Saleen S7 -- 2005 Preview: "I'd give up my right arm for one of those."
We've all said it about something we really wanted. Whether it's a rare piece of art, a date with a supermodel, or a glass of water when marooned in the desert, some things seem like they just might be worth the sacrifice. The 2005 Saleen S7 Twin Turbo is one of those things.
Problem is, a right arm won't fetch the $555,000 it takes to get into America's true supercar, built in Southern California just down the road from where Saleen first debuted the S7 Twin Turbo at the 2005 Los Angeles Auto Show.
For those who can afford the price of admission (with all limbs and appendages intact), Saleen has proposed a very convincing argument for purchasing one of its halo cars. The 2005 Saleen S7 Twin Turbo features a 7.0-liter aluminum V8, complete with stainless steel valves and titanium retainers, forged aluminum pistons, forged billet steel connecting rods, and a forged billet steel crankshaft.
A maximum horsepower rating of 750 is reached at 6,000 rpm (redline is 6,500 rpm), and 700 lb.-ft. of torque are scorching the Earth when the tach reaches 4,800 rpm. Two twin-ball-bearing turbochargers add 5.5 psi of boost, fed by an air intake mounted to the roof. Spent gases are belched from a stainless steel, high-flow exhaust system.
The monstrous 7.0-liter engine is mounted mid-ship on a lightweight steel frame, and the 2,950-lb. curb weight is distributed 40 percent to the front and 60 percent to the rear. Power is managed by a six-speed manual transmission, propelling the 2005 Saleen S7 Twin Turbo up to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds, and getting it past the quarter mile mark in 10.7 seconds. Damn, that's fast. Fifteen inch ventilated discs in the front and 14-inch ventilated discs in the rear effectively slow things down.
Backing up the extraordinary engine is an unequal length double wishbone suspension in the front and rear, complete with dual rate springs and stabilizer bars. Saleen officials claim that, combined with the new rear diffuser, spoiler and recontoured front fenders, the 2005 Saleen S7 Twin Turbo achieves a 40 percent reduction in the coefficient of drag and a 60 percent increased in down force when compared with the regular S7. Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 High-Performance tires (275/35ZR19 front, 345/30ZR20 rear) wrap around 19-inch alloys in the front, with 20s bolted on the rear. The result is a car that pulls an amazing 1.1 Gs on the skidpad, according to Saleen.
If only it was more affordable. Maybe my right arm and my first-born child. And my dog.
By: Thom Blackett
Photo Credit: Staff