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Saleen takes on Ferrari

FERARRI is to get some more competition with the announcement at the recent Monterey Historic Races in California that former racer Steve Saleen is to build a $375,000 supercar aimed at the market currently dominated by Ferrari and Lamborghini. The car will also be in competition with the Mercedes McLaren SLR when that appears in 2003.

The Saleen S7 has been designed by Saleen's Phil Frank with input from the Ray Mallock racing organization in Britain and was windtunnel tested at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. The 7-liter cast aluminum engine is based on a Ford design but has been reworked by racing engine specialist Bill Tally.

Cars will be built at Saleen's headquarters in Irvine, California and at Ray Mallock Ltd. in England with the plan being to build a total of 300-400 in the next four years. Further models with less performance are also being planned to extend the Saleen range.

Saleen has been building high-performance Ford Mustangs since the early 1980s and has built 7,000 cars which are sold through selected Ford dealerships across the United States.

It is expected that in order to publicize the cars, there will be a motor racing involvement in the future.

The interesting thing about this is that the Saleen company is owned by automotive parts magnate Tony Johnson, who has been showing an interest in Formula 1 teams in recent months...

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