Saleen 435S Mustang 2010 controversial debut
When MJ Acquisitions bought out Saleen Performance Vehicles earlier this year, original founder Steve Saleen left and started up another tuner company called SMS Supercars. And while Steve is battling his former company for rights to the “Saleen” name, the firm bearing his name has unveiled its first 2010 product since the acquisition, called the Saleen 435S, based on the new 2010 Ford Mustang.
The first Saleen model without Steve Saleen almost seems like it was thrown together in a hurry. Billed as a “budget” performance car, the 435S looks exactly like what it is – a mildly-modified Ford Mustang GT with the Mustang badges removed.
The Saleen 435S comes with a 435 hp 4.6-litre, 3-valve SOHC V8 engine with 576 Nm of torque, fitted with a Saleen Series VI twin-screw supercharger and two-stage intercooler. It is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission, and has a 3.73:1 rear axle ratio with limited-slip differential.
The car rides 40 mm lower than a Mustang GT, due to its Saleen Racecraft performance suspension. The suspension package includes springs, a stiffer front stabilizer bar, and nitrogen-pressurised shock absorbers tuned exclusively for the 435S.
The vented brake rotors, front and rear, are slotted and cross-drilled. Larger 14-inch slotted front rotors with 4-piston calipers are available as an option.
Traditional Saleen styling cues include an understated trim panel between the taillights with “Saleen” in raised lettering, mesh covers over the fog lights in the grille, and the Saleen name and chevrons as graphic elements placed low on each side. An optional Aero Package includes a lightweight chin splitter and rear spoiler.
Other exterior highlights include unique, 18-inch alloy wheels with 19-inch and 20-inch wheels optional, and “435S” lettered on each side of the bonnet’s power dome.
Inside, the modifications are limited to a new short-throw shifter and new gauges, along with Saleen logos stamped on the steering wheel and embroidered on the headrests.