The biggest name in hot-rod Mustangs for the past 20 years was Saleen Incorporated. With their limited edition high performance vehicles Saleen wasn't just a garage bay tuner, they we're an OEM level manufacturer that, in addition to selling an in house production car, assembled the Ford GT sports car and up-fitted race proven performance parts and packages for regular production Ford vehicles. This 2006 Mustang S281 Extreme is a pristine one owner car with only 7,219 miles, top of the line Saleen style and 650 horsepower supercharged V8.
S281 Extreme #49 has every trick Saleen knew built into its sleek, Redfire Clearcoat Metallic body. Fit and finish is exceptional, thanks to the largely hand-built nature of the custom Saleen add-ons, and the paint is simply amazing thanks to major improvements in Fords factory paint process. Despite looking a lot like a stock Mustang, the front of the car has been completely redesigned and incorporates many subtle tweaks that add character to the cars impressive OEM look. Installed over the supercharger is a Saleen Super-Flo hood that adds clearance in the engine bay and features black heat extractors just in front of a “Saleen” branded windshield. Below the hood, a re-designed injection molded front bumper cover features the cars serial number in silver, and hangs a carbon fiber air splitter just above the pavement. At the top of the bumper, traditional Mustang headlights are split by a custom grille that includes a driver's side “Saleen” emblem and round turn signals incorporated into its edges. At the side of the car, the classic Mustang profile is complemented by aggressive Saleen rocker panels and throwback C-pillar vents that recall classic Shelbys of the 60s. Ornamentation is kept to a minimum with front fender “S281 Extreme” emblems and Saleen chevron graphics at the base of the doors providing the only breaks in the cars red paint. On the decklid, you'll find that Saleens love of large rear spoilers, which are as functional as they are attractive, was alive and well in 2006. That large rear spoiler combines with custom fender, trunk and bumper extensions to lengthen the chunky Mustang body and houses a custom rear valence which narrows down the factory tail lights. Below that rear valence, a re-styled rear bumper features mirrored “Saleen” lettering, center mounted exhaust and a second carbon fiber air splitter. Despite having a little over 7,000 miles on the odometer, this car is brand new in every way; the paint is free of defects and by the looks of things, it's never even seen a drop of rain.
Under the hood, there's power—lots and lots of power. Augmented with a Saleen designed supercharger, the cars modular 4.6 liter V8 is rated at 550 horsepower on 91 octane gas. The previous owner also bolted in an ultimate Saleen air kit, three valve Mustang headers, 60 pound fuel injectors and an SCT engine tune which bring output up to a nice, pony car killing 650 horsepower. The Saleen supercharger delivers boost immediately across the powerband by quickly ramping up in a smooth rush. When you let it wind out, you'll appreciate Saleens "Power in the hands of few" motto with some personal conviction. It means triple digits and nowhere near slowing down. Like all such superchargers, the Saleen blower makes an extremely soft coffee-grinder gear noise all the time. This is a subdued sound and will not bother anyone unless they believe that old saw about roots and Lysholm superchargers being silent. When making boost, the noise out the intake is a siren-like scream, but you won't hear this because it's muffled by the Saleen intake casting and air filter. The supercharger is packaged well too, sitting deep in the V between massive cylinder heads and exhaling upwards through an air-to-liquid intercooler before being force-fed into the intake manifold. The car's engine bay is exceptionally clean, with nothing out of place, and honestly, no dirt or other signs of wear and tear.
The S281 Extreme uses a rugged Tremec 6-speed manual transmission driving a 4.10-geared rear end, which makes for some spectacular wheel spin in first and second gear, and astounding acceleration when you get the launch just right. Years ago, Saleens were criticized for their harsh ride, but those days are long gone. Taking advantage of the new Mustang's more rigid Macpherson front and 3 link rear chassis, Saleen engineers carefully chose springs, shocks, and sway bars that improve responsiveness without sacrificing ride quality. In fact, this may be the greatest improvement granted by the new Mustang platform: the ability to corner and handle like a thoroughbred without the hammering of previous performance suspensions. Exhaust is expelled through an aftermarket stainless steel system that is complete with performance catalytic converters and an X-pipe. Braking is handled by “Saleen” branded calipers that clamp slotted rotors and sit behind 20 inch forged-aluminum Saleen wheels which have been covered in chrome. Mounted to those 20 inch wheels is 275/35 front and 275/40 rear Pirelli P-Zero performance radials.
Inside, Saleen makes the Ford interior its own with leather upholstery and plenty of signage, from the seatbacks to a subtle, authenticating black badge on the dash. A six-way power driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support is on hand and Saleen is sure to employ Fords MyColor feature allowing custom instrument colors on the main cluster, which has Saleen calibrations and faces, and a 200MPH speedometer. Props to Saleen for bucking the now-tiresome white-faced instrument trend, instead using handsome black backgrounds. Other Saleen interior bits are custom floor mats, a steering-wheel badge, some rather businesslike pedal pads, clean sill plates, and an aluminum shift knob atop their own short-throw shifter. Of course all the usual power windows, locks, and other Mustang GT items are on hand and a set of chrome trimmed boost and fuel pressure gauges live atop the dashboard, keeping an eye on the supercharger's activities.
Documentation for this car includes the owner's manual, a receipt for the aftermarket add-ons and a small Saleen S281 Extreme brochure.
This one owner S281 Extreme has been immaculately preserved and maintained, has mind-boggling performance and is probably the most serious performance Mustang your money can buy. It's an essentially new car with a few aftermarket bolt-ons that pile on even more performance. Best of all, you can buy it for about two thirds of what the sticker said just 7,000 miles ago. Take advantage of this opportunity to acquire what may very well be the best Mustang ever built. Call today!
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