Saleen has unveiled the S1, its first unique model since the S7 went out of production in 2009, in China.
The S1 is a mid-engined, rear-wheel drive coupe powered by a 2.3-litre Ford EcoBoost four-cylinder turbocharged engine. With 336kW of power and 577Nm of torque on tap, the S1 is said to have a top speed of 290km/h.
Underpinnings for the S1 are said to be derived from the Artega GT. According to Motor Authority, Saleen purchased the production rights to the platform from the now-defunct German sports car maker.
Charles Wang, CEO of Jiangu Saleen – the company’s joint venture partner in China – revealed to China Daily the S1 will have its American debut at the Los Angeles motor show, which kicks off later this month.
This will be followed in 2018 with the launch of an electric S1.
The S1 will be made at a new factory in Rugao, a city in Jiangsu province, just north of Shanghai. Currently under construction, the new factory is said to have a price tag of around six billion yuan ($1.2 billion), and a maximum output of 150,000 cars per annum.
Wang isn’t expecting to make or sell 150,000 sports coupes per year, though. He envisions a range similar to Porsche, with sports models providing a halo for the brand, but the majority of the production being dedicated to “all sorts of passenger cars including sedans, SUVs and crossovers”.
Jiangsu Saleen is also looking to produce electric cars on behalf of other startup car makers.
Production of the S1 is expected to begin in some time in 2018, with the factory due to be completed by June 2018. The new S1 will be sold in both China and the USA.