Saleen is on our radar again. While we enjoyed its new S331 Sport Truck, it's their Mustangs that we really like, particularly the Parnelli Jones Edition. So we were glad to hear about another new Mustang from this small manufacturer. This time it's a special version of the already unique S281 Extreme Mustang. A limited run of 25 "Ultimate Bad Boy Edition" Extremes has been built for use in the upcoming Cannonball Great American Run. We had a whiff of this particular vehicle a little while ago when a design concept brochure was somehow leaked onto the net. Now we have the details straight from the horse's mouth. As if the Extreme's 550 horsepower and 525 lb-ft of torque weren't enough, Saleen has found a way to extract an additional 50 hp from this motor, resulting in a nice round 600. The UBBE package includes the Extreme's Racecraft suspension, close-ratio six-speed transmission, 4:10 rear gearing with a Maxgrip differential, high-flow cooling system, 15" slotted and vented disc brake system, as well as unique black 5-spokes, special black-on-black paint, a gold dash plaque and the Cannonball decal package.
Cannonball Run World Events, Inc. (CRWE) commissioned the 25 cars and has even set aside one of these 600 hp 'Stangs for the winner of the event. The race will be a little different this year, with 400 cars starting from one of four different East Coast cities. It will be a 3,000 mile time-match rally, rather than a race. Lots of technical, but spirited driving will fill their days, while luxury hotels and celebrity parties will occupy their nights. Racers will make their way to Las Vegas, and parade to Los Angeles for the award ceremony. There will also be a final track day at Willow Springs Raceway for contestants. We hope to bring you some intimate coverage of this event, which starts at the end of July. A full press release can be found after the jump.
Saleen signs on as title sponsor of America's Largest Road Rally
"The Great American Run"
~ Winner Drives Home a New Saleen S281 "Extreme" ~
IRVINE, CALIF. – Saleen Inc., manufacturer of the world's fastest production car – the Saleen S7 – today announced it will be sponsoring the world's largest road rally: "The Great American Run." This event marks the state-side arrival of Europe's most famous road rally taking place July 29 – August 4, 2007. To celebrate the inaugural U.S. rally, Saleen Inc. has been commissioned by Cannonball Run World Events, Inc. (CRWE) to uniquely modify 25 stock Saleen S281 "Extreme" Mustangs with an additional 50 horsepower (aftermarket upgrade*), and identical black-on-black paint and graphics packages. CRWE has reserved one of the modified 600 horsepower "Extremes" for the winner of the event.
On July 29, 2007, 400 cars will start from four originating cities: Washington D.C., New York, Atlanta and Miami, to embark on a 3000 mile coast-to-coast free-for-all. Each night, entrants will enjoy luxury hotel accommodations at four star hotels and extravagant parties. Each of the cars will ultimately regroup in Las Vegas, where the remaining drivers will gather for the final leg of the rally to Los Angeles for the event's award ceremony and track day at the historic Willow Springs Raceway.
"Saleen is proud to support an event of this magnitude that brings together all types of enthusiasts and all types of performance cars – foreign and domestic – in a fun and safe environment," said Steve Saleen, founder of Saleen Inc. "Our mission is not just about building the highest performance cars in the world, but also about building opportunities for car enthusiasts to share great experiences with each other. The Great American Run will be an experience enthusiasts will talk about for years to come."
CRWE is well known for developing safe and fun events with a track record of seven successful rallies. In fact, the object of the rally is not who can reach the final destination first, but rather who can most closely attain an average speed of 61 mph over the 3000 mile route.
"Safety is paramount to this event, and in the previous five years and seven events held in Europe, we have never had a serious accident," said Tim Porter, chief executive officer of Cannonball Run World Events. "We believe that this is due to the way we police our events with very strict rules. The object is to complete the course with an average speed at or below the national speed limit, rather than racing to be the first car to arrive."
25 "EXTREME" CARS FOR RALLY ENTRANTS
The 2007 Saleen S281 "Extreme" is quickly becoming known as the world's fastest production Mustang. With 550 horsepower, 525 lb-ft of torque, Saleen's patented Racecraft suspension, close-ratio six-speed transmission, 4:10 rear gearing with a Maxgrip differential, high-flow cooling system, 15" slotted and vented disc brake system, and numerous additional internal and external performance enhancements; the "Extreme" rivals all competitors in the high-performance sports car world, including the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Ferrari 430, Porsche 911 Carrera and the Dodge Viper SRT-10.
For the "Great American Run," CRWE will be commissioning Saleen, Inc. to modify 25 stock Saleen S281 "Extremes" and having them converted to 600 horsepower, with aftermarket options available soon through the Saleen SpeedLab®. CRWE has named this exclusive collection of cars "The Ultimate Bad Boy Edition" and will only make them available to race entrants.
The 550 horsepower Saleen S281 "Extreme" is currently available for purchase at "The Saleen Store" and Saleen Certified Dealers for those not participating in the event. Visit www.saleen.com for further product and dealer information.
Saleen S281 Extreme "Ultimate Bad Boy Edition" vehicles are all equipped the same:
2007 Black Saleen S281 Extreme
Aftermarket options include:
· Forged 5-spoke, one-piece wheels (painted black)
· 50 Horsepower upgrade* – VOIDS WARRANTY
(Aftermarket option available mid-year 2007 as a Saleen SpeedLab product)
· Numbered gold plaque (provided by CRWE)
(Buyers may add upgrades – i.e. scenic roof, tires, stereo system, etc.)
· Official "Great American Run decals (provided by CRWE)
For more information regarding "The Great American Run" or Cannonball Run World Events, please contact 1-800-619-8593 or visit cannonballworld.com.
Since the company's inception in 1984, Saleen has produced over 12,000 complete and EPA-certified vehicles, more than any other specialty automobile manufacturer. In addition, Saleen has equipped more than 600,000 vehicles worldwide, further emphasizing their commitment to excellence.
A nine-time Manufacturers' Champion in GT sports car racing, Saleen manufactures the American super car - the Saleen S7, as well as the S281 Mustang, S331 Sport Truck and the Saleen/Parnelli Jones Limited Edition Mustang. Saleen's manufacturing facilities are located in Irvine, California and Troy, Michigan. The Michigan facility has just completed all paint and assembly of the Ford GT as a special project for Ford Motor Company.
* Horsepower upgrades are only available on an aftermarket basis and void the manufacturer's warranty on the vehicle. Customer is responsible for all emission compliance on any aftermarket powertrain modifications. The 550 horsepower Saleen Extreme is fully emissions compliant. Saleen makes no representation as to the emissions compliance of any vehicles modified by CRWE.