Saleen S7 Twin Turbo

saleen s7 interior saleen s7 burning red

The Saleen S7 Twin Turbo is the longest and lowest two-seat sports car on the market. (The Veyron and the Lamborghini Murcielago barely trump its prodigious width.) Like every serious racing car, this one is difficult to enter. The trick is to snake a leg under the S7's steering column before surrendering to gravity. Exiting is an even bigger hassle. But who cares? The excess that makes the Veyron a two-ton mama is lost on this blow dart. In lieu of mufflers, air bags, four-wheel drive, ABS, a manu-matic transmission, and seat adjusters, the S7 Twin Turbo has power, noise, and an exterior scarred with ninety-two slots and gills. Every fillip serves some purpose. The carbon-fiber body is a flow-through design that uses air to feed the engine, generate road-hugging forces, and evacuate heat. Aluminum honeycomb sinew bonded to a steel-tube skeleton yields a stiff, 230-pound spaceframe. The honker behind you is basically a NASCAR Nextel Cup V-8 upsized by twenty percent and pressurized to 5 psi. The engine's 700 lb-ft and 750 hp are quite enough to squirt this 3036-pound package well into the rapture zone.

The six-speed's shift knob twists freely a few degrees, a trick employed to minimize binding friction. Clicked into gear, the engine surges and lopes between an 1100-rpm idle and the 1800-rpm settle-down speed. The double-disc clutch expects a left foot with finesse. You can step off the mark with the tires lit and burning or with them stuck down and spitballing you toward the horizon, as you like. Brake rotors the size of a medium pizza rattle against their hubs, ready to become arresting hooks. The ride is almost plush over expansion joints, thanks to relatively soft springs working in series with the stiffer coils that come into play when the suspension settles under air pressure at speed. The electrohydraulic power steering winds only 1.9 turns between stops. If you goose the gas while exiting a bend, the tail steps wide, right now. The wiggles can be avoided by upshifting, so you can smack straights with torque instead of horsepower. When a momentary hole in traffic appears, a reflexive twitch of the ankle flicks the speedometer needle to 140 mph with three more gears in reserve. Following our pleasant day of joy riding in the tangerine photo car, Saleen rolled out his red ringer for testing. Shaved Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires helped boost the lateral stick over the 1.0 g hurdle. In spite of a touchy clutch, we logged a 0-to-60-mph sprint of well under four seconds and a quarter-mile buzz of 10.9 seconds at a spectacular 146 mph. Braking from 70 mph with modulated pedal pressure (remember: no ABS) required 157 feet, only a foot more than a Ford GT.

engine Twin Turbo All Aluminum V8 w/Dry Sump Lubrication
aspiration Twin Garrett GT35R Turbos
valvetrain Pushrod Driven, 2 Valves per Cyl
fuel feed Fuel Injection
displacement 6991 cc / 426.6 cu in
bore 104.6 mm / 4.12 in
stroke 101.6 mm / 4.0 in
compression 10.8:1
power 559.3 kw / 750 bhp @ 6300 rpm
hp per litre 107.28 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 560.54 bhp per weight
torque 949.07 nm / 700 ft lbs @ 4800 rpm
redline 6500
drive wheels RWD w/Limited Slip Differential
body / frame Carbon Riber-Reinforced w/Plastic and Aluminum Honeycomb over Steel Space Frame
front brakes Brembro Ventilated Discs w/6-Piston Monobloc Calipers
f brake size 381 mm / 15 in
rear brakes Brembro Ventilated Discs w/6-Piston Monobloc Calipers
r brake size 356 mm / 14 in
front wheels F 48.3 x 24.1 cm / 19 x 9.5 in
rear wheels R 50.8 x 30.5 cm / 20 x 12 in
front tire size 275/35ZR-19 100Y
rear tire size 335/30ZR-20 104Y Michelin Pilot Sport PS2
steering Rack & Pinion w/Power Assist Michelin Pilot Sport PS2
f suspension Unequal Double Wishbones w/Coil-OverAluminum Dampers, Anti-Roll Bar
r suspension Unequal Double Wishbones w/Coil-OverAluminum Dampers, Anti-Roll Bar
weight 1338 kg / 2950 lbs
wheelbase 2700 mm / 106.3 in
front track 1748 mm / 68.8 in
rear track 1710 mm / 67.3 in
length 4774 mm / 188.0 in
width 1990 mm / 78.3 in
height 1041 mm / 41.0 in
transmission 6-Speed Transaxle
gear ratios 2.86:1, 1.61:1, 1.14:1, 0.96:1, 0.81:1, 0.64:1
final drive 3.70:1
top speed 399.1 kph / 248 mph
0 - 60 mph 3.2 seconds
0 - 100 mph 6.2 seconds
0 - 1/4 mile 10.6 seconds