The Saleen S7 Makes a 1,300 HP Comeback with Le Mans Edition
America’s Favorite Supercar Now With Triple the Power
The Saleen S7 was very likely America’s all-time most iconic supercar. The long, low body and angular, futuristic design is unforgettable, and with a 550 hp 7.0 L naturally-aspirated V8 under the hood, performance was unmistakable. While the naturally aspirated S7 was produced until 2005, its twin-turbo successor made it until 2009 before discontinuation. Now, however, it looks like the twin-turbo S7 is making a comeback.
Say hello to the 1,300 HP Saleen S7 Le Mans:
While this car is going to be considered ‘new’ for the upcoming model year, it is still very similar to the S7 we saw a decade ago. The styling has remained very much the same, and even the original 7.0L V8 powerplant will return. Of course, it won’t be naturally aspirated this time around, and thanks to a pair of rather large turbochargers, will produce around 1,300 horses. Compared to the 750 hp of the previous TT iteration, that’s not too shabby at all.
Power is translated to the wheels thanks to a revised longitudinal six-speed synchromesh transmission paired with a very necessary limited-slip differential. While no solid information is really available yet, we can expect a sub-10-second quarter-mile time and a top speed in excess of 220 mph. Not bad for a car that’s been dead since 2009.
The S7 Le Mans will come in a special silver and black finish, complete with many carbon fiber accents. The car will come standard with air conditioning, an integrated roll cage, LED center display, a digital race-inspired tachometer, and a backup camera. Leather/Alcantara blend racing seats will be complemented by a suede steering wheel.
In a fit of creature comforts that’s a bit odd for a car of this caliber, S7 Le Mans owners will also enjoy a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, power windows and locks, an electrically heated windshield, and a modern sound system.
The car comes as a celebration of the S7s less-than-stellar racing career at Le Mans. The manufacturer as never won, and indeed the best place it has ever finished was 10th, but for a small manufacturer from California without the deep pockets of many of the other brands represented there, it’s actually pretty impressive.
“True to our form, we are bringing back America’s only true supercar,” said Steve Saleen. “We are celebrating our winning heritage and advancing the performance DNA that Saleen was built around.”
Whether or not this is a true celebration of Saleen’s not-so-rich racing heritage or a business move to help fund the upcoming remains to be seen. That being said, we’re still very excited about the return of America’s most iconic supercar.
Don’t expect to see one of these beauties roaming the streets or headed to your local racetrack, though. Saleen says only 7 models will be produced in a very limited run, and each example will be priced around $1 million. For a car collector, that’s pocket change for an iconic piece of American motoring history.
For the rest of us, though, and not even really the rest of us, we’re better off waiting for the more affordably priced S1, which should hit ‘store shelves’ at around $100,000, and is expected to arrive in the late summer of 2018.