Saleen modified Tesla Model S

Saleen modified Tesla Model S. This new car will be called the Foursixteen, and it will cost $152,000.

9/29/14 5:00 am chumakdenis 1

1908.jpgSaleen may have built its reputation on tuning the most iconic American cars like the  Chevrolet Camaro,Ford Mustang, and Dodge Challenger, but company front-man Steve Saleen seems bent on making his mark in the budding performance electric car category as well.

Rumors have circulated for more than a year regarding Saleen’s entrance into the category, until Steve confirmed them ny himself.

Well the rumors and speculation can all be put to rest as the company debuts the Saleen Tesla Model S.

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Foursixteen at the prestigious  Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegane.

This Tesla Model S receives a bespoke exterior design, interior updates, and of course, increases in power and performance.

Thankfully this isn’t some one-off show car, but rather a pre-production example of what will be publicly available to those looking for extra spice in their Model S. The performance upgrades include a sport-tuned suspension, bigger brakes, upgraded rear differential, and more aggressive aerodynamic surfaces.

Saleen has revealed a video of the Foursixteen in action, and "breaking the sound barrier." It doesn’t literally break the sound barrier, like supersonic jet, but rather it makes a noise unlike any other Tesla Model S. Have a look at the video (above) and let us know if you think the noise is cool or annoying

Exterior

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Saleen has completely reworked the Model S’ front and rear fascias. Up front, the Tesla grille is replaced by a solid bumper piece with a much smaller grille opening at the bottom. The look is definitely unique, though we’re not sure we’re sold on the new face. The hood also gets a unique treatment with a more aggressive V-shape running towards the windshield from the diminished Saleen badge stuck on the updated bumper.

Out back, a new lower fascia includes air vents and a lower air diffuser. A large spoiler finds a home atop the rear decklid. The look is decidedly more aggressive. Saleen says the extra aero bits are all functional and work to create substantial downforce at higher speeds.

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The Model S also gets a massive set of Saleen wheels that not only look good, but are said to cut 30 pounds of unsprung weight. Red Saleen brake calipers shine easily through the wheels’ 10-spoke design.

Interior

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Saleen badges are adhered to each seatback, which enjoy new moldings to enhance the bolstering

Saleen really worked over the Foursixteen’s interior, creating a nearly all-new cockpit. Cream leather and black Alcantara cover the seats, door panels, and upper dashboard, while carbon-fiber accents dress up the rest of the dash. An all-new center console finds a home between the front seats. It has provisions for more storage and provides a cup holder within arm’s reach.

Saleen badges are adhered to each seatback, which enjoy new moldings to enhance the bolstering. New seat shells are coated in a gloss-black color that complements the other black interior bits. Lastly, remolded door panels match the seats’ new shape.

The interior is an overall upgrade from that comes in conventional Teslas, but the high-contrast color choice might not be for everyone.

Drivetrain

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Not much has changed with the Foursixteen’s powertrain. The 3-phase, four pole AC induction motor and copper rotor from the P85 Model S are still present, though Saleen has reworked how the power is laid to the ground. A new final gear ratio of 11.39-to-1 is found inside the rear end. Also present is Saleen’s Maxgrip locking differential that allows both rear tires to apply seamless power to the ground.

1919.jpgSaleen has also retrofitted the Foursixteen with a high-capacity cooling system that includes a larger volume radiator and a high-flow water pump to keep the electrical system’s temperature in check.

Even without more modifications, the P85 Model S is still a beast at the track. It’s powerful electric motors and batteries create 416 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, allowing the Foursixteen to hit 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds. It’s possible the Tesla’s top speed of 130 mph has been increased thanks to all the added aero bits.

Suspension and braking

1926.jpgSaleen reworked the Tesla’s suspension to make the most of its potent horsepower and instant torque. The upgrades include proprietary monotube coilovers that are track-calibrated. The sway bar is also upgraded to provide a more stable platform in the corners. What’s more, the suspension is fully adjustable, so track days and daily commutes can coexist with little work in between.

The Tesla’s stability control software is also upgrades to allow for more shenanigans on the track. Saleen says the new programming allows the driver to stay into the power as the car’s weight distribution changes from corner to corner.

Bringing everything to a stop are upgraded brakes. The rotors are 14-inch, two-piece units with an aluminum hat. If the upgraded brakes aren’t enough, Saleen offers a carbon-ceramic upgrade.

Pricing

Pricing is listed at $152,000 for the complete package, including the price of the Tesla Model S P85. That means the upgrades cost $58,600 after the cost of a new $95,400 P85 Model S. Of course that doesn’t include the extra government incentives available for electric car owners. Added on, the Tesla’s price can drop some $10,000.

Any competitors?

BMW i8

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The BMW is already a hot performer when it comes from the factory, but there will inevitably be tuners looking to hype up the electric sports car’s performance even more.

The BMW i8 comes powered by a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine that makes 231 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. Add to that the 131 horses and 184 pound-feet coming from the batteries and electric motor, and you’ve got a pretty respectable power output of 362 horses and 420 pound-feet of torque. With its low weight, the i8 only needs 4.4 seconds to hit 60 mph and has a top speed of 155 mph.

The BMW i8 starts at $135,925.

Audi R8 E-TRON

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Though it’s still brewing in Audi’s development garage, the on-again, off-again R8 e-tron makes a strong case for performance electric vehicles. The R8 derivative is powered by four electric motors with a total output of 313 horsepower. Though it doesn’t sound like a lot, the R8 e-tron is still able to accelerate to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds, mostly thanks to its generous 604 pound-feet of torque.

Pricing and availability are still in question, but we can expect the R8 e-tron to cost roughly $200,000 an
d go on sale before the end of 2016.

Saleen Tesla Model S verdict

Saleen’s venture into the electric car category is not small news. We’re excited to see what aftermarket companies are able to do with this new realm of automotive technology and their ability to create exciting performance applications of vehicles designed to but back on using natural resources.

This also is a big step for Saleen, making them one of the first aftermarket companies to tackle such an extensive project on the Tesla Model S.

Love of hate the Foursixteen’s new design, it certainly turns heads and garners attention. That’s especially likely at track day events where electric cars aren’t a normal sight.

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