While it's certainly not a bargain-you get what
you pay for. If speed, power and status
are worth over $500k to you, then
the Saleen S7 Twin Turbo is the car
for you; although calling it a "car" seems
quite the understatement ... after
all, a Honda is a car too and classing
these vehicles together just doesn't
feel right. One spin in this pricey
supercharged machine and you'll understand
what I'm talking about. For auto enthusiasts
who prefer to buy American, the Saleen
S7 is a dream.
When it first hit the market in 2002,
it was the only street-legal car in
the U.S. with more than 500 horsepower
and 500 lb-ft of torque. Today, the
Saleen S7 Twin Turbo is the fastest and at $555,000
is the most expensive sports car of its kind that
money can buy. According to Saleen, the S7's shape
was inspired by the wind. Optimal aerodynamics and
top speed performance objectives were achieved with
extensive wind tunnel work. Targets included a low
coefficient of drag, optimum drag-to-lift ratio,
and extreme down force. The S7 has "full tray" body
sculpting underneath. For the 2005 S7 Twin Turbo,
the redesigned front and rear diffusers, along with
the new rear spoiler, result in a 40 percent reduction
in aero drag and a 60 percent increase in down force.
Those of you who know anything about aero forces
recognize the significance of that last statement.
Typically, you would have to trade down force to
reduce aero drag. The S7's new all-aluminum V8 engine
casting was engineered and tooled to displace seven
liters. Space age materials and engineering are used
throughout, including stainless steel valves, titanium
retainers, beryllium exhaust valve seats, an aluminum
throttle body, Saleen-designed aluminum CNC-machined
cylinder heads and stainless steel exhaust system.
If you've read this far, you know your car terminology.
If you read past the sticker price, you must be a
serious racecar enthusiast.
For LxM Amy Covington