Saleen FOURSIXTEEN Tesla Model S Debuts


Yesterday at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Steve Saleen revealed his vision of the Tesla Model S. Called the Salen FourSixteen, Saleen added a two-tone interior, a bodykit he claims enhances the aerodynamics, and an all-new suspension that’s supposed to help track handling.

But uh…well…it probably didn’t get much faster, and with a starting price of $152,000, that’s a huge oversight. Saleen does claim that the FourSixteen is about 3/10ths of a second quicker from 0 to 60 MPH compared to a standard Tesla Model S P85+, which could mean it could theoretically sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in just 3.9 seconds. Saleen also added a new final gear ratio to improve acceleration, and a new drive unit cooling system includes a larger radiator, unsampled cooling fans, and a high-flow water pump.

Saleen gave the FourSixteen a S4 track-calibrated suspension including a monotube coilover and S4 sway bar to increase “cornering agility” according to Saleen. Because Saleen is unable to just bolt-on more horsepower though, the stock rating of 416 ponies is where the FourSixteen will stay. The battery pack also went untouched, which while wise, means the chances of the FourSixteen overheating after a few hot laps remains high.

Then there’s the price, which for a full, complete car starts at $152,000 and goes all the way up to $200,000, nearly half the price as the twice-as-powerful electric Renovo Coupe. The bodykit where arguably most of the work went, and while it gives the Model S more of a supercar look, it’s also kind of…featureless. The 22-inch wheels are one-inch bigger than the largest wheels from the factory, eating up even more of the wheel wells. Yet there’s nothing for my eyeballs to really grab onto is what I guess I’m saying, and Saleen doesn’t provide the kinds of details one would expect from a six-digit supercar.

The only thing I think the Saleen FourSixteen really got right is the interior. The white-on-black leather and suede accents scream “futuristic supercar”, and Saleen also added phone cubby and cup holder to an interior that needed both. But for close to twice the price of a regular Model S? I gotta say, I’d much rather spend $6,000 or so on the Unplugged Performance bodykit, which is less dramatic and yet far more eye-catching.

That’s just, like, my opinion though. What do you think of Saleen’s attempt at making the Model S into one of its modified supercars?

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.