Saleen S5S Raptor

Saleen S5S RaptorNew York, America America's pre-eminent super car maker, Saleen, stunned New Yorkers with the new S5S Raptor concept.

Due to hit the American market in 2010, the brand-new exotically styled super car is driven by a supercharged 5.0-litre V8, which explains the S5S name.

Launched at the 2009 New York Auto Show, the concept car is expected to have a very high top speed: in excess of 320km/h (200mph) thanks to it's wind-cheating aerodynamic shape and powerful engine.

It uses a supercharged V8 positioned behind the driver, a la Ferrari F430, which helps improve its handling and lower its centre of gravity.

Though the vehicle that Saleen launched is technically a concept car, the production version due in 2011 is expected to share much of the design.

With extreme wheel flares that rise up as well as outwards, a super-low roofline and edgy headlights complete with LEDs, the new model could be a smash hit for Saleen, which also builds the insane S7 super car and other sports cars, including many models based on the Ford Mustang.

The design is suitably exotic with an aggressively low profile. It rides on large 20-inch alloy wheels shod with 275/35 ZR20 and 315/35 ZR20 Pirelli tyres at the front and rear respectively.

The light-alloy wheel rims feature a unique chemical finish that is Saleen S5S Raptorsupposed to prevent brake dust from collecting.

Keeping the the car on the straight and narrow, the concept gets all the usual driving aids: stability control, traction control, and ABS.

Like other super cars the Saleen Raptor features huge brake discs to slow the car rapidly. Up front are 381mm discs with 6-piston calipers, while smaller 308mm discs with 2-piston calipers are present at the rear.

Priced at around US$185,000 (A$202,000) the new all-American super car will cost about half the price of the S7 when it first launched the year 2000.

The 5.0-litre engine develops a very hairy 484kW (650hp) @ 6300rpm. 

The supercharged engine channels this power to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission, which gives the vehicle a zero to 96km/h sprint time of just 3.2 seconds. This incredible acceleration puts it in very exclusive company.

Saleen says it will introduce a sequential gearbox after the car hits the market in 2011, which could reduce that acceleration time even further.

With a stump-pulling 850Nm of torque @ 4400rpm, the Saleen S5S Raptor's engine pumps huge amounts of supercharger boost, which is expected to ravage the rear wheels.

Saleen has also indicated that the new vehicle will run on E85 ethanol fuel, and though the jury is still out on ethanols benefits - the cost to produce and refine it is far higher than the reduced CO2 emissions it delivers - the fact remains that the S5S Raptor has every chance of becoming a giant-killing cult car.


Saleen S5S Raptor


Saleen S5S Raptor