By on June 4, 2007

img_0480.jpgBefore I write another word, let’s get one thing straight: the Saleen S331 Supercharged Sport Truck is a RIDICULOUS MACHINE. Climbing into its cab is like boarding the Space Shuttle. The S331’s engine fires-up with all the subtlety of the shuttle’s SRB’s. After the small voice in your head counts down to zero, the truck launches with all the fury of… Well, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here. Suffice it to say, you don’t have to be a Three Stooges Fan to know that something completely ridiculous can also make you laugh with delight.

All S331’s begin life as a standard-issue F-150. Saleen’s team strips Ford’s pickup truck to its frame, and then remanufactures it using a mix of Ford and Saleen-manufactured high performance parts. The result is a more refined and coherent product than you’ll find at your local aftermarket tuning shop, and a toe-to-toe competitor with Ford’s official and identically-powered Foose Edition F-150.

img_0426.jpgBefore each S331 leaves Saleen’s assembly line, the company paints a serial number on the bumper below the left headlight. My tester, number 138, sported [optional] blingy seven-spoke chromed wheels, a tow package and 15” brakes. The Sport Truck actually sits two inches higher than a stock F-150 to accommodate its 23” low-profile High Performance BF Goodrich KDW 305/40 series tires.

Saleen replaces the F-150’s bright work with a flat black grille. The customized, low-hanging front fascia channels the air flow to cool the big rig’s brakes, ventilates the intercooler and improves aerodynamics. A bulging vented hood distinguishes the supercharged version of the Sport Truck from its less powerful S331 three-valve siblings, and disburses the enormous engine heat created by the mas macho mondo motor.

Just in case observers mistook Saleen’s Frankensteinian Ford for their plumber’s pickup, Saleen-fitted exhaust ports interrupt the Sport Truck’s side skirting just ahead of the rear wheels. Lower body cladding, crisply defined wheel wells, a spoiler and a black tailgate appliqué complete the roadster look.

interior.jpgInside the donor truck’s “tough luxury” cabin, Saleen supplants the F-150’s instrumentation with custom gauges (including boost) in the binnacle and on top of the dash. The only other indications of customized hotness: brushed aluminum panels, silver bezels and new seat cushions (reinforced for greater lateral support) swathed in racy two-tone leather. 

An optional Rockford Fosgate “Punch” sound system looks enticing on paper, but 150 watts of tuneage is hardly enough oomph to compete with the muscle car symphony playing through the truck’s side pipes. 

While obnoxious to many, the V8’s Wagnerian cacophony is easily the S331’s most distinctive feature. The S331 is nicknamed “Thunder” (to Ford’s old Lightning) for good reason; it's guaranteed to wake neighbors, terrorize pets and rattle glass. Passing a Dodge dealership I gave a WOT hello to the Hemis waiting for new homes. They seemed to shrink back in deferential horror. 

img_0466.jpgThe Sport Truck is not all bluster and no muster. Saleen tops the 5.4-liter block with a high-performance three-valve SOHC head and a patented twin-screw water-to-air supercharger. The set-up serves-up 450hp at 5200rpm and 500 lb-ft torque at 4000rpm. It’s enough boost to launch this 2.5 ton pickup to 60mph in 6.1 seconds. Ford likes Saleen’s engine treatment so much it's destined for the next Harley Davidson Edition F-150 (due this summer).

Power finds pavement by way of a Ford four-speed tranny with overdrive and a limited slip differential. Fortunately, light throttle tip-in keeps exuberant drivers from vaporizing the rear donuts everytime a stoplight turns green.

All this weight and power is kept in line by nitrogen charged front struts and rear shocks, in tandem with customized specific-rate Saleen springs. The racy bits nearly eliminate all yaw pitch from this 6’1.5” tall 5500lbs leviathan.

When designing the Sport Truck, Steve Saleen was determined to preserve the F-150’s pickup truck utility. Properly configured, the S331 can tow 9500lbs. Even with wheel well-filling 23” rear tires, the S331’s bed payload capacity remains an entirely useable 1350lbs (2/3 tons).

img_0465.jpgDespite these capabilities, it’s highly unlikely that a Saleen S331 Supercharged Sport Truck's treads will ever feel the cold of snow, squish in mud or slip in the rain. Owners may call upon their $61k pickup to haul a widescreen TV home from the big box store, or schlep a favorite Harley to a bike show. Or not. It's just as likely that the Saleen's handiwork will be carefully garaged– saved for those sunny Sunday afternoon romps that intimidate econoboxes, bounce seismographs and plaster tire tracks on unsuspecting pavement. 

Of course, even without inevitable pedal-to-the-metalitude, the S331’s mileage starts off somewhere south of unconscionable. So what? Sensible, environmentally conscious motorists will smirk at Saleen’s aesthetically and sonically aggressive rendition of America’s most popular vehicle. But the S331’s owner will be the one wearing the ear-to-ear grin. 

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88 Comments on “Saleen S331 Supercharged Sport Truck Review...”


  • avatar

    Very nice “Track” !

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    It’s my inability to understand vehicles like this that keeps me well clear of red states. I keep thinking that for the money you could get an actual work truck AND an S2000, but I realize that’s not the point.

    I just can’t figure out what the point exactly is. Good review nonetheless.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    The point is to show up everybody who owns an AMG G55, Dodge SRT-10, Ford SVT F150 Lightning, Chevy Silverado and Trailblzer SS, and Porsche Cayenne Turbo.

    It would make for a great tow rig for trailering a race car to the local dragstrip. Run the race car, then for giggles, run the truck.

  • avatar
    tsofting

    And the “ridiculous” mileage is how ridiculous?

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    I’m with SherbornSean, I can’t even begin to fathom the reason for such a vehicle.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    You had me until “$61K”
    I like rediculous as much as the next guy, but for that kind of scratch, I’ll take a Cayman.

  • avatar
    26theone

    Ha! whats the payload and tow ratings on a Cayman?

    They do need to get the price under 50k though.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    It’s enough boost to launch this 2.5 ton pickup to 60mph in 6.1 seconds.

    This is not that impressive. I have seen tests (at least two) of four wheel drive Tundra Double Cabs that recorded similar times to sixty. The regular cab two wheel drive Tundra should be quicker.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    The Saleen will cream the Tundra in the 1/4 mile…that’s where a blown V8 shines.

    0-60 is becoming more and more meaningless these days. Trap speed in the 1/4 is the real measure of horsepower dominance.

    Nice review. Makes me want a used Lightning. :)

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Clearly intended for NASCAR nation.

  • avatar

    tsofting: And the “ridiculous” mileage is how ridiculous?

    Click on the rating summary to find: 12/16 MPG.

  • avatar
    ex-dtw

    misqouted: Cayenne not Cayman.

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    “This is not that impressive. I have seen tests (at least two) of four wheel drive Tundra Double Cabs that recorded similar times to sixty. The regular cab two wheel drive Tundra should be quicker. ”

    You don’t understand. The F150 is louder (much louder), burns more gas, costs more, and is 2″ higher (to improve handling). Oh, yeah, and it is really loud!

    This is a “special olympics” vehicle: special olympics is competition set aside for “special” people, not the fastest. Fastest retard vehicle, a special category that does not allow lighter vehicles.

    Just think what that engine could do in a 3000 lb sedan . . . just think what a practical truck a F150 is without all that kerapp.

  • avatar
    carguy

    While the S331 looks like a bag of fun, the price tag is a little optimistic. Like factory tuned Mustangs, the price does not seem to reflect the sum of its (bolt-on) parts. If you’re in the market for one of these why not visit http://www.fordracingparts.com and and roll your own. All F150s start as $14-$20K base vehicles so start with that, buy the extras you need, have it installed and save yourself $20K.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I dunno about the “red state” thing – I’ve seen plenty of needless hemis in the northeast and the Seattle area…..

    If you can afford it (and the gas),and want the presence of this beast, go for it. To my understanding, the Cayenne and Range Rover get horrible mpg as well….so do we write off the ‘intelligentsia’ too?

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    I would never waste money on a truck like this. I prefer wasting it on other things. :-) But, if you’ve got the money and the desire to burn it, be my guest. Nice review.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    26theone:
    “Ha! whats the payload and tow ratings on a Cayman?”

    Probably sufficient to haul anything that this truck will be used for :)

  • avatar
    radimus

    I keep thinking that for the money you could get an actual work truck AND an S2000.

    My thoughts exactly. I don’t understand the whole “sport” whatever idea. Sport trucks, sport SUV’s, and most laughibly sport FWD minivans (a particular bright red Dogge Caravan from a few years back comes to mind). A seperate truck and sports car seems to be the better idea. You can treat the truck like a truck, enjoy the sports car for the purpose it was designed for, and if needed the truck can also be used to fetch the sports car after a breakdown.

  • avatar
    keepaustinweird

    Who will buy this, or want to buy this? Those who find “Git ‘er done!” funny.

    Yet another example of just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you should.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Great review William.Its great to see something for people that want to make an impression.The same people that just don’t want to drive 60 to 70k import.
    No, its not for me,if I could swing the payment I woudn’t have enough left for gas.But for anybody thats got that sort of coin I don’t see a problem.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    RE: Price

    The base price of the S331 Supercharged Sport Truck is $53,900. My test rig came optioned with a well integrated towing package, 15” brakes and the bling-bling wheels. Also, the non-supercharged version of the S331, called the 3-Valve (325hp/380lb-ft) can be had for about $47K.

  • avatar
    26theone

    While I wouldnt buy it either there are alot of truck people that would love to have one. Think NASCAR Crafstman truck series.

  • avatar
    TeeKay

    Certainly not a red-state thing. I see many of these types of “sport” “trucks” in Northern California as well.

    I really don’t understand these cars. But much more, I don’t understand their buyers. At 61 large, suddenly the $35k bimmers look like Walmart bargains.

  • avatar
    Gottleib

    Very nice review and nice truck too. This has got to rank up there with the Porsche Cayenne S, the Masarati Quattroporte, the MB Saleen etc, etc, etc. A nice playtoy for the wealthy. This review probably belongs on the Robb Report Site.

  • avatar
    shaker

    $6.00/Gal gas?

    BRING IT ON…

    Of course, in a world of ‘indoor ski slopes smack dab in the middle of the desert’, this isn’t so much a denial of reality.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    RE: Toyota Tundra performance comparison

    Don’t for a minute believe that the Tundra can match the S331 as a performance vehicle – it’s like comparing a Toyota Corolla to a NASCAR car. As Sajeev pointed out, don’t’ be blinded by 0-60 time.

    I stated in the review that the 1st gear tip-in is quite restrained, I believe so that novice drivers don’t shred their rear wheels every time they start from a full stop. After that, it’s vehement raging power.

    The Tundra flips and flops its way down the highway creating motions that are positively dangerous for the kind of high-speed maneuvering that the Saleen was created for.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    The Saleen will cream the Tundra in the 1/4 mile…that’s where a blown V8 shines.

    0-60 is becoming more and more meaningless these days. Trap speed in the 1/4 is the real measure of horsepower dominance.

    According to several sites I searched, the S331 is capable of about 14.7 second quarter mile times at about 95 mph. The Tundra has been clocked at about 14.8 seconds at about 94 mph (Double Cab).

    I don’t think 0-60 is meaningless at all. How many times a day do you get to run the quarter mile at full acceleration? Not many.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    RE: Who would buy?

    For the most part, rich guys who are “completing” their garage. Again, this truck isn’t likely to ever be used as a daily commuter.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    Don’t for a minute believe that the Tundra can match the S331 as a performance vehicle – it’s like comparing a Toyota Corolla to a NASCAR car.

    I agree, particularly when the road curves. However, I am just quoting what I have read as far as 0-6 AND quarter mile times go. I’m sure with the difference between the price of a Tundra and the Saleen, the Toyota could be equipped to perform much, much better.

    I agree with the post that mentioned buying a regular truck and an S2000. However, it is nice to have a vechicle with strong acceleration, regargless of its configuration.

  • avatar
    tms1999

    It’s not because you like driving trucks that it needs to be slow. I find this iteration quite interesting. Of course, you have to suffer all the truck handling shortcoming, but then again, this is bound to be better than a garden variety F150.

    Not to mention high price (in my opinion: overpriced, except maybe for the Saleen name plate) and dreadful mileage.

    Now William, how’s the 4 speed auto working for you? The count seems a little low to me, but there’s a lot more than number of gears, more important is how the electronics are tuned to switch gears and react to driver input. Also 500 lb/ft has to help.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Quick crisp shifts and absolutely no gear hunt. May not be buttery Lexus smooth (although it’s not harsh) or optimized for fuel efficiency but that’s not the point of this truck.

  • avatar
    Nemphre

    What IS the point of this truck? I guess I just don’t get it.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    According to several sites I searched, the S331 is capable of about 14.7 second quarter mile times at about 95 mph.

    Are you sure that’s for the S331 Supercharged? It should be in the 13s just like the SVT Lightning.

  • avatar
    26theone

    “What IS the point of this truck? I guess I just don’t get it.”

    If you are part of their target market no explanation is necessary.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    Are the Roush F150′s more than just eye candy or do they have real improvements in the handling and power departments as well. A guy in the next subdivision over has a Roush F150 that I think looks plain silly.

  • avatar
    LK

    While I can think of better ways to spend $60k, I can see someone buying one to tow their car to a show or the track…especially if they have a few extra dollars to spend and like to be noticed. $60k seems pretty high, but nowadays people are (apparently) willing to spend on that trucks…1-ton diesels go for $50k, and the local Ford dealer has a few custom conversions for sale for more than $70k. As someone who is looking for a bare-bones ranch truck, the trend towards high-priced pickups is pretty annoying.

    Personally, if I was looking for something that could tow a project car while still being fairly entertaining to drive, I’d probably pick up a Trailblazer SS…which is in the mid/upper $20s with rebates, and the ‘vette engine has a lot of upgrade potential. I can almost figure out a way to justify something like that for $25k, but at $60k it’s a bit more difficult…plus, I’m not sure I could find matching wheels & tires for my horse trailer.

  • avatar
    fellswoop

    I like that it is not just slow in a straight line, its also useless for truck purposes, and horrible (5k pounds, ahahahaha) around curves.

    Glad to hear its wicked loud though, so we can all be annoyed by the infantile (me! me! look at me!) tools that buy them.

    The best thing about the hilariously slow 0-60 time (which yah, sure it doesn’t matter until someone in any number of much more affordable/practical vehicles beats your 400hp macho sh!tebarge from a stoplight) is that while it may take 6 seconds to hit 60, it takes only half of that for this vehicle to broadcast a message as loud as the obnoxious exhaust, bellowing: I AM COMPENSATING FOR MY TINY, TINY GENITALS!

  • avatar

    Fellswoop you can make the same claim for many cars as well. For what its worth the Florida Highway patrol and other law enforcement entitities down here in Florida have some high performance unmarked Ford pick ups. Very effective in nabbing unsuspecting speeders. I wasn’t stopped but I am now more aware that the unmarked crown vics have company

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    to hell in a handbasket. this is why gas costs so much. sigh.

  • avatar
    Sanman111

    Well, I guess it would be fun to play with once or twice. Honestly, if you want something that can haul a** and stuff, the WRX wagon is a better choice in my opinion. I’ll be here the ‘don’t get it’ camp.

  • avatar
    fellswoop

    “…you can make the same claim for many cars as well….”

    I think there is a special distinction between performance cars, which generally have to adhere to being “car sized” therefore retaining some element of function, and giant “sport” trucks with their macho grills/sheer bulk.

    It’s nicknamed “thunder?” C’mon. Can we be ANY MORE infantile? How about calling it the G.I. JOE-COBRA truck?

    More than most of the cars you might have been thinking of, this vehicle is designed for loud & obnoxious posing, and little else.

    PS: Spoilers on pickups: awesome.

  • avatar
    ktm

    The Tundra is a work truck. This is not. Period. Stop comparing the two.

    This truck will never tow; this truck will never haul anything in its bed; stop kidding yourselves.

  • avatar
    Kman

    Finally, the Hummer H2 (and H1 before it) is no longer alone. Now there is another vehicle on the road that is giving a permanent finger to the world.

    Whenever I drive by an H2, I give it one right back. “F*** you too, H2”

  • avatar
    KingElvis

    Sajeev Methta:
    0-60mph and 1/4 mile times are closely correlated – perhaps moreso than ever in an age of traction control and super wide sticky tires. If you have evidence the laws of physics change north of 60mph, by all means, present it.

    William Montgomery:

    Why would ‘throttle tip in’ limit acceleration? Don’t you pretty much just floor it for tests?

    The thesis used to excuse the S331s crippling flaw (it’s not really fast and fast is its claim to fame) that this is vehicle for people with more money than sense misses the point.

    There are plenty of expensive vehicles out there – some better than others.

    Would this same thesis apply to a $60K sedan or SUV? Of course not.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Whenever I drive by an H2, I give it one right back. “F*** you too, H2”

    Well….that sounds mature.

  • avatar
    KingElvis

    Just checked C&D online. They just drove a Denali Crew cab. Not only did it have all wheel drive, it was the four door crewcab – and it still weighed about the same as this S331 – 5500lbs.

    It had the 376cid V8 and 6 speed. Acceleration? Virtually identical – 6.2/ 14.8.

    Base price? $42G.

  • avatar
    Mark A

    I’m pretty sure the 23″ wheels will slow the acceleration numbers somewhat. That’s a lot of rotational mass. “Donk”

  • avatar
    Mark A

    KingElvis: 0-60mph and 1/4 mile times are closely correlated – perhaps moreso than ever in an age of traction control and super wide sticky tires. If you have evidence the laws of physics change north of 60mph, by all means, present it.

    In a perfect world you’d be able to get 100% of the horsepower to the ground from a standing start. But I’m sure this nose-heavy light-tail two-wheel-drive S331 has enough torque to liquefy the tires at low speeds. However, traction isn’t the issue at speeds over, say, 40mph. Then this thing should pull like a freight train.

    When running street tires my modified 2001 Corvette accelerated harder from 1/2 track to the finish line than it was from the line. And it turned 123mph trap speeds.

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    ktm: The point is, is when your “sport truck” gets the same speed stats as the other guy’s “truck truck”-um, you are doing it wrong (ignoring the fact that the very concept of a “sport truck” is retarded in the first place). So, they did a poor job making a vehicle that, even if done perfectly, would be quite stupid. Nice work.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    I want to “get it,” but I just don’t.
    I’m all for stuffing a blown V8 in *anything*, but it’s the expense that gets me. Belive me, if it wouldn’t be so expensive, the backseat of my GTI would be replaced by 383. However, even if the loan was interest free, this truck would cost over $1000 a month for FIVE YEARS. Whoever buys this deserves what he gets: embarassed by a chipped turbo Beetle, unspeakable depreciation, decreased utility vs. a real truck, and $2000 sets of tires.

    If this truck was just $35K, I would still have to think long and hard.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    0-60mph and 1/4 mile times are closely correlated – perhaps moreso than ever in an age of traction control and super wide sticky tires. If you have evidence the laws of physics change north of 60mph, by all means, present it.

    KE: they are not necessarily closely correlated. Thanks to close ratio 5-6 speed trannies, VVT and other engineering advances, all vehicles do better in 0-60 than before. It isn’t until the 1/4 when a high-horsepower vehicles spank the ones with the gears/VVT optimized for 0-60 runs.

    Mark A’s C5 ‘vette is proof. On street tires his car isn’t that impressive from 0-60 compared to a Porker…but it will move like a scalded dog halfway down the 1/4 mile. Even with a wiiiiiide ratio 4-speed auto or 6-spd manual.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    One more thing: If you’re into straight line acceleration beyond the world of 0-60, you don’t want AWD. Two wheel drive powertrains put down more HP to the wheels and are faster. (ultimately)

  • avatar
    Nemphre

    How many people care about acceleration past 80 though? At that point you’re just asking to get pulled over and handcuffed over the hood of your car. No thanks. I’d rather keep it somewhat legal. I sure as hell don’t wanna be going 100+ mph in a truck, and I hope the ones who do don’t live anywhere near me.

  • avatar
    nino

    Personally, if I was looking for something that could tow a project car while still being fairly entertaining to drive, I’d probably pick up a Trailblazer SS…which is in the mid/upper $20s with rebates, and the ‘vette engine has a lot of upgrade potential.

    I believe the TrailBlazer SS isn’t rated to tow more than 500 (five hundred) pounds.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Nemphre: you can go as fast as you want at a drag strip. Legally.

  • avatar
    chamar

    I would love to own a fully worked up and nicely loaded F-150, mind you I don’t consider myself “red”, as some posters pointed out, better yet, i am not even caucasion and seven years ago, my dad was 0.8Liter Suzuki FX800 in Pakistan.

    Clearly goes to show that such things appeal to even the most unsuspected :D

  • avatar
    LK

    Nino: The Trailblazer SS is rated to tow either 6,800 pounds (2wd) or 6,600 pounds (awd) – plenty for towing most project vehicles and such. Strangely, even the base SS comes with the tow package/hitch and higher tow rating…you’d think they would have made it an option.

  • avatar
    HEATHROI

    RIP Ford SVT….but it keeps outfits like Saleen going, more power to em. Now if only Henry would drop the 4.6 V8 into the Fusion…. sigh.

  • avatar
    nino

    LK:
    June 5th, 2007 at 7:54 am

    Nino: The Trailblazer SS is rated to tow either 6,800 pounds (2wd) or 6,600 pounds (awd) – plenty for towing most project vehicles and such. Strangely, even the base SS comes with the tow package/hitch and higher tow rating…you’d think they would have made it an option.

    You’re right about the SS, but I’m pretty sure that Chevy sold a high performance SUV or pick-up that had a 500LBS tow rating.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Nino I bet you’re thinking of the SVT Lightning. And that was its cargo capacity (for several years), not towing capacity. (sporty leaf springs aren’t good for hauling loads)

  • avatar
    KingElvis

    Sajeev,

    Let me express it more clearly and less snark-ily.

    The slower the vehicle, the smaller the ratio between 0-60 and 1/4 mile times. This is because of the nature of speed vs. the ground you’ve covered. If you’re in a ’73 Impala running on 3 cylinders, you might not reach 60 until you’ve covered the quarter, so you have a 0-60 time actually matching the 1/4 mile time – a 1:1 ratio where you divide the 1/4 mile time by the 0-60 time. If you’re in a 427 Z06 Corvette the ratio is going to be abut 3:1

    If anything the 0-60mph time is more indicative of acceleration than the 1/4 mile time. Put another way, the Z06 acceleration to 60 in 3.6 seconds roughly halves that of a typical car (7.5) – But you could never hope to halve a 1/4 mile time of a typical car (15.0sec for a 2:1 1/4/0-60 ratio – falling between the clapped out Impala and the new Z06) unless you’re in a Pro Stocker with 1500hp.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    If anything the 0-60mph time is more indicative of acceleration than the 1/4 mile time.

    Incorrect: you are assuming perfect traction between all makes and models.

    High power cars (Bugatti Veyron aside) lack low speed traction, especially something like the Z06 with lousy run-flat tires that have pathetic grip (relative to the performance potential of the rest of the car). Cars like this make up significant amounts of speed/time in the second half of the 1/4 mile, when the run-flats hook up.

    Just because a 911 turbo is faster from (a clutch frying) 0-60 sprint than a Z06 doesn’t mean it won’t get beaten above 50 mph by said ‘vette.

    Again: a more realistic measure of performance car “performance” is its MPH as it finishes the 1/4 mile.

    Course, none of this justifies how slow the Saleen S331 is compared to ye olde SVT Lightning.

  • avatar
    LK

    Nino: You might be thinking of the Typhoon/Syclone from the early ’90s – they had extremely low tow and payload ratings.

  • avatar
    fellswoop

    I don’t think 7.5 is the average 0-60 time. I would love to know what the average is of cars tested on this site. Sometimes 8 seconds is fun and snappy, and other times that’s glacial.

  • avatar
    KingElvis

    Sajeev,

    I took some figures out of C&D.com tests so they are empirical, not assumed.

    Let me just say the HP/weight ratio is going to be reflected more in 0-60mph than in 1/4 mile.

    You have a 600hp 3000lb Vette vs a 300hp 6000lb SUV 5lbs/hp vs. 20lbs/hp. If you are looking at an empirical measurement to reflect that 4X difference, 0-60mph is at least a closer ratio (3.6sec vs. 9sec) than 1/4 mile (12sec vs 16sec).

    I will allow that the comparison is not apples to apples – you’re comparing a rate of speed vs. ground covered.

    However, they’re going to have to be correlated. I think you’ll find that even trap speed @ 1/4 isn’t going to vary too meaningfully.

    I suppose I’m talking in broader terms because I’ve spent (a.k.a. wasted) many an hour developing mathematical models to predict performance for alternate drive train (hybrid – transmission-less) that exist only on paper and maybe you’re talking about razor thin marginal differences.

  • avatar
    nino

    Nino: You might be thinking of the Typhoon/Syclone from the early ’90s – they had extremely low tow and payload ratings.

    The Chevy Extreme.

    It was a body kit and lowered springs on an S10 pick-up truck. It was sold just before they came out with the Colorado.

    The Syclone/Typhoon was only available as a GMC.

    http://www.4wheeladvantage.com/chevys10extreme.html

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    If you are looking at an empirical measurement to reflect that 4X difference, 0-60mph is at least a closer ratio (3.6sec vs. 9sec) than 1/4 mile (12sec vs 16sec).

    KE: These ratios don’t work for me because they don’t take into account real world constraints:

    1. Powertrain gearing (speeds, final drive) skews your ratios.
    2. Engine powerband (fat or thin?) over the range of gears makes cars faster at different speeds.
    3. ECM throttle mapping (a.k.a. torque management) and shift firmness.
    4. Tire compound quality
    5. Points 1, 2 3, and 4 have an undeniable impact on traction off the line.

    Never mind value of 60ft times; a common dragstrip measurement of driving skill. Let’s not go there. :-)

    I still believe that traction (or lack of) in the real world disproves your point about 0-60 being a good measurement of high-power vehicles.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    KingElvis,

    You don’t seem to be grasping the crux of Sajeev’s (very valid) argument.

    It’s all about TRACTION.

    When you have a 2WD vehicle with a high torque motor, especially a pickup with 40% of its weight over the driven wheels, the stock tires have inadequate traction to translate elevated horsepower into reduced 0-60 times. Wheelspin looks cool, but gets you nowhere fast.

    Just look at the new Z06 you quoted above. I own such a car, and have modified the motor to produce 60 rear wheel HP more than stock, or about 80 more flywheel HP. The car is no faster at the drag strip in the first 60 feet than before, but once I hook up, the 1/4 mile trap speed is now 130 mph instead of 125.

  • avatar
    jl1280

    Are you allowed to put a bicycle in one of those things? Or do you have to promise when you buy one that only motorized toys with high emissions and consumption are allowed. Doesn’t the price of gas, if nothing more, give you some clue as to the future? These things aren’t going to be part of the future and reviewing them as if they are worth looking at or talking about is clearly part of our problem.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Bicycles are permitted in the back of Saleen Sport Trucks for folks who are committed to damaging the environment responsibly.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    King Elvis,

    I don’t doubt Tundra’s track numbers – it’s plenty fast. But I think that Saleen’s published performance spec are conservative.

    Since you bring up HP to Weight ratio, the S331 has an advantage of about 11% over the 4×2 Tundra Double Cab. Of course, there are a myriad of other considerations, but that’s a lot of ground for Toyota to make up versus a drivetrain specifically tuned for speed.

    Having driven both, I can tell you that the S331 is more responsive in every respect. If given a choice between the two for a day at the track, there is no question which I would take. And if I got stuck with the Tundra, I would insist on a 5-point harness and helmet before turning any laps.

  • avatar
    bascho

    Better watch out with that Tundra though….you might snap a camshaft in half trying to race the S331.

  • avatar
    Mark A

    The Tundras have had their best 0-60 and 1/4 times from FOUR WHEEL DRIVE versions because
    A) They have traction off the line in 4×4
    B) Traction nannies are defeated in 4×4

    Numbers aside, I think I’d have a stupid grin on my face in the Saleen, less so in the Tundra.

  • avatar
    JuniorMint

    After one too many unsatisfactory answers, I’ve stopped questioning the existence of vehicles like this. Vehicular endeavors driven by nothing but testosterone and the thought of one-upping your neighbor have their place in the world, but come on…are we really expecting to find ourselves in a combination drag race / tractor pull? It’s not a great accelerator and it’s not a great truck. I guess it’s nice to have an outlet for people who’ve run out of things to spend their money on…it’s better than a heroin habit, I suppose.

    Just another pointless showpiece I could run circles around with in my xB, depending on the locale. Meet me in the mall parking lot of your choosing. :)

  • avatar
    tankd0g

    Ya these are great, until a corner presents itself.

  • avatar
    Kman

    Whenever I drive by an H2, I give it one right back. “F*** you too, H2”

    Well….that sounds mature.

    Exactly. Thanks for making my point about the maturity of H2 ownership.

    (btw, the F U comment is rhetorical)

  • avatar
    Jim H

    I can see trucks and think they look okay. I can see a harley and think the same thing. But to be brutally honest, I just don’t get the facination with either. Trucks are for utility…towing, hauling, work stuff, etc. Doubtful many would do that with a Saleen (is it pronounced the same as Celine…as in Celine Dion? Cause they both are kinda loud).

    It all comes down to this: If we can’t figure out why folks need (utility mind you!) SUVs who only do city driving and zero off-road…why make a truck a sports car when there are better sports cars out there?

    EDIT: One thing I look at closely in buying a new car is braking. What’s the 60-0 braking in this beast…5500 lbs could kill a lot of folks if you rear end them. Not to mention nearly total your $61K “truck”

    P.S. With all the penis-enlargement spams and “medications” on the market…noone should be compensating for anything! Besides, we should all be rich with the latest stock tips and we all buy our drugs now CHEAP! ;)

  • avatar
    svensk

    If I’m going to pay 60k for a muscle truck it better have a friggin Nascar engine in it. I’m talking an authentic 840hp 358cu small block. I don’t want a supercharged sissy truck!

  • avatar
    ejacobs

    Who will buy this, or want to buy this? Those who find “Git ‘er done!” funny.

    Yeeeup!

    There’s actually a NASCAR series circuit that races big trucks, folks. Not on dirt with jumps and stuff, either. Flat, asphalt oval tracks. I’m not making this up. ;)

  • avatar
    KingElvis

    Sajeev

    One last time: I got these numbers from real world tests they’re not theoretical – they’re empirical.

    Also, why would multi speed transmissions make a 60mph happen faster but not the 1/4? I’m not even out of first gear till 60 in my five speed auto.

    I agree the 4 factors you mentioned have MARGINAL effects – like .01 seconds. But the ‘my’ ratios kind of speak for themselves – it’s ‘rithmetic, not my opinion.

  • avatar
    evohappy9

    KingElvis,
    Much of what you say is quite valid on paper, but Sajeev’s comment that trap speeds represent a more accurate demonstration of a vehicles straight line acceleration is correct.

    Let me give an example; referring back to another comment from Sajeev to the effect that AWD is a hindrance to acceleration after a certain speed is reached (primarily due to drag/wind effect). If you watch closely matched RWD and AWD cars race, you immediately notice that the AWD cars jump off the line like a rocket while their RWD opponent is finding a way to put their power down; the AWD drive car almost instantly finds itself with a considerable lead – but instead of maintaining or increasing the lead it generally shrinks by the time the 1/4 mile mark is hit. Once the RWD car can put its power down the AWD car better have a HUGE turbo. It is a combination of many factors – most of the AWD cars that are considered “fast” have smaller engines with turbos that simply cannot overcome the drag that continually increases the faster you go, as opposed to RWD cars that usually have much larger engines and can easily overcome higher amounts of drag. So, from a standstill, with no (translated as “very little) initial drag the AWD car will have a very impressive 0-60 time, with a decent 1/4 mile time, but with a low trap speed. The RWD will have an inferior 0-60, a 1/4 time that is similar, but a much higher trap speed. I have seen many RWD cars lose races with higher trap speeds. If the “race” continued to a 1/2 mile they would ivariably win. A Formula 1 can only put down about half of its power until it hits around 100-110mph.

    What Sajeev is saying, I think, is that 0-60 time does not necessarily reflect a cars acceleration because every car puts its power down at different moments in the 1/4 mile. Many cars, like the Z06, will not put their power down until they are at 60 or close to it. Other cars will put their power down off of the line but incrementally slacken in their acceleration as the drag increases (that is, to a greater extent when compared to their larger engined opponents).

    Also, tires have the ability to effect posted times by several tenths, I think you might be slightly underestimating the importance of tire compounds.

    Also, why would multi speed transmissions make a 60mph happen faster but not the 1/4? I’m not even out of first gear till 60 in my five speed auto.

    Once again, it is a question of when the car puts its power down. Close ratio transmissions are tricky because they really aren’t for drag racing and much will come down to driver ability. I don’t know of too many close ratios where first gear makes it to 60mph, usually you’re running out around 45-55mph (in some cars even lower) – but, a close gear ratio will get you off the line faster and the operating variable is how proficient are you at shifting. Close gear ratios deal with the same issues as a small turbo’d engine – and it comes down to how the designers decided to arrange the power band. High end, low end, or in between in an effort to achieve uniform acceleration.

    Though I appreciate your arguments I just don’t think that everything is as simple as 0-60 or 1/4 mile times. They can be used as a reliable approximation, but not as an accurate gauge of accelerative prowess.

    EDIT: An excellent example of an AWD car that can not only manage the power split/loss between the tires but can overcome massive amounts of drag is the LP640. 6.4L engines will mask most disadvantages of AWD in acceleration.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    One last time: I got these numbers from real world tests they’re not theoretical – they’re empirical.

    They are? You mentioned a “600hp 3000lb Vette vs a 300hp 6000lb SUV 5lbs/hp vs. 20lbs/hp” and that’s about as pie in the sky as it gets. There’s no 600hp vette that weighs 3000lbs.

    Also, why would multi speed transmissions make a 60mph happen faster but not the 1/4? I’m not even out of first gear till 60 in my five speed auto.

    What car do you own? Just curious…

    Most 6-speeds (sans Corvette/Camaro/Viper) are close ratio’d for 0-60 sprints with a small displacement, high revving (narrow powerband) engine as its dance partner. They run out of breath AND gearing after 60mph. That’s a generalized statement; take it for what its worth.

    I agree the 4 factors you mentioned have MARGINAL effects – like .01 seconds.

    Wrong. Traction is more than that! Try more like 0.1-1.0 second differences (sometimes even more than 1 sec when it comes to aftermarket modifications).

    And everyone else has added more to my side of the debate than I could ever contribute. (thanks everyone!)

    KE: If you really love empirical data, you’d have the interest in completing the picture. Spend some time at a drag strip and watch the street racers in various cars cut various 60 ft times (i.e. traction) and see its impact on 1/4 mile speeds. The correlation is staggering. You are NOT seeing the whole picture with your data set. Fix it.

  • avatar
    raymundojr

    What’s the point of sport trucks? You start with an inherently poor handling, tall, unaerodynamic, heavy vehicle made to carry payloads, then you try to counteract its deficiencies to make it “sporty” by lowering it, adding power, bigger brakes, ground effects,performance pulleys, and lots of cosmetic add-ons. So now it guzzles more gas than a real sports car and doesn’t perform as well.

    I’m not just picking on this one, (and it does look mean), but these vehicles are a waste. I understand that it’s a free country and more choice is good, but why not buy an old work truck and a real sports car for the same price?

  • avatar
    agroal

    The people who drive these things just need to be noticed. I have a 2000 Tacoma 4×4 4 cyl. I use it as a truck. Wow that’s novel! I can almost keep up with local ice cream man but who cares? It’s a truck. I love when these clowns in 3 ton tanks tailgate me when I’m already doing 10 mph. over the limit in the right lane. No brake lights. I just let off the gas to a crawl to piss ‘em off more. These are the same type of people driving Hummers. I wouldn’t be caught dead in one of those. Besides being silly and wasting gas just to go to the mall, I would feel real queasy driving around in a pretend military vehicle when our soldiers are dying in the real thing eveyday.

  • avatar
    LamborghiniZ

    S331 owner’s will have that grin wiped off of their faces as they pay for a $150 fill up every weekend. But yeah, so what? Who cares that the ozone is depleting, that we’re becoming more and more dependent on foreign oil, that noxious exhaust chemicals haunt the atmosphere? Who cares!

  • avatar
    LamborghiniZ

    raymundojr: I agree 100% For $61,000, if you wanted a fun vehicle to take out, as the author states, on sunny Sunday afternoons, why not buy a vehicle that is actually fun to drive, as opposed to one that is simply a one trick pony, a novelty, if you will. For $61,000 you can get a Porsche Caymen, you can get a Porsche Boxster, you can get a BMW Z4, you can get a BMW M3, you can get an Audi S4, a Cadillac CTS-V, in fact, you can get all sorts of fun to drive vehicles that are FAR more entertaining than this, and are far cleaner burning and get better mileage. Yes, yes, some people may carry things in their Saleen truck, wait a minute, what am I saying, no they don’t! Really there is hardly any excuse not to get a sports car, or at least a sporty CAR, key word is car, for this sort of money. This truck is entertaining for 15 minutes, perhaps, but good lord, I couldn’t own one of these without wondering what other better vehicles I could have purchased with the same money.

  • avatar
    AuricTech

    Hmmm. Using the Ford and Suzuki Web build features, it would appear that I can buy a Suzuki SX4 Sport and a well-equipped Ford F-150, with about $20,000 (US dollars) left over to buy something for the Ford to tow. While neither vehicle has the Saleen-modified F-150′s acceleration, I have proven to my satisfaction that the SX4 is a blast to drive (I’ve owned my “base model”* SX4 for just over six months); meanwhile, if I need to haul or tow something, a blistering 0-60 time is rather low on my list of vehicle requirements. Owning two vehicles, one for fun transportation and another for utilitarian hauling duties, seems much more practical than buying a race-ready pickup truck.

    *IMHO, the Base SX4′s standard equipment list compares quite favorably with upgraded trim packages of other vehicles in the sub-$20,000 price range.

  • avatar
    jdepilot

    Ok, I am not sure what a “Red State Obama Hugging” comparison has to do wiyh a Saleen Pickup. I have driven a 1990 C2500 4×4 for 20 years, 13MPG, city or highway. I am looking at the 2007 Saleen because I like the build, the performance and the rareity of the truck. This will never be seen with more than groceries, ski equipment, or seating for use at Barbers Motorsports Track in the back, it will not be an everyday driver. When driven, it will be driven like I stole it, just because I can. It is like riding an R1, or Ducati S4RS, there is only one reason to do this, it makes your heart beat, and you know how to ride.I could care less about NASCAR, much less hearing someone say geter done.The Saleen can be worked on in the driveway, rotors, calipers, oil changes etc. Purchase 5 or 6 series BMW, see what an oil change will cost, flat rate labor $100.00 per hour.Democratic, Pelosi, tree hugging, same sex marriage proponets should not even reply to this site, go to the Prius site and blog, you will be more comfortable there.


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