These guys think they can make a better car than the Tesla Model S?
They’re certainly not the first people to get their hands on an already-stellar vehicle and attempt to improve it. In fact, someone else has already modded this very model into a convertible. But yes, the Saleen Foursixteen is a modified version of the Tesla Model S, probably the world’s best-known electric car.
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With a swanky bodykit? How very Essex boy…
There’s much more to the Foursixteen than exterior tweaks, but we’ll start with those. Saleen, which has been building racing cars for 30-odd years, claims to have improved the Model S’ aerodynamics through its body modifications: there’s a carbon fibre rear diffuser, new V-shaped hood architecture and a rear spoiler to increase downforce. The hood shape also serves to direct hot air away from the car’s drivetrain cooling system.
And what else?
Speaking of drivetrain’s, Saleen has ripped out Tesla’s and replaced it with its own, which it says provides improved acceleration (even the base Model S does 0-60mph in 5.4 seconds), better cooling and “track capable throttle response”. There’s also adjustable suspension, which means you can stiffen the ride if you’re doing some track driving, as well as new ZR-spec tyres and optional lightweight carbon ceramic brakes. Changing your mind about this yet?
I’m coming around. What about the interior?
It’s pretty full-on. We’re talking black leather with contrasting perforated leather accents and Alcantara suede inlays. We’re talking carbon fibre accents on the dashboard. We’re talking a brand new centre console with extra storage, a smartphone pocket and a cup-holder (!). We’re talking new bucket seats, new door panels and a leather-wrapped dashboard. It’s a big, bold remodelling – and we think it looks pretty natty.
I agree. Damn, you’ve changed my mind. Now I want one
Well, we hope you’ve just had a big tax rebate, because the Foursixteen ain’t cheap: Saleen are charging US$152,000 (£91,430) for it. This model is based on the standard Tesla Model S, by the way, and will be delivered to US-based customers 6-8 weeks after ordering. It comes with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty.