Clean Transport

Published on August 20th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro


Saleen FOURSIXTEEN Tesla Model S Debuts

August 20th, 2014 by  


Originally posted on GAS2

Yesterday at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Steve Saleen revealed his vision of the Tesla Model S. Called the Salen FourSixteen, Saleen added a two-tone interior, a bodykit he claims enhances the aerodynamics, and an all-new suspension that’s supposed to help track handling.

But uh…well…it probably didn’t get much faster, and with a starting price of $152,000, that’s a huge oversight. Saleen does claim that the FourSixteen is about 3/10ths of a second quicker from 0 to 60 MPH compared to a standard Tesla Model S P85+, which could mean it could theoretically sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in just 3.9 seconds. Saleen also added a new final gear ratio to improve acceleration, and a new drive unit cooling system includes a larger radiator, unsampled cooling fans, and a high-flow water pump.

Saleen gave the FourSixteen a S4 track-calibrated suspension including a monotube coilover and S4 sway bar to increase “cornering agility” according to Saleen. Because Saleen is unable to just bolt-on more horsepower though, the stock rating of 416 ponies is where the FourSixteen will stay. The battery pack also went untouched, which while wise, means the chances of the FourSixteen overheating after a few hot laps remains high.

Then there’s the price, which for a full, complete car starts at $152,000 and goes all the way up to $200,000, nearly half the price as the twice-as-powerful electric Renovo Coupe. The bodykit where arguably most of the work went, and while it gives the Model S more of a supercar look, it’s also kind of…featureless. The 22-inch wheels are one-inch bigger than the largest wheels from the factory, eating up even more of the wheel wells. Yet there’s nothing for my eyeballs to really grab onto is what I guess I’m saying, and Saleen doesn’t provide the kinds of details one would expect from a six-digit supercar.

The only thing I think the Saleen FourSixteen really got right is the interior. The white-on-black leather and suede accents scream “futuristic supercar”, and Saleen also added phone cubby and cup holder to an interior that needed both. But for close to twice the price of a regular Model S? I gotta say, I’d much rather spend $6,000 or so on the Unplugged Performance bodykit, which is less dramatic and yet far more eye-catching.

That’s just, like, my opinion though. What do you think of Saleen’s attempt at making the Model S into one of its modified supercars?

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • Brightonuk

    I take my P85 to the track on occasion and gaining 3/10 second of the line will not make the slightest bit of difference.
    The P85 out performs most cars on the straights anyway, and in the corners the Tesla ain’t bad ether.
    But the main issue is and looks like still is……. THE LIMITER!
    After 10 mins blasting round a track the limiter kicks in and you have a dog with a 30-50% power loss, I cant keep up with a ford fiesta.
    I go from 112mph> to 75mph< in the straights.
    Saleen have not said they have addressed this issue and that is the main issue with the Tesla Model S and sustained performance.
    New body styling, upgraded suspension, brakes body kit $75K Whoohoo but don't drive it hard for more than 15 minuets then you look like the idiot who spent $75k on…….?

  • Seth Hale

    This looks very promising. Saleen fixed all of the common complaints against the S as a performance car. The seats look like they have better bolsters, the nose lost the silly black area (and it looks Porsche-like too!), the suspension is upgraded, and most importantly, they upgraded the cooling.

    The cooling, above all, was the limiting factor of the S on the track. It couldn’t even go around once at full go before overheating. Good work Saleen!

  • Addressing battery cooling so the car would be truly track capable even at the stock horsepower rating would have been great. I’m not sure why battery cooling was not addressed.

  • unknown

    I hate the look, my opinion only. I think saleen did bad on the front of the car.

  • oakleighpark

    Brought up an interesting question, How would one go about bolting on ponies?

    • Steve Grinwis

      It would require bolting on more batteries, a larger motor controller, and a more powerful motor.

      • Offgridman

        Could it possibly be done by tinkering with the software or control chips without changing the battery? Thought that I had heard how Tesla has limited the performance to some extent in order to ensure more miles?
        Of course this will require getting around their security and voiding warranties, but there are other cars with smaller batteries that have higher acceleration and top end speeds. Thinking of the custom electric drag cars and the Renovo mentioned in the article.

        • Steve Grinwis

          Yes. It comes down to a matter of how long you want the batteries to last. Increasing performance in this manner will have a direct, and meaningful impact on battery life.

          The P85 already has a peak discharge rate of 3.6C That’s pretty high. Most EV’s are sub 3C. You could get away with a 4C discharge for a while, but you’d definitely be tossing your warranty, and any hope of an 8 year lifespan as a daily driver.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You know, if you’re talking a $100k car and spending another $100k to customize it then voiding a warranty or replacing a battery sooner probably isn’t a large concern.

            At least it isn’t for me when I drop that sort of change on a whim….

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