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Steve Saleen is back in the Mustang business

Fri, 16 Apr 2010

Steve Saleen has been remaking Mustangs for almost 30 years, under one company name or another. We don't have time to list them all here. But under the current moniker, SMS Supercars (SMS stands for Steven Mark Saleen), on Friday he revealed his latest take on the Ford pony car, the 2011 SMS 302 Mustang.

The car slots in between Saleen's Challenger, which came out a year ago, and his Camaro, scheduled to debut later this year.

While about 25 SMS Mustangs in nearly identical 2010 guise are in the works for customers with the old 4.6-liter engine, the car revealed Friday has the new 5.0-liter V8 that powers 2011 Mustangs. There are three models available from SMS.

Saleen said the normally aspirated 302 4V makes 440 hp and 400 ft-lb of torque through cleaner breathing in and out of the heads, engine calibration changes and a few underpullies. Saleen lists 0 to 60 mph at 4.5 seconds and the quarter mile in 13.5 seconds at 116 mph. We didn't get to drive it, let alone test it, so we'll just put those numbers out there for now.

Next higher up is the SMS 302SC, which achieves "more than" 535 hp and 450 ft-lb of torque using SMS' patented supercharger. The 296 supercharger system is quite impressive, using microcooling fans in an intercooler mounted on top of the engine feeding a twin-screw charger spinning at between 14,000 and 15,000 rpm. Saleen said the supercharged 'Stang will reach 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and do the quarter mile in 12.1 seconds at 119 mph.

Both models come with either a six-speed automatic or six-speed TR3650 manual.

Beyond that, Saleen only says that another car will be offered later this year called the 351X, with power surpassing the 302SC.

The 302 4V is available now, priced at $54,990. The 302SC will come online later this summer.

Both SMS Mustangs come with new and stiffer springs, shocks, sway bars, bushings and a Watts link rear suspension. Tires are Pirelli PZero High Performance 275/35ZR 20s on 20x9 five-spoke alloy wheels at the front and 275/40ZR 20 tires on 20x10 five-spoke alloy rears. Brakes are cross-drilled rotors with racing pads.

You can see the new outside look, penned by Saleen's long-time designer, Phil Frank. The interior features new trim throughout.

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By Mark Vaughn