Saleen recently introduced a race-ready version of the Saleen 1 supercar. The GT4 Concept has all the niceties in the Saleen 1, namely the overblown four-cylinder engine and available six-speed manual transmission.
However, the GT4 Concept is built to compete in SRO Motorsport Group’s GT4 racing series – which means a plethora of aerodynamic enhancements to transform the normal Saleen 1 into a dedicated track stormer.
“We developed the Saleen 1 to be fully capable on the track and easily adapt to racing applications,” said Steve Saleen, founder and CEO of Saleen Automotive. “Our company was founded on racing DNA and the track is where we prove our reputation,” he added. “We look forward to completing the homologation process with SRO and seeing these cars compete at GT4 events around the world.”
Saleen’s GT4 Concept is, well, still in concept form
Without a doubt, Saleen is one of the most legendary names in GT racing. The GT4 Concept marks the return of Saleen to GT racing with a brand-new machine based on the Saleen 1, which made its debut at the 2019 Saleen Cup Racing Series.
“We found during the inaugural Saleen Cup season, our test session lap times were already competitive with the top GT$ times, regardless of the track,” said Gabriele Cadringher, Saleen director of motorsports. “The performance of the Saleen S1 has exceeded even our high expectations and we expect this car to be very competitive in GT4 next year.”
All of this sounds good, but the GT4 is still in concept form as we speak. But upon completing homologation approval, Saleen is expected to begin production of the GT4 later next year.
When it enters production, the Saleen GT4 will start at $225,000
We agree $225,000 is no small change for a car that will only see action on the racetrack, but it costs less than Audi’s R8 LMS GT2 which starts at $398,000. Granted the Audi has a larger V8 mill, Saleen’s GT4 Concept is a more affordable way to start your GT4 racing career.
The GT4 category was established in 2007 and started with an initial series in Europe. Now, GT4 racing has expanded to other parts of the world including Australia, Asia, North America, and in the United Kingdom.
The GT4 has the same turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the Saleen 1 supercar
Specifically, we’re talking about a turbocharged 2.2-liter four-cylinder motor mounted in the rear. The engine produces 450-horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. The Saleen 1 is highly anticipated not because it’s the resurgence of Saleen road cars, but it’s all about the rear-wheel drivetrain and luscious six-speed manual transmission.
However, we’re expecting the GT4 to come with a specially-developed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, which is an optional feature in the Saleen 1.
We’re expecting the Saleen GT4 to be quicker than Saleen 1
Let’s crunch some numbers. With an aluminum chassis, a carbon-fiber body, and a mid-mounted turbocharged motor, Saleen 1 can blast from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5-seconds. And according to Saleen, it reaches the quarter-mile in around 11.3-seconds with a top speed of 180 kph.
But with a host of aerodynamic updates, we’re expecting the Saleen GT4 to be quicker still. Featuring a new front splitter, new fenders, and an innovative rear diffuser, the GT4 is cleverly designed to slice the wind. Of course, no GT4 racing car is complete without a large rear wing.
According to Saleen, the GT4 Concept will also come with front and rear anti-lock brakes and a plethora of GT4-specific equipment.
The Saleen GT4 is proudly made in the USA
Even though Saleen has partnered with Jiangsu Secco Automobile Technology Corporation of China, both the Saleen 1 and GT4 Concept are proudly built in Saleen’s production facility in Corona, California. The company is now accepting pre-orders for the Saleen 1 and GT4 Concept.