Saleen Tesla Foursixteen Electrifies Pebble Beach

Steve Saleen is a man who became famous for his monster Mustangs and the mighty Saleen S7. But earlier this year we learned he was turning his extensive expertise to a different kind of performance. Now we’re finally seeing the fruits of his team’s labor in the form of the Saleen Tesla Foursixteen, which is making its debut this weekend on the concept lawn at Pebble Beach.

“We’ve turned our attention to electric vehicles because we realize they are not a fad and are here to stay,” said Saleen. “We wanted to provide more of a performance driving experience.” Saleen thinks his Tesla has the potential to take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG and do it for less money and with no emissions.

While the horsepower of the Foursixteen Tesla remains the same at 416 horsepower, hence the name, the Saleen car has undergone extensive improvements, including significant upgrades to the suspension, transmission, exterior design, and interior. The changes have been made in an effort to lighten the rotational mass, as well as improve aerodynamics, chassis dynamics, and increase stopping power.

The most obvious updates to the Saleen Tesla Foursixteen are to the exterior, with a new front splitter and reworked grille, as well as an integrated rear wing and diffuser. The creased-up hood has two small inlets at the front designed to further improve airflow and aid in cooling the drivetrain system. According to Sean Smith, the lead designer in charge of the project, Saleen wanted to bring an overall sport luxury feel to the car and integrate timeless elements including carbon fiber and brushed aluminum into the mix.

Behind the fabulous new-look rims (22-inch option rims are on the car you see here, 21-inchers are standard), the stopping power has been upgraded thanks to an improved braking setup. Carbon ceramics are an option, including 6-piston calipers up front. Saleen says the changes have led to roughly 30-pounds saved at each corner depending on configuration.

The Tesla’s suspension has also been modified, thanks to a Saleen-specific S4 specification, with either a standard or an adjustable monotube coilover setup. Sven Etzelsberger, VP of advanced engineering for Saleen and former lead engineer for Fisker, says the setup dramatically improves the Tesla’s performance out at the track (the Foursixteen has been undergoing testing at the Buttonwillow circuit in southern California) and the brand’s Maxgrip locking differential and an anti-roll bar help maximize traction and grip.

Inside, the sport and luxury equation has been kicked up several notches. The optional bolstered, four bucket seats with Saleen accents featured on the Pebble Beach car are attractive and designed to keep the driver snug when the going gets twisty. There’s also an available center console with cupholders and device pocket, as well as carbon fiber, Alcantara, and hand-sewn stitching accents if desired.

But arguably the biggest enhancement to the Saleen Tesla Foursixteen has been with the car’s 1-speed transmission, which features a 9.73:1 final gear ratio (an 11.39:1 version is optional). According to Etzelsberger, the Tesla’s transmission has been optimized to further improve performance and give the driver an aural sensation that is somewhat lacking in the Tesla. “The gearbox noise gives the driver a true sense of speed, we didn’t want to have to pipe in any fake sound, Etzelsberger said.

While the Saleen Tesla Foursixteen is out at the Pebble Beach concept lawn, according to Saleen, the car you’re looking at here is basically the finished product and he says they have already begun taking orders, which Saleen stands ready to fill in 6-to-8 weeks. Owners of present Teslas will also be able to upgrade their cars or buy parts to do upgrades themselves. So far no performance numbers have been released. Saleen tells us he expects as much as a 20 percent improvement over the Model S P85, but was quick to stress that the suspension upgrades are just as important, if not more so, to the car's character. Saleen also expects a slight uptick in the P85 Tesla’s roughly 265-mile range due to the aero enhancements and weight savings. Pricing for the complete car from Saleen is expected to start at $152,000 before tax credits.

@Pedro Filipe Oliveira
"Yeah let´s see in a few years time what is Tesla and all the other manufacturers going to do about the old,spent batteries and all the polution they cause in their production"
The Tesla gigafactory when completed will be able to build more li-ion cells in their one factory than the current world output.  And because the packs will be built from ground up all on-site from raw materials through to completed packs they will have complete control of the process from start to finish which will minimize the impact on the environment.  For starters they are going to try to source as many of the raw material that they can from the various mines in the US.  They will be doing this for a few reasons.  Mines in the US have to follow more stringent environmental laws that other countries don't.  Also the raw materials will have less distance to be shipped since the gigafactory will be closer to their source.  Then the gigafactory will have solar pv arrays and wind turbines on-site that will take care of the power for factory production.  Finally the battery packs when they have degraded to the point that they aren't holding a large enough charge for an acceptable percentage of the original range they will be retired and reclaimed by Tesla to be recycled back at the gigafactory where they started their life to be recycled for their raw materials.
"Don´t you think these cars are still too impractical for "real" use,excluding the pretentious owners of Teslas...and then have an Aventador or a 458 in the garage for the weekends "
Wow, you're bitter or jealous.  I know a few people who drive base model 85 S Teslas which after the federal tax rebate is no more than the price of a BMW M3.  You don't have to be super rich.  There are plenty of people that drive M3s or C63 AMGs that could never afford a Lamborghini or Ferrari.  And the Tesla has a range of 265 miles not 10.  Do you commute to work 265 miles a day or even drive 265 miles each and every day.  If your answer is no like 99% of Americans then a Tesla is very practical.  Plus it will beat an M6 to 60 while using less energy than a Prius.  In 2 years the Tesla Model 3 will be coming out with a range of 200 miles and a price in the mid 30Ks.  That's close to the price of the average car purchased today.
"don´t you think with electric cars existing since almost the beggining of the century they wouldn´t have been more prevalent these days"
That just ridiculous. You're understanding of technology is simplistic and childish.  The li-ion batteries we have today couldn't have been created without the modern labs and computers that were developed near the end of this last century.  It would have been simply impossible until then to create the complex chemistry and anode/cathode materials along with the manufacturing tolerances required for a battery with the durability and energy density needed for automotive applications.  A hundred years ago they wouldn't have simply been able to get there through trial and error nor would it have been practical for them to waste their time without being sure it could be achieved.  At the end of this last century however we made incremental improvements to the li-ion battery for lucrative consumer electronic products like cell phones and laptops without any impetus for using them in cars .  Once the technology matured enough it was clear that with a little more refinement these li-ion cells could be applied to automotive applications.  This is common in history for technologies to spin off to other applications that weren't foreseen rather than being conceived for that purpose from the start.
Огторгуйн Хүн
Reminds me Protoss :D
Auto Remote Direct
Tesla is where it is at. This company and its ideals are second to none. excited to see this in person!
Krishan Nandan Sharma
some engineering students and professor of mit have made battries which is some what better than the old ones,if u want i can send u details of that or wikipedia can help u in that
Krishan Nandan Sharma
yes offcourse mr. pedro
Eric Ouellette
Nope rather have a car I can spend 5 minutes putting gas in then 8 hrs charging the batteries.
Man Ribeiro
Porche Copie
Pedro Filipe Oliveira
Yeah let´s see in a few years time what is Tesla and all the other manufacturers going to do about the old,spent batteries and all the polution they cause in their production,don´t you think with electric cars existing since almost the beggining of the century they wouldn´t have been more prevalent these days if oil was going to end so soon? Don´t you think these cars are still too impractical for "real" use,excluding the pretentious owners of Teslas and I3/8´s who are rich and probably do 10 miles a day with their cars just to show off their new "super green electric car" and then have an Aventador or a 458 in the garage for the weekends?
Pedro Filipe Oliveira
Yeah,engines are outdated my friend, electric cars run on batteries alone and the power of your feet,like the flinstones cars,no electric motors at all..
Pedro Filipe Oliveira
Except no.
Brad Cole
Eric Lambert
Steve Hermeyer
Jeff Schulz
The ONLY American car I would even consider buying.
Can't someone just take the S-Class body and stick it on the Tesla chassis?
Joe Lussier
Love the color.
Krishan Nandan Sharma
sorry for not explaining all those 8 points bcoz of slow connection
Krishan Nandan Sharma
1. Battery Energy Density 2. Battery Cost 3. Battery Safety 4. Vehicle Price 5. Charging Infrastructure 6. Charging Times 7. Model Range 8. Hybrids It is clear that EVs are not yet ready for prime time on the market. Yet, they are gaining momentum and recognition. These factors will dramatically increase investments in the technology, allowing for solutions to the above problems to emerge even sooner. It is also apparent from this article why Tesla had such a success. They managed to find a balance between price, performance and expectations. With the company investing in the infrastructure, they solved many of the problems. Yet, there is still a long way to go.
Krishan Nandan Sharma
Mr. Russell Schaffner i know tesla is doing well but most of the costumer are prefering other cars and the resons are
New Car Reviews USA
I'm giving free iphones to first 40 people who likes my page (y)
Aaron Fremuth
Sooo, nearly double the price of the car to add wheels, a body kit, bigger brakes and some lightness? Seems like they're trying to improve something that can't really be improved. Why not buy a stock Model S AND a new Corvette for the same money?
Russell Schaffner
Funny, cause Tesla is doing quite well!!!
Russell Schaffner
This car is plenty fast from the factory as electric!
Ahmad Azeem
Justin Millan
Eewww saleen?
Fonzo Ro Ma
Mike Floyd needs to improve his writing skills. The front fascia of this car droops and there are still the non-retractible side mirrors and the swing open doors. High School science fair entry.
Norman Oswald Wollaston III
Engines are outdated my friend ;)
Gregory Easton
Nice body -- needs an engine to match...
Ahmet Yasar
Rimonki Sungoh
nice 1
Robert Lanzas
The Teslamerica....
Marc Hamady
Better have over 1,000 HP
Everett Fox
Looks nice but the drawback it's electric.
Naeem Subedar
Hanif Subedar
Krishan Nandan Sharma
ev cars have got lots of reason to not get accepted by costumers

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