Automotive

Saleen's FourSixteen shocks the lawn at Pebble Beach

Saleen's FourSixteen shocks th...
The FourSixteen is claimed faster through initial acceleration than a Model S thanks to a gearing update, giving it a 0-60 (96 km/h) time in the low four second range (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The FourSixteen is claimed faster through initial acceleration than a Model S thanks to a gearing update, giving it a 0-60 (96 km/h) time in the low four second range (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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Steve Saleen expects the FourSixteen to now adequately compete with the likes of a similarly-equipped Mercedes Benz AMG(Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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Steve Saleen expects the FourSixteen to now adequately compete with the likes of a similarly-equipped Mercedes Benz AMG(Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The headliner has been changed, as have the door inserts, steering wheel inserts and customized Saleen bucket seats (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The headliner has been changed, as have the door inserts, steering wheel inserts and customized Saleen bucket seats (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
No sign of Tesla anywhere on the car (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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No sign of Tesla anywhere on the car (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
Saleen confirmed that neither Tesla nor Elon Musk participated in the FourSixteen's 9-month transformation prior to its Pebble Beach showing (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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Saleen confirmed that neither Tesla nor Elon Musk participated in the FourSixteen's 9-month transformation prior to its Pebble Beach showing (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
Steve Saleen expects the FourSixteen to now adequately compete with the likes of a similarly-equipped Mercedes Benz AMG(Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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Steve Saleen expects the FourSixteen to now adequately compete with the likes of a similarly-equipped Mercedes Benz AMG(Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The headliner has been changed, as have the door inserts, steering wheel inserts and customized Saleen bucket seats (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The headliner has been changed, as have the door inserts, steering wheel inserts and customized Saleen bucket seats (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
Big 22 inch tires and wheels really fill out the FourSixteen 's wheel arches Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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Big 22 inch tires and wheels really fill out the FourSixteen 's wheel arches Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The FourSixteen is claimed faster through initial acceleration than a Model S thanks to a gearing update, giving it a 0-60 (96 km/h) time in the low four second range (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The FourSixteen is claimed faster through initial acceleration than a Model S thanks to a gearing update, giving it a 0-60 (96 km/h) time in the low four second range (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
FourSixteen is even more capable in the corners thanks to a software update, bigger anti-sway bars and better brakes (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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FourSixteen is even more capable in the corners thanks to a software update, bigger anti-sway bars and better brakes (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The FourSixteen's guppy-esque grill opening and splitter and larger intakes are new (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The FourSixteen's guppy-esque grill opening and splitter and larger intakes are new (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The car features a new cooling arrangement to help keep operating systems at optimal temperatures (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The car features a new cooling arrangement to help keep operating systems at optimal temperatures (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
A redesigned hood and grille leave room for a tiny cowl induction system to help with cooling (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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A redesigned hood and grille leave room for a tiny cowl induction system to help with cooling (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
Blade-like trim details reside in the bigger flanking intake sections with an improved cooling system hidden behind (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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Blade-like trim details reside in the bigger flanking intake sections with an improved cooling system hidden behind (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The exhaust note/generator whine is significantly more pronounced as a result of the new gearing (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The exhaust note/generator whine is significantly more pronounced as a result of the new gearing (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The most obvious changes to the stock Tesla Model S come in the form of aerodynamic modifications (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The most obvious changes to the stock Tesla Model S come in the form of aerodynamic modifications (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The FourSixteen is even more capable in the corners thanks to a software update, bigger anti-sway bars and better brakes (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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The FourSixteen is even more capable in the corners thanks to a software update, bigger anti-sway bars and better brakes (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
Carbon ceramic brake rotors are optional on the already pricey US$152,000 FourSixteen (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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Carbon ceramic brake rotors are optional on the already pricey US$152,000 FourSixteen (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
A new rear bumper and full-length underbody diffuser are part of the FourSixteen package (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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A new rear bumper and full-length underbody diffuser are part of the FourSixteen package (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
Steve Saleen expects the FourSixteen to now adequately compete with the likes of a similarly-equipped Mercedes Benz AMG(Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
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Steve Saleen expects the FourSixteen to now adequately compete with the likes of a similarly-equipped Mercedes Benz AMG(Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)

On the road and stylistically, the Tesla Model S is simply outstanding. But If you’re Saleen Automotive founder and performance mod-guru Steve Saleen, you see room for improvement. I spoke to him on the concept lawn at Pebble Beach's Concours d’Elegance about his vision of a better Tesla, which is realized in the FourSixteen.

The most obvious changes to the stock Tesla Model S come in the form of aerodynamic modifications. Saleen showed me how the reworked hood design and grille now feature a tiny cowl induction setup to help keep operating systems at optimal temperatures. A guppy-esque mouth replaces the stock Tesla grille while underneath a new splitter helps control and manage airflow. Blade-like trim details reside in the bigger flanking intake sections.

The FourSixteen's guppy-esque grill opening and splitter and larger intakes are new (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The FourSixteen's guppy-esque grill opening and splitter and larger intakes are new (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)

Big 22-inch wheels/tires fill out the FourSixteen’s wheel arches nicely, giving the car a tighter, more dynamic appearance. On the rear deck lid of the car, there's now a sizable spoiler that makes the tiny aero-device of the stock Model S look overtly understated in comparison.

"Nothing on this car is for excess, every aerodynamic alteration and revision was designed to clean up the air around the car and improve how it moves through the air," revealed Saleen. "Everything you see on this car is there for a reason and not just as a visual statement."

He then got down on his knees and pointed out an aerodynamic trick used by the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini – a new diffuser system running under the length of the car. The system isn't new but is effective in polishing and smoothing out "dirty air" under the car.

Aside from the obvious aesthetic revisions, Saleen also made some modifications to Tesla’s electric gearbox. Even though power remains unchanged in the FourSixteen, the car is quicker thanks to a reworked gearing ratio.

"The car is now faster through initial acceleration thanks to a gearing update, giving it a 0-60 (96 km/h) time in the low four second mark," noted Saleen. "We expect the FourSixteen to now adequately compete with the likes of a similarly-equipped Mercedes Benz AMG product."

Steve Saleen expects the FourSixteen to now adequately compete with the likes of a similarly-equipped Mercedes Benz AMG(Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
Steve Saleen expects the FourSixteen to now adequately compete with the likes of a similarly-equipped Mercedes Benz AMG(Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)

It’s important when comparing the FourSixteen against the Model S to note that Tesla's P85 version, which delivers 416 hp (310 kW), is already capable of hitting the 60 mph mark in 4.4 seconds, whereas the stock 60 kWh Model S does it in 6.2 seconds and the "standard" 85 kWh model has a time of 5.6 seconds. Saleen reports output of 416 hp on the FourSixteen, meaning the modified vehicle is working off the same powertrain as the P85.

Saleen also pointed out that, in keeping with the car’s performance mandate, the exhaust note/generator whine is significantly more pronounced as a result of the new gearing. Unfortunately no new data on other performance statistics was made available, but he did say that the FourSixteen is even more capable in the corners thanks to a software update, bigger anti-sway bars and better brakes. Carbon ceramic brake rotors are optional.

Inside the car, alterations are minimal but noticeable. The headliner has been changed, as have the door inserts, and steering wheel inserts. Where the Tesla Model S features a bench rear seat configuration, the FourSixteen boasts Saleen embossed white-on-black bucket seats instead. The idea being that if you’re going to throw the car around it’s imperative that all passengers remain in their respective zip codes during the voyage.

The headliner has been changed, as have the door inserts, steering wheel inserts and customized Saleen bucket seats (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)
The headliner has been changed, as have the door inserts, steering wheel inserts and customized Saleen bucket seats (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)

When asked if Tesla had any say in the build or modifications, Saleen reservedly replied, "we’ve been in the business long enough making the Saleen S7 and Mustangs, so we’re pretty good at taking care of ourselves when it comes to altering and building vehicles." He did confirm that neither Tesla nor Elon Musk participated in the 9-month transformation from Model S to FourSixteen.

Saleen Automotive is ready to provide a FourSixteen for around the US$152,000 mark, making the upgrade roughly $60,000 over and above Tesla's P85. The FourSixteen can reportedly be in your driveway in two months.

Source: Saleen

2 comments
Stephen N Russell
2 bad cant mass produce IE say 20,000. for sales & rent alone Love to rent
James Smith
Here's another confirmation that Tesla is on the right track and electric cars are here to stay. Motorheads, start buying up any fossil fuel cars you can. They will all be collector items and museum curiosities before too long.