• Aug 20, 2008


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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.


[Source: AutoWeek.com]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Take off the hideous wheels and decals, and you might have something.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Part out the rims, switch for some black ones and remove the stripe and this car actually isn't that bad.
      • 6 Years Ago
      eh... I say they won't have much success, but considering how few they sold of the previous Focus, it'll best it by a few more cars.

      Don't really see the appeal apart for the Saleen badge.
      • 6 Years Ago
      all aboard the white FAILboat!

      man, we need a 2010 SVT Focus and we need it fast!
      • 6 Years Ago
      it's N2O, not N20. autoblog fails again.
      • 6 Years Ago
      You guys are the lamest crowd I ever knew. You can't give credit where credit is due. We'll put it to you this way the car you dry sucks and should used as boat anchor. You people make me sick, it's best if you don't post your ignorant comments. Pathetic. this is one heck of a car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "One heck of a car" eh? I disagree. It may very well be a great deal, and one of the better performing (if not the best) performing car under $20k. But what credit does it deserve?

        Whether it's cheap or not, slow is still slow, FWD is still wrong wheel drive (yes, I'm aware of the original Mini; this is not an original Mini, last I looked, and isn't entitled to the same exception), and "but it's dirt cheap" isn't sufficient reason to overlook the car's inherent inadequacies.

        I'm not saying that it's not good *for what it is* because by all indications it is. But at heart, it's still an underpowered, front wheel drive econobox that's supposed to be, somehow, some way, "sporty" or "fun" or something. And that renders it completely-and indeed, inescapably-unimpressive, at least to me.
        • 6 Years Ago
        actually, at "under 20k" it's a pathetic car. under 20k buys a civic si, or a gti, or a jetta we. Will this ford have zero issues hitting sixty around or below 7? achieve over 30mpg on the freeway? cool. ever look as good as the jetta or civic on the outside? oh no. ever feel as adequate as the civic or nice as jetta on the inside? ditto on the no.

        Nope, the only thing pathetic here is spending just under 20k on a boat anchor when you could have purchase a much more rewarding, attractive, fun and useful car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        More likely competitors for this car would be the Mazda 3 s and base MINI Cooper, both of which are under $20K, lots of fun to drive, more refined than a Focus, and heaps classier inside and out. Subtract the "fun to drive" bit, and you can also add Scion's tC.

        Point is, "under 20K" isn't much of a selling point if the car looks and feels like it's worth half that.
      • 6 Years Ago
      only thing i dont like about this is that its a focus
        • 6 Years Ago
        Worse, it's a US Focus, and hence fugly.

        Nothing wrong with the Euro Focus, IMO.
      • 6 Years Ago
      wow, i almost gagged, they made that car even uglier, i didn't know that was possible...
      • 6 Years Ago
      those rims...so bad, eyes bleeding
        • 6 Years Ago
        everyone knows the american focus is visually a pile-o- horsecrap, but what really confuses me is when tuners decide that after putting thousands in improving the performance of their cars they attach cosmetic upgrades that make it look worse, cheap even
        • 6 Years Ago
        Your problem with the car is the rims? ROFL. My problem with the car is the car itself.
      • 6 Years Ago
      it had me up until 15hp. WTF? so it goes from 140hp to 155. put $1-2000 into a Scion tC, Mazda3 2.3, Rabbit, etc and you'll be at the same price, with better features / benefits and a nicer interior. I know they couldn't fundamentally alter the drivetrain (see bit about the CA fine), but this seems pretty pathetic.

      I would rather have seen it come in just *over* 20,000 and offered some type of forced induction to complement the appearance-only upgrades.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Skip all the shiny crap and give me a car that backs up its looks with some performance! 15hp gain? gimme a break. Keep your giant high-maintenance rims and strap on a turbo.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just when ugly couldn't get any uglier...it does!

      This is almost as bad as the Lincoln Flex.
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