It’s hard to believe that the Saleen S7 was introduced almost a decade ago because, to do this day, it still offers brutal performance and looks surprisingly modern. Dough DeMuro recently had the chance to check out the supercar up close.
The first thing you should know about the S7 is that it wasn’t built by an established supercar manufacturer and was instead the work of Saleen Automotive, a company best known for tuning Ford Mustangs. Not only was the S7 built by a company without previous experience with supercars of this sort, it was also just the third mid-engined supercar ever manufactured in the United States after the Vector W8 and M12.
In standard guise, the S7 came outfitted with a naturally-aspirated 7.0-liter V8 delivering 550 hp that was coupled to a six-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels. Hypercars today have close to, or even well over, 1000 hp. Despite that, the Saleen S7 is still exceptionally fast, as it can hit 60 mph (96 km/h) in roughly 3.3 seconds and top out at 220 mph (354 km/h).
Saleen decided to make the S7 a bit crazier in 2005 and rolled out the Twin Turbo variant. As the name implies, this variant saw the S7’s 7.0-liter V8 outfitted with a pair of turbochargers, increasing power to 750 hp and allowing for a claimed top speed of 248 mph (399 km/h).
Just like you would expect for any supercar from a small company, the S7 is loaded with a number of weird features, as DeMuro point out. Like, say, the 50 gills found in its bodywork, or the extremely small footwells and offset pedals that make driving it a challenge.