Mustang S281 Extreme
SEMA Featured Saleen S281 Extreme #43 4.6L 6 Speed
Built in 2007 but taken to the next level for the 2010 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, this 2007 Saleen S281 Extreme is a mind-blowing custom in every sense of the word. Saleens reputation for performance Mustangs was earned the hard wayon the race trackand everything theyve learned has translated directly into this monstrously powerful yet scalpel-precise machine. For SEMA, the black-on-black Saleen received a complete makeover, including those amazing blue flames by none other than Lucky Luciano (the painter, not the gangster).
S281 Extreme #43 started out like any other Saleenas a Mustang body in white delivered from Ford Motor Company and ready for the Saleen treatment. The guys at the Saleen facility fit their own specific body panels, including a front fascia, rear bumper, custom valence panel and tail lights, hood, rocker panels and rear spoiler. The black paint covered every square inch of the body, with subtle Saleen graphics added, but all that was out the window once Lucky Luciano got ahold of it. Famous for show-quality paint jobs that are exception in execution and detail, Lucky gave #43 a nose covered with blue flames. But these arent the cartoony flames that youre used to seeing on the noses of hot cars, but incredibly realistic flames that look like a natural gas flame has welled up from underneath. Incredibly intricate and subtle in detail, they almost look like theyre moving, even when the car is standing still. I dont know how he did it, but the effect is mesmerizing. In addition, the #43 Saleen serial number on the front bumper was reversed and given its own glowing set of flames. Looking at the quality of the work, its no wonder this car was selected to headline a large stereo equipment manufacturers booth at the SEMA show.
Other details include blacked-out upper and lower grilles, blue Saleen graphics on the rear bumper, and tinted taillight lenses. To match the blacked-out effect of the paint job, the windows were also tinted, making this one of the most sinister-looking Mustangs youre likely to see anywhere.
Fortunately, the Saleen delivers on the promises of its appearance. With a supercharged and intercooled 4.6 liter V8 under the hood, it cranks out 550 horsepower and a pavement-destroying 525 pounds of torque. As with all Saleen products, the engine compartment and related components are beautifully finished and carefully assembled, and it is likely nicer than any Mustang ever assembled by Ford. Custom touches abound, including matching blue flames on the radiator shroud and supercharger housing, as well as custom fabricated chrome valve covers and polished accessories throughout the engine bay. The S281 Extreme also included custom engine calibration, unique exhaust headers, and a low-restriction air intake feeding the supercharger. A sturdy strut tower brace adds rigidity and enhances steering response, both hallmarks of Saleen Mustangs dating back to the earliest models in 1984. The engine fires up instantly, idles with a menacing growl, and accelerates like a rocketas long as the tires are hooking up, this car is lunging forward at ridiculous speeds.
The transmission is a 6-speed manual, which slips through the gears thanks to a custom Saleen shifter, while a set of 4.10 gears on a MaxGrip limited slip make sure all that twist gets to the tires. The car also benefits from a complete Saleen Racecraft suspension system, which comprehensively upgrades virtually every component. New shocks, springs, sway bars, bushings, as well as a custom Watts link rear suspension with a Panhard rod give #43 razor-sharp handling without the punishing, rock-hard ride that most tuner Mustangs provide. Brakes are positively massive 15-inch rotors with six-piston calipersafter a hard stop, you may find the pavement wrinkled up in front of the tires like a loose rug on a wood floor. The exhaust system is a custom Saleen setup that rumbles like a NASCAR stocker, and has a trick pair of tips in the center of the rear bumper. Wheels are gorgeous chrome plated forged 20-inch 5-spoke pieces designed and manufactured by Saleen wearing 275/35/20 front and 275/40/20 rear Pirelli P-Zero Rosso performance radials.
Saleen doesnt stop at just exterior modifications, giving the interior a comprehensive makeover worthy of its performance and pedigree. Dressed in all black leather, the custom Racecraft seats are deeply bolstered and contoured, with Saleen graphics embroidered on the seat backs. In back, the rear seats have been reshaped and upholstered to match the fronts, proving that the Saleen is much more than a tuner Mustang. The stock Mustang gauges get new Saleen faces, including a recalibrated 200 MPH speedometer and a pair of auxiliary boost and intake air temperature gauges in a pod atop the dash. The head unit is a Pioneer AVIC-D3 system with navigation, which replaces the standard Ford unit. Youll also note Steve and Molly Saleens signatures on the dashboard and center armrest, adding to the cars authenticity.
Power in the hands of a few was Saleens motto from the beginning, and with the closing of their doors in 2009, there will be no more Saleen Mustangs. This 2007 S281 Extreme would be highly unusual and desirable simply for that reason, but add in the stunning custom paintwork and SEMA show history, it becomes a one-of-a-kind. Still able to deliver astounding performance that rivals cars like the Corvette Z06 and Porsche 911, but with its own unique perspective. Stunning in every way, this is also a car that will continue to capture trophies at shows thanks to the brilliant flames and custom details that are found throughout the vehicle. Saleens always stood apart from the rest of the Mustang crowd, and this is an opportunity to acquire one that is unique, even among Saleens. Call now!
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