Ushering a new phase of performance tuning.
Throughout the history of automobiles, the aftermarket upgrade, modification, and tuning industry has focused on a certain method for extracting more performance from gasoline or diesel-powered automobiles. That’s all changing. With hybrid and all-electric technology trickling down throughout automaker’s model lineups, aftermarket tuning companies are changing their strategy on how they make cars go faster and create more power.
The Tesla Model S is considered to be one of the most technologically advanced and innovative all-electric vehicles on the market and offers an upscale, premium feel with unrivaled performance. Saleen, the renowned aftermarket tuning company has made quite a name for itself in racing and even with the creation of its own American supercar – the Saleen S7. Now, they’re putting themselves ahead of the curve with their new Tesla Model S based FOURSIXTEEN performance electric car.
“Tesla has created an entirely new class of American automobile”, explained Steve Saleen. “There are many similarities to this and how Ford created the ‘pony car’ class in 1964 with the Mustang, which is how these vehicles stand out from the rest of the pack.”
The new Saleen FOURSIXTEEN sets itself apart from the standard Tesla Model S pack with a full aerodynamic kit. The kit is designed to help aid in cooling essential drivetrain components while also generating downforce as speed increases.
The front of the Saleen FOURSIXTEEN benefits from a new set of front aero management vents and full fascia. New V-shaped hood architecture works to remove hot air away from the drivetrain cooling system and generate downforce at the same time for better overall performance. The rear boasts a new trunk-mounted spoiler that generates a considerable amount of downforce along with a new diffuser. Special carbon fiber accents between the taillights add to the overall visual presence of the Saleen FOURSIXTEEN.
While the exterior visually differentiates the FOURSIXTEEN from the standard Tesla Model S, the powertrain is where the driver and passengers will feel the biggest differences. The innovative, all-electric drivetrain utilizes a three-phase, four-pole AC induction motor and copper rotor with a Saleen-added 11.39:1 final gear ratio for quicker acceleration. A new Saleen-specific MAXGRIPTM locking differential helps the rear wheels to achieve maximum grip under acceleration. Saleen also optimized the torque management and improved the throttle response to make the FOURSIXTEEN a more performance-oriented electric car.
“Electric drivetrains are unique in that they can generate an incredible amount of torque at zero RPM”, detailed Sven Etzelsberger, VP Advanced Engineering. “Our challenge was really to find methods to manage the energy that is generated by the electric motor and rotor assembly. With the FOURSIXTEEN we have successfully found a comprehensive solution to increase performance and harness power in an efficient manner.”
As with all performance cars, the Saleen FOURSIXTEEN is also more than capable of handling corners at high speeds. The new suspension setup strikes the perfect balance between sport and comfort. The Saleen-specific S4 track-calibrated suspension utilizes a monotube coilover and S4 sway bar setup to sharpen up handling. The setup can also be installed as a fully-adjustable system where drivers can alter stiffness for performance or comfort. In terms of software, the Stability Control System was tuned to boost cornering response and drivability during more changes in the weight distribution.
As standard, the Saleen FOURSIXTEEN comes to a halt thanks to 14.0-inch, two-piece, hat-vented rotors and multi-piston front calipers with performance brake pads. The performance-minded customer can opt for a carbon ceramic disc brake system that reduces weight while giving up a more potent, fade-free bite in any situation. These brakes hide behind Saleen-designed wheels wearing ZR-spec tires grabbing at the pavement.
While the FOURSIXTEEN may be known for its electric performance, Saleen gave the interior a supercar-inspired interior decorated with a wealth of luxury. All of the seats wear black leather with contrasting perforated leather accents and alcantara suede inlays. Both front and rear seats were remolded and become four full bucket seats with generous side support. A new center console adds to the car’s functionality and adds in storage, an electronic device pocket, and a new cupholder. Special, tailor-made door panels wear and a full leather-wrapped dashboard boast contrasting stitching while the seat shells were color matched to the leather.
“Our theme of an electric four-seat supercar really comes to life with the interior of this car”, said Sean Smith, Design Director. “Our design team spent a lot of time evaluating different materials, fitments, and finishes to accomplish the refined interior design of the FOURSIXTEEN while still keeping the modern sports car inspiration intact. I think the result is appropriate for this new class of electric American performance cars.”
The new Saleen FOURSIXTEEN model will start at $152,000 for the complete vehicle based on the base Tesla P85Model S sedan. With existing federal and state EV incentives, customers can save between $7,000 and $15,000 depending on state. For example, a California resident would only pay $142,000 with incentives. Each vehicle comes standard with a 4-year/50,000 mile warranty to match the manufacturer limited warranty. Orders are currently being accepted with a 6-8 week delivery time.
Saleen FOURSIXTEEN Gallery