Redesigning the Tesla Model S as a Saleen 4SIXTEEN Model S
More than one auto manufacturer unveiled something spectacular at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. A newly unveiled Saleen 4SIXTEEN Model S, a professionally modified Tesla Model S, joined the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo on the concept lawn where photographer and friend of Cars On Line, Bob Boberg took these shots:
The Saleen 4SIXTEEN Model S represents the culmination of months of work that began with a statement by Saleen Automotive, Inc. in January 2014. “Saleen Automotive is intent on continually expanding its presence in the automotive market,” stated Steve Saleen, CEO of Saleen Automotive. The manufacturer is famous for their Camaro, Challenger and Mustang builds, but the 4SIXTEEN marks the first time their expert builders will turn their skill on an electric vehicle. “Tesla’s values are not a departure from our core values of elite power, style and performance,” added Saleen. “I fully intend to produce one of the most compelling Tesla’s to ever hit the roadway.”
Modifications to Tesla’s Model S included a repurposed advanced design that blends aerodynamic aggressiveness and subtle classiness. Front aero management vents and a unique V-shaped hood architecture help maintain a low pressure field during acceleration and direct hot air away from the drivetrain. The rear fascia design includes a high-downforce decklid mounted spoiler.
Performance features of the Saleen 4SIXTEEN Model S include a new 3-phase, four pole AC induction motor and copper rotor with the upgraded Saleen drivetrain including an all-new 11.39:1 final gear ratio for quicker acceleration. Rotational force, traction and grip are enhanced by a Saleen specific MAXGRIPTM locking differential and a Saleen high-efficiency drivetrain cooling system lends a hand to the electric motor cooling.
Cornering agility is increased without sacrificing ride quality thanks to a Saleen specific S4 track-calibrated suspension with a monotube coilover working in conjunction with a S4 sway bar setup. At the same time, a software change helps cornering response and drivability by allowing the driver to maintain power as traction and vehicle weight distribution change.
Carbon fiber dash accents, a handpicked leather palette and Alcantara suede inlays offer up a luxurious interior atmosphere that also includes a new center console and remolded seating.
Though the standard MSRP for a Tesla Model S is around $80,000, you can expect one of Saleen’s highly modified productions to start at $152,000. The price includes the cost of the donor Model S, but may be reduced slightly by federal EV incentives depending on the buyer’s state. “I believe we’ve honored Tesla Motors with our enhancements and we look forward to many years of creating new and amazing Saleen Tesla FOURSIXTEENS that blend Tesla’s groundbreaking innovation with Saleen’s racing pedigree and decades of automotive performance,” said Saleen.
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