Looks like Saleen was serious about the supercar business. First came the awesome S7 and S7 TT, which is still one of the fastest cars in the world. To many though, the S7 was too big and too…umm…fishy, with all those gills spattered all over the car.
Now it seems Saleen’s next supercar venture will be the Raptor – a smaller, much more modern-looking exotic. While it does mirror the looks of a few other fast cars on the road, all but the rear of the car is very attractive. Not that it’s ugly, it’s just…very 80’s looking.
Despite the funny-looking ass, this thing is a beast. Propelled by a mid-mounted Supercharged 5.0-liter V8, the S5S Raptor is said to produce 650 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque. That massive power is what gets it from zero to 60mph in a mere 3.2 seconds, and gives it a top speed of over 200mph. These numbers are based on the gimmicky E85 ethanol fuel – something I’d rather stay away from.
Right now Saleen is just testing the waters with this concept, but if it gets enough attention they’ll bring it (or a similar car) into production. Expect it to cost somewhere around $185,000 if it gets the green light.
In case you were wondering, the funny-looking “S5S” designation means Saleen 5-liter Supercharged.
SALEEN REVEALS SUPERCAR CONCEPT THE “S5S RAPTOR” AT THE
NEW YORK AUTO SHOW
New York, NY (March 20, 2008) – Saleen’s all new concept vehicle, the S5S
Raptor made its world debut today on the floor of New York City’s Jacob K. Javitz
Convention Center. The S5S Raptor unveiling comes amidst several other
Saleen announcements including a partnership with Dan Gurney, Rockstar
Games and the integration of several first time seen ASC products, featured on
two existing Saleen vehicles.
“We are extremely proud of the Raptor. It is the car that enthusiasts are waiting
for America to produce and Saleen is just the company to answer that call,” said
Paul Wilbur, Saleen President and CEO.
The S5S Raptor represents the first ground up vehicle to be conceived by the
new Saleen management team and the most extensive demonstration of the
combined capabilities of Saleen engineering and the ASC creative team.
“The Raptor is just a glimpse of things to come from Saleen,” says Chief
Technical Officer, Chris Theodore. “Our company is unique in that we have the
experience and knowledge behind some of the most exciting performance
vehicles built over the past 20 years. Beyond the S7 Supercar, our team
members have been involved in the Viper, Prowler, Ford GT, and the products of
Chrysler SRT and Ford’s SVT performance groups. These ‘lessons learned’ are
evident in the Raptor concept and we will continue to build upon them as the
The Raptor is a two seat mid-engine super car that competes in size and style
with core offerings from the most notable of Italian exotic car makes, but with a
segment leading 650hp and 630 lb-ft of torque provided by a Saleen 5.0L
Supercharged Engine – the source of the “S5S” designation. Unlike its
competitors, the Raptor is designed to digest cellulosic ethanol. “This is the
same ethanol formula,” states Wilbur, “that is the official fuel of the 2008
American Le Mans Race Series and the IRL.” The higher octane rating of E85
results in more power. It is a combination that will send the Raptor screaming to
60 mph in a g-force generating 3.2 seconds. With ethanol power, the car is both
mean and clean!
Saleen’s use of cellulosic ethanol is right for us for two reasons:
– It maintains consistency with our racing heritage, as many of the racing
formats (IRL, American Lemans, etc) are now adopting ethanol as the
racing fuel of choice.
– It also helps our environment through cleaner tailpipe emissions as well as
reducing America’s dependency on foreign oil.
While Saleen is a small, specialty vehicle maker, we share in the responsibility to
do what we can to support our environment, without compromising on our brand
Compromise does not enter into the conversation at all. The Raptor’s hand-built
5.0L cubic inch engine with its patented twin-screw supercharger delivers its 650
horses at 6300 rpm and hits max torque at just 4400 RPM. This power sits on
call beneath the knob of a close ratio 6-speed manual, or optional paddle shifting
sequential gearbox. It’s a combination that send Raptor’s rigid aluminum chassis
screaming to a top speed of over 200 mph.
As power is nothing without control, the double wishbone suspension and rackand-
pinion steering of the S5S is augmented by ABS traction control and stability
control systems. The brake system features 15-inch (381 mm) front rotors with 6
piston calipers, and 13-inch (308 mm) rear rotors with dual piston calipers for
maximum stopping power. Road holding traction is provided by the 275/35 ZR20
and 315/35/ZR20 Pirelli Rosso tires that wrap the 20″ forged aluminum front and
rear wheels respectively. The unique black-diamond and carbon fiber finish on
the wheels make them as stunning as they are strong.
“We spent a great deal of time on the design of the Raptor,” says Marques
McCammon, General Manager of Saleen Automotive. “The vehicle’s bold
shoulders are reflective of an aggressive American attitude, reminiscent of Can-
Am race car styling cues, but delivered with modern sophistication. If you see a
little Chaparral or McLaren design influence in this car, you are right.”
The aesthetics for the Raptor were developed by ASC Creative Services,
America’s largest independent automotive design firm. “This vehicle was an
aggressively compressed program that combined the traditional methods of
three-dimensional clay sculpting with sophisticated digital modeling tools,” said
Steve Nowicki, ASC Creative Services Director. “The vehicle is distinctive in a
way that I think the world is going to love. The primary designer on this program
was Dave Byron, a CCS graduate and passionate member of ASC’s Design
Raptor’s unique sun flair yellow paint accentuates the cars beautiful body forms.
The interior of the car can be illuminated by the sun or the city lights through the
solar-tented scenic roof that covers the cockpit. Detailing is transformed from
mere aluminum on the vehicles wheels and exhaust by their black-diamond
powder coat finish.
“In all the S5S Raptor is a work of art aimed to take your breath away,” said
McCammon. “It is aggressive and sexy at the same time.”
According to Saleen executives, the S5S Raptor could enter the market in as
little as two years, and should it go forward, it would carry a base price of
approximately $185,000 MSRP.