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Saleen is primarily associated with its Mustang lineup, but the American tuner has been known to dabble in everything from mid-engine exotics to humble hatches. Back in 2004, they launched the N2O Focus, complete with a body kit, suspension upgrades, a sporty interior, and a 75-shot nitrous system (sorta). Saleen ended up selling only a handful of cars, and eventually resulted in a $700,000 fine from the California Air Resources Board for altering emissions control systems in the car. Despite the letdown of the N2O, Saleen is launching another version of the Focus, dubbed the RC2, under the budget-friendly Racecraft brand.
Based on the Ford Focus coupe, the RC2 features subtle exterior styling changes including a new front fascia, mesh grille, side skirts, rear spoiler, and 18-inch wheels. The suspension is upgraded with stiffer springs, shocks and larger sway bars, and larger brakes are fitted up front. Horsepower is bumped by approximately 15 with a dual-tipped exhaust system and cold air intake. Production will start in the first quarter of 2009 and will be relatively affordable at under $20,000. Will this next generation Saleen Focus have more success than the previous version? We think it's got a pretty good chance. Check out the galleries below to compare the Saleen N2O and RC2.