Saleen Dark Horse special edition Mustang GT

Saleen Automotive, a California-based tuning specialist that has been in the business of coach-building for exactly 25 years, has just released its new Saleen Dark Horse special edition performance coupe. Based on the 2009 Ford Mustang GT, the new sports car features a more powerful version of the same 4.6-liter 3-valve SOHC Modular V8 engine with variable camshaft timing and a number of other amenities, including an aggressive-looking aero kit.

While, according to official specs, the standard V8 produces respectable (okay, actually quite impressive for an American powerplant) 300 horsepower available at 5750 rpm and 320 lb·ft (433 N/m) of torque that come roaring at just 4500 rpm (not really a diesel-like performance, but still nice,) the version supercharged by Saleen basically doubles the figures giving you 620hp, 600lb-ft (812Nm) of horsepower and torque respectively. Since such an enormous boost of power puts a heavy strain on the motor, the supercharged V8 engine is now equipped with more durable (and also sporting better strength to weight ratio) forged aluminum pistons, forged steel connecting rods, and a forged steel crankshaft.

Saleen Dark Horse

The Mustang GT Saleen Dark Horse special edition also features the innovative SuperShaker forced induction system from Saleen’s aftermarket division, SpeedLab.

Being a true cold air intake system, the new system is thermally isolated from the engine compartment sitting above the car’s hood. Yes, my boys and girls, this bulging thingy that shakes like crazy above the vehicle’s prominent hood when the engine is fired up is not just for show: it actually does a very important job of adding about 0.5phs of boost pressure to the air intake of the supercharger, brutally forcing all that cold air down the supercharger’s steel throat and squeezing extra ponies out of your V8.

The only problem with the system is that the SuperShaker adds approximately $2000 USD to the bill sans installation costs, but, damn, it does look like it costs every single penny that Saleen plans to charge you for it!

Saleen Dark Horse (3/4 front view)

Of course, there is also a mandatory appearance program consisting of a more aggressive body kit that, of course, includes a new hood with a huge hole to place the SuperShaker into, lots of Saleen badges just about everywhere except maybe the carpet in your boot, as well as matte black exterior decals that do little in terms of power, but doing a good job at telling your fellow drivers that the idea of provoking you on a street light may not be as good as it looks like.

Saleen promises to start producing the car in November this year with pricing and total production number will be revealed later. By the way, even if you won’t be able to scrap all the cash necessary to buy one of these, this doesn’t look like a real problem to me since this limited edition batch of Mustangs is more of a technology demonstrator: you can always buy all the necessary parts separately and build your own Dark Horse(ish) version of the car, or simply turn it to Saleen and they’ll build it for you!

Saleen Dark Horse (side view)

Photos: Saleen

See also: 2009 Ford Mustang will get a panoramic glass roof