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Quick Spin: 2010 Saleen S281 is the real deal with the wrong motor

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Filed under: Aftermarket, Coupe, Performance, Ford, Quick Spin

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2010 Saleen S281 - Click above for high-res image gallery

In the middle of the decade, Saleen was on a roll. The company had just launched its new S281 Mustang based on the S197 platform, the twin-turbo variation of the S7 was underway and Ford had contracted the specialty manufacturer to assemble its GT supercar. Business was good, and both of Saleen's assembly plants in Irvine and Detroit were at full capacity. The top of the mountain came in early 2007 when Saleen introduced the Parnelli Jones Mustang, still one of our favorite Mustangs of all time.

Unfortunately, it was all downhill from that point. Founder Steve Saleen announced his departure in the summer of 2007 and the investment firm with a controlling stake in the company declared that it was looking for a buyer in late 2008. Just a few months later, most of what was left of Saleen was sold to MJ Acquisitions, a Detroit-based company that owns various automotive manufacturing businesses.

Needless to say, we had our doubts about the future of Saleen. Would the new owner uphold the identity of the brand that was built over the past 25 years? Would they be able to keep their loyal base of customers without Steve at the helm? Most importantly, would a new Saleen have the resources and personnel to create an all-new product worthy of the brand? Saleen gave us the opportunity to drive one of its first production S281 Mustangs based on the the car's new-for-2010 body style, and we think we have the answer. Continued after the jump.



Photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

Continue reading Quick Spin: 2010 Saleen S281 is the real deal with the wrong motor

Quick Spin: 2010 Saleen S281 is the real deal with the wrong motor originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 10 May 2010 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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