New Saleen FourSixteen reinterprets Tesla's groundbreaking electric luxury saloon with a performance edge
Matt Burt
18 August 2014

US-based Saleen Automotive revealed its first performance electric car, the FourSixteen, at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

Based on the Tesla Model S, the FourSixteen features several aerodynamic and mechanical tweaks that have been carried out by the California-based company, which is best known for the hugely powerful S7 supercar.

“Tesla has created an entirely new class of American automobile,” said company founder Steve Saleen. “There are many similarities to this and how Ford created the ‘pony car’ class in 1964 with the Mustang, which is how these vehicles stand out from the rest of the pack.”

Saleen has optimised the airflow over the car's body by adding a redesigned front fascia, aero vents, a bespoke V-shaped hood, carbonfibre rear diffuser and high-downforce rear-mounted spoiler.

The FourSixteen possesses the same power and torque outputs as the standard Model S, at 410bhp and 443lb ft. However, the car's electric motor is mated to a Saleen drivetrain which includes an all-new 11.39:1 final gear ratio for quicker acceleration. The FourSixteen also has a locking differential to maximise traction and grip.

All of the Saleen-engineered driveline components increase efficiencies in torque management, give a track capable throttle response, and provide faster acceleration. A Saleen high-efficiency drivetrain cooling system has been fitted to assist engine cooling and help maintain consistent temperatures in high-performance situations.

The Saleen FourSixteen gets track-calibrated suspension to enhance cornering agility. The system can be ordered in a fully adjustable configuration, allowing the driver to easily increase stiffness in order to use the car on the track. The stability control system has received new software to provide improved cornering response and drivability.

The standard brake package in the FourSixteen includes 355mm discs and four-piston callipers. A carbon-ceramic brake system is available as an option. The car runs on 21in wheels and tyres as standard, although 22in items can be specified as an option.

The new model's interior comprises black leather seats contrasted by perforated leather accents and Alcantara inlays. Both front and rear seating have been remoulded to produce four full bucket seats complete with added bolstering. The Saleen also has tailor-made door panels and a leather-wrapped dashboard.

The Saleen FourSixteen is priced at $152,000 (about £91,000) for the complete vehicle, which includes the Model S base car.

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Our Verdict

Tesla Model S 95D

In theory, this all-electric luxury car looks a hit. So is it in practice?

18 August 2014
I was in the Czech Republic recently and was in a very fast car, one of this Tesla came up on me from nowhere it was very quiet too. I followed it for about a minute then backed off to see it disappear, they are genuinely quick, and to see them in the flesh I must say the design is not bad at all.

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