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The Tesla Model S is a quick car already, however, auto tuner Saleen has already been deep into boosting the electric car’s performance. The latest Model S from the mind of Elon Musk has made the Saleen offering obsolete, and the tuner has stepped up to take swing at providing customers with a more unique Tesla.
Since the beginning of the car, tuners have been modifying the four-wheeled vehicle for everything from convenience to fuel mileage. However, the biggest modification gear heads have been focused on for almost one hundred years is speed. Squeezing out an extra bit from the engine or tuning the exhaust to replacing parts with lighter parts. Anything to go faster.
Saleen is a name that has been widely associated with the Ford Mustang. Saleen Mustangs are hopped up versions of the stock offerings from Ford and typically lay down some impressive performance numbers, at a price. Making the transition from gasoline based engines to the electric power plant of the Tesla does not appear to be an easy one.
This past August, Saleen revealed a modified version of the Model S called the FourSixteen. The name was in reference to the Model S’s 416 horsepower level. That Model S, called the P85 for the 85kWw battery pack. The Saleen FourSixteen delivered impressive numbers and boosted the performance over a stock Tesla. However, it was short-lived. A few months after the FourSixteen was released, Tesla came out with a 691 horsepower Models S called the P85D. This monster of a car all but made the Saleen offering obsolete.
With the new, more powerful Model S offered by Tesla, Saleen has moved into infusing some of their previous mods into the new version. Adding tweaks like a new final gear ratio and aero components along with new locking differentials should give the new Model S an even bigger bite. Saleen will name the modified P85D the Model ST, which will stand for Saleen Tesla.
Orders placed with Saleen already for the FourSixteen will be met, however, the company is also currently taking orders for 2015 ST-version based on the new P85D Model S. Saleen will feature a new ST lineup with modifications for both the rear-wheel-drive 85 variant and the new all-wheel-drive P85D. The base Tesla modified by Saleen is rated at 380 hp and is called the ST380 whereas the P85D is rated at 691 hp and is called the ST691.
Saleen will also integrate other modifications into their ST range like a new suspension, a modified cabin that takes the 5+2 seating layout and transforms it into a 2+2 layout. A carbon ceramic brakes package is also available. Performance increases are staggering, but come at a price. The stock P85D has a 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds, where the Saleen ST691 will make the run in 3.0 seconds. The price to get into one of these Saleen monsters starts at $132,000 with the ST691 coming in at $164,600.
While Saleen is typically associated with the Mustang, Challenger and Camaro, the inclusion of Tesla was a surprise. However the boost in performance and the other options Saleen is making available to the Tesla should encourage other tuners and gear heads alike. While additions like racing fuel and nitro may be on their way out because of electric engines, Saleen has shown that there is still a tuning market for electric cars.
By Carl Auer