While SMS released a rendering of an upcoming Challenger back in May, this 25th Anniversary Mustang Concept is the first actual vehicle the company has built. It features a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 with 720 horsepower, carbon fiber bodywork, 15-inch brakes, carbon fiber exterior trim, and a custom leather interior with two-tone seats. The SMS Mustang also has a unique Red Butterfly induction system and a pretty trick Light Blade taillight system. Follow the jump for a history of Steve Saleen's career and a complete list of features of the SMS 25th Anniversary Mustang Concept.
Related GallerySMS 25th Anniversary Mustang Concept
[Source: SMS Limited]
July 6, 2008 - Orange County, California. Twenty five years focused on performance automobiles takes a great deal of commitment and passion. From his early automotive days spent race preparing his personal cars, to his inevitable entrance into the professional racing world, and finally into the domain of the automotive business, automotive icon Steve Saleen has done it all. Steve set the course for his automotive future in his first race on August 19th, 1973 at Riverside International Raceway, where he took his GT350 to the winners' circle, and he never looked back.
Steve Saleen moved up through the amateur and then professional ranks of closed and open-wheel racing during the 70's and 80's, racing and winning against drivers such as Bobby Rahal, Gilles Villeneuve, Danny Sullivan etc. His racing career eventually intertwined with his USC business degree when, in 1983, he formed Saleen Autosport and produced his first vehicle, a 1984 white and blue high performance Saleen Mustang, the first of thousands of vehicles that would eventually be built based on his innovative niche manufacturing, certification and racing business model.
Steve and his vehicles have dominated the competition wherever they raced around the world, having won nine championships, countless races and set track records from Daytona to Le Mans and every track in between. And Steve is still racing, he is currently testing one of the two European Le Mans Series Championship winning S7R's in preparation for his return to competition in the American Le Mans Series later this year.
For 25 years, Steve Saleen has been the leading pioneer in lifestyle performance automobiles, with his companies building an amazing array of high performance, sports, race and collector cars that are coveted by enthusiasts and celebrities alike from Tim Allen to Tom Cruise. His companies have created everything from the world's fastest production Mustang, the S302 Extreme, to the Saleen S7 and S7R the most victorious supercar based racing vehicle ever, bar none, with 171 Top Tens, 118 Podiums, 84 Pole Positions, 76 Fastest Laps, 72 Wins and 9 GT Championships. Amazing cars are not the only thing associated with Steve Saleen's name and ingenuity, his companies are also credited with an impressive array of patented automotive technological innovations.
As an entrepreneur, his endeavors encompass more than simply delivering the performance hardware. In 2006 he was the driving force behind the opening of his company's first automotive retail experience. With as much visual impact and excitement as one of his supercars, Maxim Magazine awarded it "Best Automotive Retail Store".
To celebrate his illustrious automotive career, Steve Saleen and his new company SMS have developed a truly innovative and exceptional celebratory vehicle - the 2008 SMS Twenty Fifth Anniversary Mustang Concept. To find out more about the 720 hp SMS concept car, we talked to its creator, Mr. Steve Saleen.
Comments by Steve Saleen, Chairman and CEO of SMS
"In celebration of my 25 years in the niche manufacturing business I wanted to create a personal car for myself that appropriately marks this very special Anniversary. The functional aesthetic innovations that we have developed are truly exceptional in every way. Though this car is not going to be for sale, it nevertheless demonstrates the technological advances present at SMS."
"With the SSC, SA-10, SA-15 and SA-20, I used those platforms to introduce new technology to the automotive market. In keeping with that tradition, this concept car incorporates many important advances developed by SMS. In particular our patented SMS Red Butterfly™ Induction System and SMS Light Blade™ LED Taillight System are definitely the coolest things that any Anniversary car has ever had! When those butterflies crack open under throttle, people stop and stare, you can be sure you will see those on our future products. And when you are passed by this car and the full width sequential turn signals come on, you will be just as awestruck!"
"Along with the main features, the supporting cast of innovation developed by SMS is just as deep, including; SMS Side Splitters and Diffuser Fences in carbon fiber, SMS billet aluminum signature elements, a beautiful SMS Two Tone Leather interior and the unique SMS "Chromosome Silver" paint with the signature anniversary yellow, white and black graphic accents.
"My Anniversary cars were always the most powerful of the breed and this car continues that tradition, as this engine produces 720 Horsepower at the crank and 612 Horsepower at the rear wheels! And the exhaust note truly is something else. Topped with 670ft lbs of Torque it is quite a steed to tame, thus it is equipped with SMS Cross Drilled 15" 6-Piston Front Brakes and a completely new SMS Billet Aluminum Watts Link System that is robust, durable and attractive."
"The performance is astounding; the SMS Twenty Fifth Anniversary Mustang has reached nearly the same levels of performance as was previously achieved in the S7 Twin Turbo! It is not everyday that the word Supercar is associated with a Mustang, but in this case it is appropriate. The team and I are very excited about the vehicle as it incorporates an entirely new platform of technological advances by SMS, and it is a testament to what our company is capable of. We look forward to it touring the show circuit this summer to show that we are in the business of power!"
"I look forward to the next twenty five years!"
Key functional and aesthetic innovations:
SMS 720 HP Supercharged 5.0L Aluminum Block V8
SMS CNC Ported Saleen Supercharger
SMS CNC Aluminum Heads
SMS Red Butterfly™ Induction System
SMS Light Blade™ LED Tail Light System
SMS Billet Aluminum Watts Link System
SMS Cross Drilled 15" 6-Piston Front Brakes
SMS Cross Drilled 12" Rear Brakes
SMS Two Piece Billet Aluminum Hood Vents
SMS Carbon Fiber Side Splitters
SMS Carbon Fiber Diffuser Fences
SMS Red Butterfly™ Quarter Intakes
SMS Chromosome™ Silver Paint
SMS Leather Grip Billet Aluminum Shifter and Shifter Bezel
SMS Leather Dash
SMS Leather Two Tone Door Inserts
SMS Leather Two Tone Seats
720 HP/612 WHP
667 TQ/565 WTQ