World's first fully tuned Tesla Model S: The Saleen FourSixteen
The one thing we've always tried to do is we've tried to move and look in the future.
We're actively doing the next generation pony cars.
Here in a few months we will have the next generation of Saleen Mustang out and I can tell you it will be very exciting, better in every way, we are working on the next generation American super car, but at the same time I also see a trend that has established, and that is electric vehicles are here to stay, they are not a fad.
As anyone that's driven an electric vehicle will recognize that the improvements over, over time now have really made the vehicles to where the handling, the acceleration, the braking, the overall appeal of it from a driving experience, has much improved.
And at the top of the hill.
Of the electric vehicles is Tesla.
And they, by far have been, in my opinion, have rewritten the rule book on how you approach it, what an electric vehicle is capable of doing.
Now we think that the opportunity is to be able to add the Celine touch to the Tesla.
And I will tell you as a fun car to drive, it really is unbelievable.
The future is here, and it's here today.
It's something nobody has done before.
A few people have tried to slap a few pieces on, put a few spoilers on the car, but nobody has ever taken an electric car, or that particular electric car and tuned it from the front to the rear.
Initially Steve had the idea early this year to go and Go after the program and, and do a Tesla and, and I got to be honest at first I was a little apprehensive you know I'm like It's not a pony car, it's not a supercar you know, but at the same it was exciting because it's like, we didn't know what the outcome was going to be, I mean we know for years of you know modifying pony cars and we have years of experience with supercars and racing but.
You know, and we were like what's gonna happen when we, when we take the cover off this at Pebble Beach, you know.
We, we knew it was gonna look good and we knew it was gonna be great for us but it's just, electric cars in terms of an industry is still a very young industry in terms of the automotive world.
So it's even younger when you take in account of Having one personalized, you're bespoke with somebody such as Celine.
So it was very exciting in the back of our head to do that.
With electric cars still about performance and enhancing it.
So we are about American muscle, and [INAUDIBLE] and we still the loud exhaust and high horse power cars, but we're looking to achieve that also with the electric side of business.
Driving an electric car is a totally different experience.
All, everything that you learned about.
And initially, it used to be, like, well, going from a, a super car to a golf cart would be kind of, and that disconnect.
But getting into the Tesla, and into the Saleen version, and especially, has given it a whole different meaning of, of performance.
Are fun to drive, of a different sensation.
It is an amazing experience, the [UNKNOWN], because you have the torque available, you can delete at any time you want.
There's a lot of.
With, with the throttle you can control really nicely and and accurately.
It's obviously in its base version.
It's lacking a little bit of performance prowess.
From [UNKNOWN] the suspension from not enough [UNKNOWN] in the seat, but those are all things to be addressed.
In reality the, the Tesla is, is not
Too different from a Mustang.
It's powered by a different source, electric instead of fossil fuels, but it's got a good basis to be a performance car it's got a lot of power.
It's got a lot of acceleration built into the drive train already.
So it's, it had a good basis for us to start with.
We started with the aerodynamics of the car.
They're, the changes that we make are not just cosmetic.
They're made to have more efficient.
And the way that we've done our CFD analysis, and our co-sound testing, and on track analysis.
To get the air channeled above, on the sides, and underneath it, and the way that we changed the front fascia, the way that we've extended the rear, then adding the spoiler, but more importantly, the rear diffuser.
And the thing that's kind of nice about the Tesla is that it comes with a flat bottom car similar to the F7.
But, we're able to take advantage of the veins that go underneath the car, to give us a much more efficient car than a typically counterpart with the gasoline, that has it's mufflers, and, and a lot of the suspension showing.
We wanted to try to leave the battery and the.
A battery management system alone, from both the durability standpoint, from a range standpoint.
But what we did attack, the drivetrain.
And by doing that, we ended up changing the gear ratios.
To give us a quicker acceleration ramp, and developed a what we call a max script differential, so that we actually had a more spirited ride, so to speak, without really, changing, if you will, the, the range per se and, And the horsepower.
Of course your right foot will always limit, how far your range will go.
It's no different in electric than it is in gas, gasoline cars.
And then we went, to the drivetrain, to enhance the performance, of the car by, improving the cooling of the drive train.
We've got new radiated [UNKNOWN] on the car
Then we also adjust the suspension to make it to where it is very easy to drive on streets and in public, very forgiving, very comfortable to drive, but at the same time we wanted to up the performance to have it to where I can go through a corner, maybe a little bit quicker.
I can feel a little bit more confident on my turning.
Or braking, and all of that.
So, by changing the suspension, by improving, if you will, the brakes to give me a little bit more stopping distance, to take a little bit of the weight off the corners so I have a better feel for the car.
All of those things over the years.
Over the last 30 years of racing and doing cars, we certainly applied, to that.
One of the more significant way of savings was on the, on the brake system.
So we replaced the steel brakes with a carbon ceramics, and saved 18 pounds per vehicle.
So that's 75 pounds over the, the whole weight of the car.
And because it's rotational weight that needs to be accelerated, it made a great effect on the driving dynamic.
And on top of all of this, the thing that I think we've had the most fun with, and that is we've given, if you will, the new sound of electric vehicles.
The way that we have established the gear and the drive line now, rather than be perfectly quiet, most of the feedback we have gotten from the performance, for car enthusiasts.
Say, oh the cars are too quiet.
We've given it, in my opinion, the right touch, of sound, so when you accelerate or decelerate, you get that adrenaline flowing and you actually get the feeling that you're actually moving, and, and it adds a whole different dimension to driving electric vehicles that most people have never experienced before.
That we get for the car, after the unveiling at Pebble Beach was overwhelmingly positive.
I'm surprised to see the resonance that we got in, in the public with the car.
How much it resonated with the public, and it shows that it was overdue to bring some diversity into the, Tesla market really into the electric car market.
At the moment, right now, the Tesla is really the only high performance mass-produced electric car, and every Tesla Model S looks like the next one.
There's not much, besides color, there's not much differentiation.
And that's really where, where we come in.
We have not had an official discussion with Tesla.
We really do this on our own terms, just like we do the, the Mustang and the other cars.
We do them our, on our own terms.
We like to have a good relationship with the, with the manufacturer, and I hope Tesla likes what we are doing to their car.
A few years ago, even 5 years ago [INAUDIBLE]
So Tesla has proven that an electric car can be successful.
And we're here to prove than an electric performance car is a very viable option and a very good car.
It's hard to say what the future will bring.
But we're living in a world that's developing very fast, very exciting.
With a lot of unique opportunities.
And I think anybody that closes their eyes to that, and says oh I want to do this or whatever, will be missing a big opportunity and a lot of potential.
And really where the future is leading us.
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