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The Saleen Racecraft 420S Ford Mustang

Updated on May 9, 2010

Saleen Inc

Saleen Inc. is a well-known manufacturer of high end performance cars located in Troy, Michigan. Founded by Steve Saleen in 1983, Saleen is now a well-known name in the automotive industry. Most of its vehicles are limited production, modified, or "tuned" cars based on Ford products, most notably the Ford Mustang. The Saleen S7 supercar is perhaps Saleen's crowning achievement -- it competes in many race series such as the FIA GT series and the American LeMans in Saleen S7R trim. The Ford GT was also built in Saleen's Michigan plant under contract by the Ford Motor Company, and the Dodge Viper SRT-10 is also partially assembled in Saleen's plant. Saleen is also the last small car manufacturer in the U.S. with OEM status, meaning it has to meet all the federal regulations major manufacturers such as Ford, GM, and Chrysler do.

Now in its 26th year of operation, Saleen has hit hard times and recently sold many of its assets to MJ Acquisitions to stay in business. However, this is not all bad news; MJ Acquisitions said in a recent press release that ""MJ Acquisitions and its affiliates are a group of true car professionals with vast experience in the engineering, production, assembly and distribution of performance and racing vehicles."

Saleen S7R

The Saleen S7, Saleen's flagship supercar, competing on the track in S7R racing trim
The Saleen S7, Saleen's flagship supercar, competing on the track in S7R racing trim

Saleen Racecraft

One of the first things MJ Acquisitions intends to do is push forward the production development of the new 2010 Racecraft Mustang, based on Ford's updated S197 Mustang platform. The Racecraft division of Saleen is relatively new, and the name may seem familiar to Saleen fans due to its use in performance suspension components sold by Saleen. Racecraft is geared towards creating Mustangs and similar vehicles with a high performance value, without the usual fancy paint, bodywork, graphics, and other luxuries that normally drives the price up on Saleen's typical offerings. According to Saleen in its original Racecraft press release:

The Racecraft brand will provide consumers with:
    -- Value that the market can touch
    -- A ready canvas for customization
    -- Business first styling that puts go before show


Offering a lineup of value-oriented performance cars complete with a factory warranty sounds like an excellent plan in today's suffering economy. The Racecraft division will hopefully attract buyers that do not wish to shell out premium prices for Saleen's usual offerings and keep the company afloat.

 

Black Saleen Racecraft 420S

Black Saleen Racecraft 420S
Black Saleen Racecraft 420S

2008 Saleen Racecraft 420S Ford Mustang

Racecraft's first release as a special division of Saleen was the 2008 420S Mustang. It is a value-geared Mustang without the extra frills of Saleens other offerings, such as the ~$50,000 S281 Mustang or the $70,000 S281 Extreme.

Priced at just under $40,000 MSRP, the Saleen Racecraft 420S offers potential buyers a Mustang GT that comes with a supercharged 420-horsepower engine, Racecraft suspension on all four corners, 18-inch Saleen Torque Blade wheels, and a simple but attractive exterior graphics package. All with a 3-year, 36,000 mile factory warranty! If the craving for more power hits, Saleen's Racelab offers a 475-horsepower upgrade kit for $1000 that is also covered by warranty.

Racecraft 420S Mustang

A white Saleen Racecraft 420S in action. Based on the Ford Mustang GT, the Racecraft 420S is a great performance bargain for enthusiasts looking to modify their Mustangs. Plus it comes with a factory warranty from Saleen!
A white Saleen Racecraft 420S in action. Based on the Ford Mustang GT, the Racecraft 420S is a great performance bargain for enthusiasts looking to modify their Mustangs. Plus it comes with a factory warranty from Saleen!

Racecraft 420S reception

The Saleen Racecraft 420S Mustang was quite well-received by automotive magazines and reviewers. Most Saleen offerings are criticized for their high premium pricing, and as a result the bang-for-the-buck performance wise is poor with a Saleen Mustang. You're really paying for the name! But the Racecraft 420S offers an additional 120-horsepower over the factory Mustang GT, along with better suspension, wheels, and tires. Motor Trend also praised its drivability, saying "You can dawdle the Racecraft around all day and never know there's a supercharger there. Get into the pedal, and you get a pleasing blower whine and big power. No stumbling, overheating, or any of the usual tuner nonsense." Automotive enthusiasts will know first hand how difficult it is to get a modified car driving as smoothly as a factory one, and with the Racecraft 420S there are no issues! 

The Racecraft 420S's supercharged 4.6L V-8 engine

The Racecraft 420S's supercharged 4.6L V-8 engine. Based on Ford's modular V-8, this engine pumps out 420 HP -- 120 more than the Mustang GT.
The Racecraft 420S's supercharged 4.6L V-8 engine. Based on Ford's modular V-8, this engine pumps out 420 HP -- 120 more than the Mustang GT.

The 2010 Racecraft Mustang

Considering a 2008 Mustang GT with no options has a MSRP of $26,240, the Racecraft 420S is quite a deal! The Racecraft goes from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds and runs the quarter mile in just 12.9 seconds at 110 mph, a lot quicker than the Mustang GT's 5.1 second 0-60 and 13.8 second quarter mile. The 420S is actually quicker than the 500-horsepower Shelby GT500 from 0-60 by 0.1 seconds due to its 300 lb lighter curb weight.

The upcoming facelifted 2010 Mustang GT has already been targeted by Saleen's Racecraft division for a new value-oriented performance version. Hopefully the 2010 Racecraft Mustang will be just as good if not better than the 420S. GT500-rivaling performance at a low price of $40,000 should be an enticing deal indeed for 2010.

Dealership showing off Saleen Racecraft 420S with a $36,000 sticker price

Comments

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    • profile image

      brad freeman 

      6 years ago

      is there a plan to build 2013,2014,etc i am finally able to get a saleen but i find no one offering a saleen

    • profile image

      Ford Mustang 

      8 years ago

      Looks like saleen has weathered the storm. The two new cars for 2010 are even nicer.

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