The S7 is a strange bird.
One the one hand, it has little to no hypercar brand prestige beside a Bugatti, McLaren, Ferrari or Pagani.
On the other hand, it is road-legal in the USA — where it was designed and assembled as well. And it is also far better-finished and more reliable than most racecars adapted for the road.
Overall, the S7 promises a rare guilty pleasure for owners. Almost all the speed of any hypercar in the world, but none of the baggage. The S7 is RAPID, by the way. It leaves its contemporary rival, the 2005 Ford GT, in the dust with its 3.3-second sprint to 60-mph. The 850HP output is also a cool 300 up on the Ford’s, and about 300-pounds lights as well.
Yes, it is a bit trashy. Yes, it reminds us of Branson, Missouri or other ghastly rural glitz.
And yes, it seems quite over-valued with its pre-sale estimate if $550k-plus for the RM Arizona auction this week.
All that likely won’t matter to the owner — an individual adding this special V8TT Competition Package car in jet black to their swelling collection of exotica. They may like its kitsch appeal. We don’t see this car appreciating much in any timeframe, however.
For what it is worth, the obsession by Saleen with this S7’s development basically sank the firm. It was solid a few years ago, run into the ground, and now again helmed by Steve Saleen up in Michigan — hopefully focused on their core business of Mustang mods. The hypercar business is a money pit.
So is writing about them, for that matter. =]
2005 Saleen S7 Twin Turbo Competition Package
2005 Saleen S7 Twin Turbo ‘Competition Package’
- Chassis no. 1S9SB181X5S000046
- Serial no. S7-05-046
$550,000 – $650,000
To be auctioned on Friday, January 29, 2016
850 bhp, 427 cu. in. DOHC aluminum V-8 with twin Garrett turbochargers, six-speed manual transaxle, four-wheel fully adjustable independent suspension, and four-wheel ventilated Brembo disc brakes. Wheelbase: 106.2 in.
- The only S7 Twin Turbo built with these particular colors and options
- Just two owners and 941 miles from new
- Upgraded by Saleen with the desirable Competition Package
- Documented by a Letter of Authenticity from Saleen
While Saleen had a very well-respected reputation for tuning Mustangs, the company had never ventured out on its own to build a car of its own design until the S7. Boasting a completely unique chassis, the S7 was developed for racing, and the road-going examples were constructed with homologation in mind. Fitted with svelte carbon-fiber bodywork and a mid-mounted 427–cubic inch V-8 engine, it could sprint from 0–60 mph in just 3.3 seconds and would accelerate onward toward an estimated top speed of 220 mph.
In 2005, Saleen took the S7 one step further and introduced the S7 Twin Turbo, adding even more horsepower, torque, and speed to one of the fastest street-legal cars that money could buy, thanks to a pair of Garrett turbochargers. Horsepower was raised to 750, and the car was given different front and rear fenders along with a slightly different aerodynamic package. Thanks to these changes, the car’s 0–60 mph time was decreased to 2.8 seconds, and top speed was quoted as a mind-boggling 248 mph.
Produced in January of 2005, this particular S7 Twin Turbo was finished in Black Metallic paint with a matching black interior and was outfitted with polished wheels and a GPS navigation system. It remained with its first owner until 2012, when it was sold to its second owner, in whose care it resided in a collection of modern supercars.
Under the stewardship of its first owner, the car had been returned to Saleen and upgraded with the desirable Competition Package. Horsepower was yet again raised to 850, and the car was fitted with revised front and rear diffusers, an upgraded suspension, and a massive rear wing to help manage the car’s power and performance.
The car is said to be in virtually as-new condition and an absolute joy to drive. Accompanying it is an S7 owner’s manual and a piece of S7-branded luggage. Furthermore, the car is documented by a copy of its original window sticker and a Letter of Authenticity from Saleen, confirming that this particular car is the only S7 Twin Turbo with these exact colors and options.
One of the most compelling American automobiles built thus far into the 21st century, the Saleen S7 proved that Saleen was capable of much more than building hot-rodded Mustangs and could truly play with the big boys on the world stage. Not only did the S7 make a big impact on the street, but it brought Saleen great success in racing with class wins at both the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans. The only S7 Twin Turbo built to this particular configuration and believed to be the lowest mileage S7 Twin Turbo in existence, it goes without saying that this is truly a spectacular automobile in all regards. For the individual with an unquenchable taste for horsepower, it would be difficult to make a better choice.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.