The 2001 Saleen S7, the first true American supercar, has been unveiled. It is designed to compete with the fastest, quickest, best handling, and most luxurious sports cars in the world.

The exotic, high performance S7 was designed and engineered by Saleen, Inc., a specialty vehicle manufacturer headquartered in Irvine, California. The Saleen S7 is capable of over 200 miles per hour. Zero-to-60 time is under four seconds. With its extreme ground effects engineering, at 160 mph the car could be driven upside down and still stay attached to the road.

The S7 chassis and suspension are the result of Saleen's years of racing, racecar building and high performance road car manufacturing experience. Famed British racing house Ray Mallock, Ltd. (RML) was enlisted to assist with the design and building of the chassis and packaging of the S7's advanced suspension system. While the S7 would be at home on any racetrack, it is also a car that can be driven with pleasure on highways, autobahns and back roads.

The S7 engine and drive train are Saleen designed and incorporate modern racing motor technology and engineering. Based on a Ford-cast all aluminum block re-engineered by Saleen, the 7-liter motor generates 550 horsepower at 6400 rpm. The motor delivers 520 foot-pounds of torque at 4000 rpm. Space age materials and engineering are used throughout: magnesium throttle body and intake manifolds, stainless steel valves, titanium retainers, beryllium exhaust valve seats, and all-aluminum CNC-machined Saleen designed heads.

The S7's shape was "designed" by the wind. Optimal aerodynamics and no compromise top speed performance objectives were achieved with extensive wind tunnel work. Longtime Saleen design consultant Phil Frank then personalized and refined the aesthetics of the S7. The autoclaved carbon fiber body panels incorporate advanced aerodynamics and include integrated split-channel airflow throughout the car, full underside air management, and advanced front tray and side skirt designs.

"The car, when seen in person, has an amazing presence," says Steve Saleen, founder and president of Saleen, Inc. "It's quite long and wide, yet only 41 inches high, adding to its exotic appearance. We wanted a 'form-follows-function' look, but one that was beautiful as well."

As much care has been given to the creature comforts of the Saleen S7 as to its performance. Upholstery is covered with Connolly leathers and suedes. Air conditioning, power windows, adjustable pedals, and a 6-disc CD player are all standard. The Saleen S7 has two unique interior features. The first is a live video rear view "mirror" - there is a small video camera inconspicuously mounted in the rear of the car - and the second is a steering wheel that can be removed if desired to ease ingress and egress.

The mid-engine Saleen S7 has front and rear trunks and comes with fitted luggage. In true supercar style, the doors open up and away from the body.

The Saleen S7 is currently certified for sale in both the U.S. and United Kingdom. Designed and built at Saleen's Irvine, Calif., manufacturing facility, the S7 will be sold through select Saleen Certified Ford dealers and other newly added Saleen Certified dealers specializing in exotic automobiles. Worldwide volume is projected to be 300-400 cars over an estimated four-year production run.

The Saleen S7 officially went on sale at its introduction today at the famed Monterey Historic Races. First vehicles will be delivered to customers in the second quarter of 2001. The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the Saleen S7 is $375,000.

Saleen, Inc. facilities include total research, design, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities. The company's line also includes the Saleen S281 Mustang, Saleen XP8 Explorer, the SR Widebody, Saleen Performance Parts, and Saleen Engineering and Certification Service. Saleen can be contacted at 949/597-4900.