This week’s Super Speed Friday features the incredible Saleen S7 Twin-Turbo. Though only in production from 2007-2009, it remains a powerhouse to be reckoned with in the world of sports and super cars.
Super Speed Friday | Saleen S7 Twin-Turbo
Let’s begin by looking at it’s predecessor, the original Saleen S7. The S7 was the brainchild of several influential entities in the super car world. The original concept for the car came from Steve Saleen, noted Formula Atlantic and club racer throughout the early 80s. Steve started the Saleen Autosport company in 1983 and, by 1984, had built the Saleen Mustang. This particular Mustang then took first place in the Mosport 24hr race of that same year. With the completion of the S7 in 2000, Saleen Autosport finally had their very own flagship car. Most of the automobiles they produced until then were modified sports cars.
The Saleen S7 was intended to incorporate twin-turbo engines when the initial concept model was built. However, when the car went into production, the twin-turbochargers were left out. It wasn’t until 2005 that the twin-turbo was re-incorporated into the design. When the Saleen S7 Twin-Turbo was officially released, production of the original S7 ceased. The Twin-Turbo had come home to roost and all Saleen S7s were built that way from then on. Adding the new twin-turbo system gave the S7 a significant bump in power. The overall horsepower was increased to 750, with 700 lb-ft of torque as well. The car that already went from 0-60 in under 4 seconds could now achieve that goal in less than 3. The S7 Twin-Turbo engine rests in the mid-chassis of the vehicle. Not only does that make for optimal weight distribution, but it allows the necessary room for this unusually tall engine. This design also places trunk space for the S7 at both the front and rear of the car. A 3 piece set of custom-fitted Mulholland Brothers luggage originally came standard with the super car.
The Saleen S7 Twin-Turbo features a car body that is 100% carbon fiber. The body design is sculpted to be incredibly aerodynamic, creating a “split-clannel” airflow through the car itself. The design improvements are unique to the twin-turbo model. Saleen added a new rear spoiler package, diffuser, and new front fenders. By adding all of these features, Saleen gave the S7 Twin-Turbo a 60% increase in down force. Steve Saleen is even quoted as saying “the car can drive upside down in a tunnel at any speed above 160 mph” because it creates it’s own down force beyond that speed. Steve and his team conducted extensive testing in the wind tunnel at the University of Glasgow, Scotland before making that claim.
The interior of the Saleen S7 was also updated when the twin-turbo model was released. Slight changes were made, putting leather and suede to work throughout. Since the S7 Twin-Turbo was only made between 2007 and 2009, it does lack a touch screen infotainment system. However, if you managed to buy one of these cars, I’m sure one could certainly be installed. For a car with this kind of speed and power, you could always add electronics after the fact. One unique feature the S7 comes with is the video “rearview mirror”, a small camera set into the back of the car that displays on the dashboard tv/dvd/cd system. It is also worth noting that the Saleen S7 has a heated windshield. Depending on where you live, that makes scraping off ice a thing of the past.
This is truly a super car from the outside in. Every part of the Twin-Turbo S7, from it’s aerodynamic exterior, to it’s powerhouse engine, to it’s posh interior, makes for an ultimate driving experience. Although they don’t make these anymore, seek them out. You won’t be disappointed.
Links to blogs about the Saleen S7 Twin-Turbo
By Jeanne Longhorne
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