"Old soldiers don't die, they just fade away," said General Douglas MacArthur. The same could be said for old car guys. Like Steve Saleen. He's the one-time racer who lent his name to the S7 supercar and a number of other high-performance products - he likes the term "lifestyle performance automobiles" - before selling out his eponymous company a couple years ago.
But retirement wasn't a word in the hard-driven Saleen's vocabulary, so he's back with an all new company, SMS. And to mark its debut, Saleen is unveiling the SMS Twenty Fifth Anniversary Mustang Concept.
Two words you can take for granted with a Saleen product; they're going to be fast and powerful, and the Mustang Concept is no exception. The supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 makes 720 horsepower at the crank and 612 at the rear wheels, with torque rated at 670 pound-feet. "My Anniversary cars were always the most powerful of the breed and this car continues that tradition," boasts Saleen. While he isn't releasing 0-60 numbers, he hints that the Concept delivers "nearly the same levels of performance" as the legendary S& Twin Turbo. If that's even close to accurate, we're projecting times in the sub-4-second range.
To handle and then stop this steed, the anniversary Mustang also is equipped with SMS Cross Drilled 15-inch 6-Piston Front Brakes and a completely new SMS Billet Aluminum Watts Link System.
Visually, the Concept has undergone a number of striking changes, notably including a "light blade" lighting system and sequential rear turn signals. There are functional carbon fiber pieces and numerous billet aluminum design accents. The vehicle is completed with SMS "Chromosome Silver" paint with Saleen's signature anniversary yellow, white, and black graphic accents.
Oh, and, yes, Saleen does use the word, "concept" to describe the Mustang. But knowing his track record, we expect to see a street-legal version show up in the very near future.