Eco-Friendly Supercars: By its appearance and performance stats, it is apparent that the Saleen S5S Raptor is seeking to turn traditional elite supercars into vehicular dinosaurs. The S5S Raptor is a mega supercar with a green heart that is likely to tuck at the heartstrings of eco-minded exotic car lovers worldwide. And what is not to like? It has 175 horsepower more than the almighty Ferrari F-430. Its wedge-like design and front flanks give it the patented superstar-car look generally reserved for limited-edition vehicles made in Italy. It has a hand-built 5.0-liter with 650 horsepower and 630 lb.-ft. of torque that accelerates from zero to 60 mph faster than you can say, "Oh my gawd!" which equates to 3.2 seconds in real time.
This ecologically correct four-wheel asphalt-melting rocket runs on the same sustainable fuel, cellulosic-based ethanol, which is used by the IRL and the American Le Mans. The mid-engine two-seater also has a solar-tented scenic roof that covers the cockpit. Emissions are under control even though the intrepid S5S Raptor is capable of a top speed of more than 200 mph with its all-aluminum chassis and engine. The S5S features a six-speed or an optional paddle-shifting sequential gearbox.
"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's president and CEO.
The Raptor S5S is the first vehicle fully developed by the new Saleen management team. It was unveiled as a concept car at the 2008 New York Auto Show in March. However, it could be unleashed into the market in as soon as two years with an MSRP base price around $185,000. Management awaits industry feedback before officially committing to produce the ASE-designed vehicle.
"We spent a great deal of time on the design of the Raptor," said 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 company's goal is to be recognized as America's premier niche automobile manufacturer. Saleen's new mean-green machine has the automotive industry abuzz. Gentlemen, start producing your sustainable-fuel engines now!
For LxM James Rothaar
|Related Topics :