Though no longer head of Saleen, Inc., you can't keep Steve Saleen from making Mustangs. In this case, his new company, SMS Limited, has built a very Saleen, Inc-looking concept to celebrate 25 years in the industry. In addition to the 720 HP engine and extreme body kit, this concept has the "Red Butterfly Induction System," which may explain the KITT-esque hood scoop. More details from the man himself, who says it has performance almost on par with the Saleen S7, below the jump
Automotive Icon Steve Saleen is celebrating his 25 years in the business with the introduction of the 720 hp SMS Twenty Fifth Anniversary Mustang Concept
July 6, 2008 - Orange County, California. Twenty five years focused on performance automobiles takes a great deal of commitment and passion. From his early automotive days spent race preparing his personal cars, to his inevitable entrance into the professional racing world, and finally into the domain of the automotive business, automotive icon Steve Saleen has done it all. Steve set the course for his automotive future in his first race on August 19th, 1973 at Riverside International Raceway, where he took his GT350 to the winners' circle, and he never looked back.
Steve Saleen moved up through the amateur and then professional ranks of closed and open-wheel racing during the 70's and 80's, racing and winning against drivers such as Bobby Rahal, Gilles Villeneuve, Danny Sullivan etc. His racing career eventually intertwined with his USC business degree when, in 1983, he formed Saleen Autosport and produced his first vehicle, a 1984 white and blue high performance Saleen Mustang, the first of thousands of vehicles that would eventually be built based on his innovative niche manufacturing, certification and racing business model.
Steve and his vehicles have dominated the competition wherever they raced around the world, having won nine championships, countless races and set track records from Daytona to Le Mans and every track in between. And Steve is still racing, he is currently testing one of the two European Le Mans Series Championship winning S7R's in preparation for his return to competition in the American Le Mans Series later this year.
For 25 years, Steve Saleen has been the leading pioneer in lifestyle performance automobiles, with his companies building an amazing array of high performance, sports, race and collector cars that are coveted by enthusiasts and celebrities alike from Tim Allen to Tom Cruise. His companies have created everything from the world's fastest production Mustang, the S302 Extreme, to the Saleen S7 and S7R the most victorious supercar based racing vehicle ever, bar none, with 171 Top Tens, 118 Podiums, 84 Pole Positions, 76 Fastest Laps, 72 Wins and 9 GT Championships. Amazing cars are not the only thing associated with Steve Saleen's name and ingenuity, his companies are also credited with an impressive array of patented automotive technological innovations.
As an entrepreneur, his endeavors encompass more than simply delivering the performance hardware. In 2006 he was the driving force behind the opening of his company's first automotive retail experience. With as much visual impact and excitement as one of his supercars, Maxim Magazine awarded it "Best Automotive Retail Store".
To celebrate his illustrious automotive career, Steve Saleen and his new company SMS have developed a truly innovative and exceptional celebratory vehicle - the 2008 SMS Twenty Fifth Anniversary Mustang Concept. To find out more about the 720 hp SMS concept car, we talked to its creator, Mr. Steve Saleen.
Comments by Steve Saleen, Chairman and CEO of SMS
"In celebration of my 25 years in the niche manufacturing business I wanted to create a personal car for myself that appropriately marks this very special Anniversary. The functional aesthetic innovations that we have developed are truly exceptional in every way. Though this car is not going to be for sale, it nevertheless demonstrates the technological advances present at SMS."
"With the SSC, SA-10, SA-15 and SA-20, I used those platforms to introduce new technology to the automotive market. In keeping with that tradition, this concept car incorporates many important advances developed by SMS. In particular our patented SMS Red Butterfly™ Induction System and SMS Light Blade™ LED Taillight System are definitely the coolest things that any Anniversary car has ever had! When those butterflies crack open under throttle, people stop and stare, you can be sure you will see those on our future products. And when you are passed by this car and the full width sequential turn signals come on, you will be just as awestruck!"
"Along with the main features, the supporting cast of innovation developed by SMS is just as deep, including; SMS Side Splitters and Diffuser Fences in carbon fiber, SMS billet aluminum signature elements, a beautiful SMS Two Tone Leather interior and the unique SMS "Chromosome Silver" paint with the signature anniversary yellow, white and black graphic accents.
"My Anniversary cars were always the most powerful of the breed and this car continues that tradition, as this engine produces 720 Horsepower at the crank and 612 Horsepower at the rear wheels! And the exhaust note truly is something else. Topped with 670ft lbs of Torque it is quite a steed to tame, thus it is equipped with SMS Cross Drilled 15" 6-Piston Front Brakes and a completely new SMS Billet Aluminum Watts Link System that is robust, durable and attractive."
"The performance is astounding; the SMS Twenty Fifth Anniversary Mustang has reached nearly the same levels of performance as was previously achieved in the S7 Twin Turbo! It is not everyday that the word Supercar is associated with a Mustang, but in this case it is appropriate. The team and I are very excited about the vehicle as it incorporates an entirely new platform of technological advances by SMS, and it is a testament to what our company is capable of. We look forward to it touring the show circuit this summer to show that we are in the business of power!"
"I look forward to the next twenty five years!"