With 435 horsepower under the hood, the new 2015 Ford Mustang is no stone pony. But in an era when Dodge is trying to redefine the muscle car breed with its 707-horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat, Mustang fans are clearly going to be seeking more.
During our recent drive of the 50th anniversary Mustang, Ford officials assured us that they’ll be rolling out all manner of variants over the course of the car’s long lifecycle. So, expect to see Boss and Cobra models to come. But Steve Saleen, a man who has long been associated with the Mustang nameplate, isn’t waiting for the factory,
And he’s giving us a first look at the custom-tuned version of Ford’s pony car that he soon plans to bring to market, the 2015 Saleen Ford Mustang S302. In various configurations, expect to be able to order one that can make anywhere from 450 to a full 640-horsepower.
Saleen hasn’t said when he’ll officially reveal the new S302 in all of its sheet metal glory, though an informed guess might suggest it will be on the stand at the upcoming SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
“This is a very exciting time for the Mustang community as this is the first all-new model since 2005,” Steve Saleen said in a statement. “With the upgraded engine and independent rear suspension, the new car promises to be the highest performance Mustang yet.”
As the images show, Saleen’s team has held true to the basic shape of the latest-generation pony car while making some appealing tweaks to its body that suggest both cosmetic and performance enhancements – such as the aerodynamic side skirts and rear spoiler.
The big changes, however, can be found under the hood, where the Black Label edition of the S302 gets a supercharger and improvements in its breathing, as well as a limited slip differential, pumping the 5.0-liter V-8 up to 640 horsepower and 565 lb-ft of torque.
The naturally aspirated White Label version undergoes more modest modifications to achieve a 15-hp boost over the stock ’15 Mustang, at 450-hp and 410 lb-ft. The S302 Yellow Edition adds the supercharger and lands in the middle of the power range.
(Check out TDB’s first drive in the 2015 Ford Mustang by Clicking Here.)
The Black Edition also gets a range of additional exterior and chassis improvements, including a unique front bumper with additional air intakes and LED running lights, as well as new shocks, spring and sway bars. There are illuminated sill plates and seats that blend leather and Alcantara trim.
While Saleen hasn’t released pricing for any of the S302 Mustang mods, the tuner did state that it is ready to take early deposits of $2,015 to hold a place in line.
(Click Here for details on the Chevy Colorado Sport concept.)
Saleen is just one of many tuners expected to try their hand at pumping up the new Mustang, with such familiar names as Shelby America and Calloway yet to weigh in. And Ford itself is likely to start pushing the numbers up over the next several years.
(To see more about Lotus and its plans to keep the Evora available in the U.S., Click Here.)
How high is up remains to be seen, but few expect Ford to sit on the sidelines while Dodge boasts of building the most powerful factory-built Mustang ever in the form of the Hellcat. Then again, the Chrysler unit has already hinted it could squeeze even more power out of that supercharged 6.2-liter V-8, perhaps ultimately reaching a number in excess of 800 ponies.