Tuning cars with internal-combustion engines is a bit of a known science. Tuning cars that run on electricity, though, is a newer proposition. In Saleen's case, that hasn't meant so much a modification of the electric motor on this Tesla Model S, as a thorough reworking of the car's aesthetics.

Aside from the monstrously large wheels (which are responsible for a 30-pound reduction in unsprung weight), the Saleen FourSixteen Model S sports a heavily revised front fascia that is perhaps the most questionable styling choice. Gone is the Model S' large Tesla badge, and in its place sits an undersized Saleen logo. This swap gives the front of the car an almost oversized look, which is further exaggerated by the total lack of anything resembling a grille. In back, there's a substantial rear spoiler and a large, carbon-fiber diffuser.

There are some actual mechanical changes here, as evidenced by the FourSixteen's carbon-ceramic brake package. The suspension has also been tweaked, with specific-rate springs and dampers, which should lend some edge to the EV's ride, while a new final drive ratio should deliver snappier acceleration from Tesla's P85 electric drivetrain.

Pricing for this more distinctive Model S, meanwhile, starts at $152,000, which includes the cost of the donor car. Of course, it's unlikely any buyers will actually pay that figure, thanks to the standard government tax rebates available for EVs. According to Saleen, a California buyer would see prices starting at $142,000.

Take a look up top for our gallery of live images from today's concept car display at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
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AUGUST 17, 2014

Enhancing the performance, technology, and design of the Tesla Model S.

Saleen Automotive Inc. (OTCQB: SLNN) Monterey, CA – (August 17, 2014)

From the same automotive performance brand that brought the true American Supercar, the S7, Saleen has once again set precedence for a vehicle of epic proportions. The Tesla Model S based Saleen FOURSIXTEEN performance electric car was shown for the first time at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

"Tesla has created an entirely new class of American automobile", explained Steve Saleen. "There are many similarities to this and how Ford created the 'pony car' class in 1964 with the Mustang, which is how these vehicles stand out from the rest of the pack."

Standing out from the pack is Saleen's specialty. Whether it's their winning racing pedigree, expertly engineered Saleen vehicles, or instantly recognizable design. The Saleen legacy is perfectly packaged into the FOURSIXTEEN Model S and hinges on the mantra for the performance luxury electric car that 'status quo won't do'.

Purposefully advanced design
From the outside, the FOURSIXTEEN is a harmonious blend of aerodynamic aggressiveness and subtle classiness. Applying the same championship Saleen DNA used over the last three decades, Saleen has created a car that can drive the streets of Monaco and set records at Laguna Seca. From the Saleen crafted front fascia to the carbon fiber rear diffuser, the FOURSIXTEEN aerodynamic design is as inspired as it is functional.

Front aero management vents helps ensure that the Saleen FOURSIXTEEN model maintains a low pressure field as air acceleration increases around the chassis. Assisting the lower aero management is the unique V-shaped hood architecture efficiently directing hot air away from the drivetrain cooling system all while generating valuable downforce across the front section.

The rear fascia design finalizes the aerodynamic system as air moves across the cabin and onto the Saleen designed high-downforce decklid mounted spoiler. Mid-chassis air is directed across the carbon fiber accents stretching between the taillights. Supplying rear wake diffusion is a Saleen diffuser design that boosts aerodynamic downforce capability.

Electrified Performance
Just like the rest of the Saleen lineup, this car is more than just an eye catching aerodynamic package. Propelling the new FOURSIXTEEN is the 3-phase, four pole AC induction motor and copper rotor with the upgraded Saleen drivetrain including an all-new 11.39:1 final gear ratio for quicker acceleration. Also new for the FOURSIXTEEN is a Saleen specific MAXGRIPTM locking differential that allows each wheel to efficiently apply rotational force and maximize traction and grip in performance environments. All of the Saleen engineered driveline components increase efficiencies in torque management, give a track capable throttle response, and provide faster acceleration. Overall the FOURSIXTEEN is a well-balanced vehicle and sounds great too!

Electric motor cooling has also been made more productive from the Saleen high-efficiency drivetrain cooling system. Comprising the system is a larger volume radiator, upsampled cooling fans, and a high-flow water pump to help maintain consistent temperatures in more stressful performance applications.

"Electric drivetrains are unique in that they can generate an incredible amount of torque at zero RPM", detailed Sven Etzelsberger, VP Advanced Engineering. "Our challenge was really to find methods to manage the energy that is generated by the electric motor and rotor assembly. With the FOURSIXTEEN we have successfully found a comprehensive solution to increase performance and harness power in an efficient manner."

Saleen's design and engineering teams worked together to ensure a functional suspension that doesn't sacrifice ride quality. The Saleen specific S4 track-calibrated suspension includes a monotube coilover, which works in conjunction with an S4 sway bar setup to increase cornering agility without sacrificing ride quality. The FOURSIXTEEN suspension system can also be ordered in a fully adjustable configuration, allowing the driver to easily increase stiffness for a day at the track and revert to a more streetable setting with simple adjustments.

The Stability Control System has also undergone a track tested performance enhancement. A software change gives the FOURSIXTEEN better cornering response and drivability by allowing the driver to maintain power as traction and vehicle weight distribution change.

Working together with the stability control software, wheel, tire, and S4 suspension system are the Saleen-specific brakes. The standard brake package in the FOURSIXTEEN include 14" 2-piece aluminum hat vented rotors and multi-piston front calipers with performance brake pads. An optional upgrade is the carbon ceramic disc brake system for maximum braking, cooling, and weight reduction. Saleen designed wheels fill out the wheel openings and add an air of performance luxury. All of this combined with the ZR-spec tires make sure the car will hug the corners, accelerate true in the straights, and stop effortlessly when needed.

Supercar inspired interior
The interior refinements of the Saleen FOURSIXTEEN are abundant. From the handpicked leather palette to the carbon fiber dash accents, the cabin environment is as supercar stylish as it is functionally chic. Starting with the seating, black leather is contrasted by perforated leather accents and Alcantara suede inlays providing a true luxury atmosphere.

"Our theme of an electric four-seat supercar really comes to life with the interior of this car", said Sean Smith, Design Director. "Our design team spent a lot of time evaluating different materials, fitments, and finishes to accomplish the refined interior design of the FOURSIXTEEN while still keeping the modern sports car inspiration intact. I think the result is appropriate for this new class of electric American performance cars."

A new center console has also been integrated into the interior redesign. This functional aspect gives the driver and front passenger additional center storage, a personal electronic device pocket, and a much needed cupholder all within arm's reach.

Continuing the track-inspired exterior enhancements, the front and rear seating have been remolded to produce four full bucket seats complete with added bolstering to create a discerning interior that is fittingly built around the driver and passengers. Marrying the seating design to the rest of the cockpit are the Saleen tailor-made door panels and a full leather-wrapped dash both artistically complimented with hand sewn contrast stitching. The final stroke of interior craftsmanship draws attention to the seat shells which have been color matched to the black leather, creating a dynamic modern feel in the rear cabin.

Availability, Pricing and Additional Information
MSRP for the FOURSIXTEEN model is set to start at $152,000 for the complete vehicle, which includes the base P85Model S sedan. This is priced before existing state and federal EV incentives which can range from $7,500 to $15,000 depending on the buyers state (i.e. A California resident would pay $142,000.00).

Warranties are also included on all new Saleen vehicles, components, and labor. Each newly purchased Saleen FOURSIXTEEN will include a 4-year / 50,000 mile warranty to match the manufacturer backed limited warranty.

Purchases for this all new electric vehicle can be placed by contacting Saleen directly for an expedited ordering process of the Saleen FOURSIXTEEN. Orders are now being taken for the FOURSIXTEEN with delivery 6-8 weeks following order confirmation and receipt.

Alternatively, individual FOURSIXTEEN components are also available for Model S owners that are looking to just add a touch of performance or styling to their current vehicle without the desire for a serialized version. Installation can be scheduled through the Saleen Performance Parts division. For more information visit www.saleen.com

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    • 1 Second Ago
      joe shmoe
      • 4 Months Ago

      the front bumper has awful fit and finish. Doesn't even match the sculpted hood lines.

        • 4 Months Ago
        @joe shmoe

        yeah exactly... not to mention the emblem that isn't even properly placed.  

      • 4 Months Ago

      My issue is the execution of what they were trying to do. The piping on the dash is crooked and not applied properly. Then the seat covers fit very poorly and look so second rate. Finally while on this car the lack of grill does not look bad the issue is it is not molded to match the body lines of the hood so it looks just wrong. From a distance it looks great though but how could a company so well respected present something this poorly put together. Then there is the price.... for 50 extra thousand you can pay someone to do this job properly....just sad.

      • 4 Months Ago

      Looks like they swiped the front bumper from an older Dodge Avenger.


      In a way, not too surprising considering the stock Model S looks like it was taken from a Chrysler Concorde.


      This comment made with the acknowledgement that I am a Tesla shareholder.

      • 4 Months Ago

      Front end looks like a shitty Japanese aftermarket body kit from the 90s. Other than that, it's pretty good looking

      • 4 Months Ago

      The front bumper is pretty bad, but from a pure design standpoint, I don't think it's any worse than the piano-black plastic, oval, fish-mouth grille that is on the original (and will unfortunately be on the Tesla Model X as well.)

      Another note to Tesla designers: the use of Times New Roman font for the "Tesla Model S" badge on the back was another poor, poor choice.  It really looks out of place.

      • 4 Months Ago

      Paltry gains from a lot of money.  Would be better off trying to make the car look better than putting a bunch of unnecessary parts on the car with one of the fugliest noses I've seen since the andy's auto sports/stillen ricer body kits.  That nose is so ugly they should just call it the Owen Wilson Edition.

      • 4 Months Ago
      nice spoiler with absolutely no purpose LOL
      Philip Kozakieiwcz
      • 4 Months Ago
      it looks very good, EVs don't need a grille in the first place anyhow, so that front end might be the only visual sour spot with some (not with me), but then again, what would you say to the front end of a vw/porsche panamera then?  overall Saleen did a great job on this.
      • 4 Months Ago


      • 4 Months Ago

      It's not terrible looking, but it doesn't exactly scream "saleen" to me. I think the worst offense here is that they're charging what, $70k-$80k to "tune" a car without touching the drivetrain. Yeah those brakes are nice I suppose... But wtf is the point really? People are making crazy electric cars in their backyard, why couldn't saleen do anything?

        • 4 Months Ago

        "...they're charging what, $70k-$80k to "tune" a car without touching the drivetrain."

        They made several changes to the drivetrain.  The changed the final drive ration, which improves acceleration.  They added a locking differential, which improves traction and handling.  They improved drivetrain cooling which allows the Model S to be driven harder, longer.  Then there's the software tweaks that make the drivetrain work better...

        Whether a tuner car is worth the premium over a donor car is always a matter of perspective.  Most people are happy with an M5, but some want the Dinan upgrades.  Most people are happy with a 911, but some people want a RUF.  At those levels, like where we are here with Saleen, it's not really about money.  It's about having a car that other people don't.  Most people will be more than happy with their P85+, but the people who buy the Saleen version will always have a Tesla that's just a bit *more*.

      • 4 Months Ago
      I never thought I would see the day where a well known ICE tuner goes to EV's! I guess Steve Saleen saw the writing on the walls.
      But picking the TESLA to "TUNE" was a dumb move. This car is refined as hell from the factory. And the OEM TESLA wheels are an integral part of its crash readiness that you have to follow as a car maker. It's nothing that the average Joe on the street could do himself for much less, if he was so inclined.
      And do you think there is really room in the computer to extract more performance for a reasonable price? There is a reason why TESLA up charges the P85+ so much. Different hardware is a primary factor.
      Well, if anything this will make Saleen lose a little street cred with the blue oval guys.
      Give me factory performance with a factory warranty! Elon is making OEM's and tuners shake in their boots. Well done!
      All the best,Aaron Lephart
        • 4 Months Ago

        "And the OEM TESLA wheels are an integral part of its crash readiness that you have to follow as a car maker."

        This comment makes no sense whatsoever.  People upgrade wheels all the time on cars, Teslas included.  The crashworthiness isn't altered by a different set of rims.

        "Give me factory performance with a factory warranty!"

        Sure.  But some people are interested in a little bit more than the same old P85+ that everyone else has.  C'mon, we all know that Musk's Model S has "enhancements" over and above what is sold to the public.  Even he knows that there's room for improvement over factory-spec.

          • 4 Months Ago

          It's true: wheels now perform a vital role in transmitting front end crash loads to the sills/rockers. Typically, the regulatory testing has to be done on the worst (largest) wheel size an OEM will offer their car on. The aftermarket doesn't need to do that testing, however, and can sell almost anything.

          Also, the aftermarket doesn't have to back up its claims, either, as shown by these laughable promises of "racing-inspired aerodynamics". Puh-lease! :-D

          • 4 Months Ago

          Just FYI the "Brabus" smart car in the USA didn't come with the sized rims (larger) like the European version for that reason. Or at least that is the what smart USA gave as the official reason.

          All the best,,

          Aaron Lephart

          • 4 Months Ago

          I stand corrected regarding the wheels.  However, the Model S is available with 21" wheels as a factory fit.  The Saleen wheels are 22", and I don't imagine that they would alter the crashworthiness of the car in any substantial way.

          • 29 Days Ago

          Steve Saleen your DONE!


      • 4 Months Ago

      EVs should not have grills. The front bumper is a big improvement over the nose cone.  Less weight,improved aerodynamics, and more range is always good.

      If Saleen matches 8 year/infinite mile warranty of the donor Tesla then this car is a winner.

        • 4 Months Ago

        Nose cone is not a grill and is part of the appearance of the car, without it it does not look right

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