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2005 Saleen S7 Twin-Turbo
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2005 Saleen S7 Twin-Turbo
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Saleen knows all about power. As in S281 Mustangs, N2O Focuses and the S7,
America’s first (and still the only) mid-engine exotic supercar. When it went on
sale in 2002, the S7 was the only street-legal car in the U.S. with more than
500 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque. The media and S7 owners have raved about
the car since it first smoked the rear tires in anger. And it has been
recognized by numerous automotive magazines as the fastest production car in the
world. But during the past three years the automobile marketplace has witnessed
an explosion of performance with models from manufacturers
including Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Chevrolet touting
power numbers above the once magic 500 level.
Saleen is not an organization content to rest on yesterday’s 0-60 mph times or
quarter-mile speeds. So for 2005 it’s “goodbye S7” and “all hail the S7 Twin
Turbo!” This is the first major change to the S7 since its introduction, and it
is a BIG change as in 750 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque, numbers the
competition will be chasing for a long while we predict.
What’s New for 2005
It was pretty obvious to Saleen product planners during the late 1990s that
horsepower and torque numbers were trending upwards, especially among the
purveyors of supercars. And power figures that looked spectacular at that time
might seem quite ordinary a few years down the road. So Saleen engineers have
been planning for this day since they drew the first line on a computer screen
for the original S7’s 7-liter engine.
While there are a number of different roads Saleen’s engine designers could have
traveled down to achieve those high-altitude horsepower and torque figures, for
this second edition of the S7 they decided to think beyond atmospheric. And
because this is Saleen, they added a double twist to a tried and true racing
technique for boosting power and torque: twin turbos.
Aerodynamics has also come under scrutiny for 2005. Unless you place the new S7
Twin Turbo next to one of the original 2002 models, you probably won’t notice
that the 2005 version has a different diffuser/rear spoiler package and reshaped
front fenders to enhance the S7s already sleek, swoopy and aerodynamic contours.
To complement the Twin Turbo’s enhanced straight-line performance envelope The
S7 chassis has also undergone a fair amount of tweaking. Virtually every
suspension pickup point has been changed, and the suspension geometry has been
modified for less squat and dive during acceleration and braking.
Engine & Drivetrain
Designed by Saleen engineers, the S7's engine and drivetrain incorporate the
latest in modern racing technology. The new all-aluminum V8 engine casting was
engineered and tooled by Saleen to displace seven liters. Redline is 6500 rpm.
Space age materials and engineering are used throughout, including stainless
steel valves, titanium retainers, beryllium exhaust valve seats, an aluminum
throttle body, Saleendesigned aluminum CNC-machined cylinder heads and stainless
steel exhaust system. An exclusive Saleen-designed Front Engine Accessory Drive
(FEAD) system results in an extremely compact engine, allowing for better
packaging and overall weight distribution. The V8 incorporates a unique
Saleen-designed side-mounted water pump, a belt-driven camshaft drive and a
Saleen-engineered dry sump oil delivery system. The engine's mid-chassis
placement optimizes weight distribution and center of gravity, making room for
an unusually tall engine that allows for a very efficient induction system. Air
enters a roof intake, passes through a 90-mm mass air meter and feeds into a
carbon fiber plenum. From the plenum the air is routed to the twin ball bearing
turbos, is pressurized to 5.5 psi max and then passes through an oval-bore
throttle body into an aluminum intake manifold with eight individual runners.
To feed juice to this setup, the injection system includes dual electric fuel
pumps and high-capacity, return-less, 52 lb/hr fuel injectors. Neatly engineered
and integrated into the S7’s stainless steel, dual, high-flow exhaust system are
two, twin-ball-bearing, water-cooled Saleen-Garrett turbos, featuring 44-mm
wastegates. The four exhaust pipes from each bank of cylinders merge into a
race-car-like high-efficiency collector. In addition, the exhaust incorporates
dual catalysts per cylinder bank, EGR and those aforementioned twin wastegates.
And because Saleen believes in power and clean air, the emission control system
features dual, heated oxygen sensors per cylinder bank and a high-volume
evaporative emission system along with those four catalysts. Oh, and for good
measure and clean air, the system is OBD-II compliant.
When Saleen’s engineers originally laid out the architecture of the S7’s 7-liter
V8, they purposely over designed all the major components because they knew the
car would be raced, and they were also planning ahead for future increased
street performance. So one of the few internal changes to the twin-turbo engine
is a swap from hydraulic to solid lifters. This change allows the engine to rev
higher and “harder.” Solid lifers don’t “pump up” and “float” like hydraulic
lifters can at high rpm, and they also allow more aggressive cam profiles, which
results in more horsepower at the top end. As with the previous hydraulic
tappets, the valves are actuated by low-friction roller rockers.
As is typical with turbocharged engines, the compression ratio has been lowered.
It drops from a very high 12.0:1 in the previous naturally aspirated V8 to a
still high 11.0:1. And for increased durability, Saleen engineers also added oil
squirters to cool the undersides of the pistons.
A Saleen PowerFlash™ performance computer, recalibrated for 2005, handles engine
management. The ignition system is integrated coil-on-plug. A new-generation
six-speed transaxle, with a unique Saleen bell housing, transfers power to the
wheels. The clutch is an organic/metallic 8.0-inch, twin-plate unit with
And if you need any more proof of how Saleen engineers sweat the details, the
stroke of the already short-stroke shifter has been furthered shortened for
improved shifting feel. Say that five times fast, once for each gear change!
Chassis, Suspension & Brakes
The S7 chassis and suspension incorporate decades of Saleen’s experience in
racing, racecar construction and high-performance road car manufacturing. The
Saleen S7 architecture begins with a space frame chassis to which honeycomb
composite reinforcing is grafted. The body is structural, aerospace-quality,
autoclave carbon fiber. Suspension is via fully independent unequal-length
double wishbones with coilover springs, lightweight aluminum dampers (shock
absorbers) and stabilizer (anti-roll) bars front and rear. The uprights at each
corner are CNC machined billet aluminum, flow-through designs that use air to
help cool the bearings.
A major improvement in ride is achieved for 2005 with the use of coil springs
that are a dual-stage design. The first spring has a lower rate than the single
springs fitted to the current S7, resulting in softer ride during normal street
driving. But if you remember your history, you know that the S7 is a
flat-bottom, downforce car. The faster you go, the more downforce the S7
develops. In the case of the S7’s new dual-stage springs, the second stiffer
spring starts coming into play at around 100 mph when the car begins to develop
Chassis tuning also includes revised shock valving front and rear.
Saleen-engineered Brembo-supplied lightweight aluminum six-piston mono-block
calipers are fitted front and rear. The brakes are among the largest of any
production car with 15-inch vented discs up front and 14-inch vented discs at
the rear. The Saleen-designed forged alloy wheels feature center locking wheel
nuts with automatic safety locks. Sizes are 19 x 9.5 inches up front and 20 x 12
inches at the rear.
Geometry changes, along with new tires, result in about a 30 percent increase in
mechanical grip . . . which is substantial. In a seeming contradiction to
current performance tire practice, the 2005 S7 Twin Turbo is fitted with
“taller” tires, 275/35R19s up front and 335/30R20s at the rear, replacing the
275/30R19s and 345/25R20s fitted to the normally aspirated S7. While the
Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires have higher aspect ratios, they also lay tire
patches that are nearly an inch wider up front and almost 1.5 inches wider at
The S7’s beautiful shape was “designed” by the wind. Optimal aerodynamics and
top speed performance objectives were achieved with extensive wind tunnel work.
Targets included a low coefficient of drag, optimum drag-to-lift ratio, and
extreme down force. The S7 has “full tray” body sculpting underneath.
Longtime Saleen design consultant, Phil Frank, and Steve Saleen then
personalized and refined the aesthetics of the S7 to reflect modern supercar
thinking. The gill-like ducting is, of course, fully functional. The autoclaved
carbon fiber body panels incorporate advanced aerodynamics and include
integrated split-channel airflow throughout the car, full underside air
management, and advanced front tray and side skirt designs and an integrated
full-body rear spoiler, replacing the wing used previously.
For the 2005 S7 Twin Turbo, the redesigned front and rear diffusers, along with
the new rear spoiler, result in a 40 percent reduction in aero drag and a 60
percent increase in down force. Those of you who know anything about aero forces
recognize the significance of that last statement. Typically, you would have to
trade down force to reduce aero drag.
The mid-engine Saleen S7 has front and rear trunks and comes with Mulholland
Brothers® custom-made, 3-piece, fitted luggage. In true supercar style, the
doors open up and away from the body.
“When seen in person, the S7 has an amazing overall presence,” says Steve
Saleen, founder and president of Saleen, Inc. “It’s quite long and wide, yet
only 41.0 inches high, adding to its exotic appearance. We wanted to maintain a
‘form-followsfunction’ look, but one that was esthetically beautiful as well. I
really feel we’ve achieved both.” Interior As much care has been given to the
creature comforts of the Saleen S7 as to its performance. Great attention was
given to seating position. The car features asymmetrical seating, with the
driver position moved slightly more to the center than the passenger. This
improves the driver’s ergonomics and the side-to-side weight distribution.
Because the S7 features a custom fitted driver seating position with adjustable
pedals and a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, it comfortably accommodates
tall drivers. While Shaquille O’Neal would have a tough time fitting behind the
wheel of an S7, drivers as tall as 6 feet 6 inches can enjoy the S7 driving
To further improve driving comfort and ergonomics, the S7 Twin Turbo
incorporates a revised pedal box. The clutch and throttle lever ratios pedals
have been changed for lighter pedal efforts. In addition, the three pedals have
been spaced farther apart without impinging upon the dead pedal.
Seats and other interior surfaces are covered in elegant leather and suede. Air
conditioning, power windows, power door locks with remote keyless opening for
the doors and both trunks, an electric-headed front windshield, variable
intermittent windshield wipers, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an
AM/FM/CD/DVD/TV system are all standard. The Saleen S7 also has one unique
interior feature: a video “rearview mirror” — there is a small video camera
inconspicuously mounted in the rear of the car.
A navigation system and polished wheels are among the few available features.
||7.0l V8 Twin Turbo 750 bhp @ 6300 rpm