In 1983, a legendary race car driver, with a passion for the sport and a great business mind, took his competitive personality from the track and ventured out to start his own auto sport company. Once working with Ford and developing performance packages for their various cars, this legend even made his own supercar, the S7. Being the fastest production car in the world at 258 mph, it has won or has recorded the fastest lap time on every track its wheels have touched. These days, the iconic American car manufacturer is called SMS Supercars, owned and operated by Steve M. Saleen.
Entering onto the clean well laid out campus of SMS Supercars, modern buildings house the SMS front office, paint shop, and assembly line. Designed with a modern interior, there are wide passageways, overlooks, flowing staircases, open spaces and an abundance of glass letting natural light flood the interior. Each room, be it an office space, lounge, or showroom is named after a particular track around the world. There is a staircase named, “The Corkscrew,” a men’s restroom called “Thunderhill” and a women’s restroom named “Spa.” Every part of SMS Supercars represents racing and lifestyle.
Today, SMS focuses on taking the “pony car” lineup and achieving the next level in re-engineered aerodynamics, suspension, steering, functional cockpits and interior/exterior design. In 2008, SMS (which are Steve’s initials) introduced the SMS Challenger 570 and 570x to the world. It was greeted with great enthusiasm by the public and once again reinforced the fact that Steve Saleen knows what it takes to make a modern performance car. SMS’ design team has been hard at work since the 570’s release, focusing on improving the performance and appearance of another American classic, the Ford Mustang. Now, the day before the 46th anniversary of the Ford Mustang’s debut, the Southern California based company is proud to unveil the second addition of three to the company’s “Pony Car Collection”: the 2011 SMS 302 4V Mustang. The 302 4V has a special place in Steve’s heart because it was in a Ford Mustang on August 19, 1973 that Steve entered and won his first professional race at Riverside International Raceway.
“Our line of SMS Mustangs will be the only Mustangs authorized to bear my name, to use the benefit of my heritage and to incorporate performance innovations derived from my over thirty years of racing and manufacturing experience.” – Steve M. Saleen
The new SMS car isn’t for the timid as a stampede awaits underneath the hood of this beauty. The SMS 302 4V delivers 440 horsepower with 400 foot-pounds of torque. Add on a SMS 296 Twin Screw Supercharger System, and you now have the 2011 SMS 302 SC Mustang. With the supercharger, the stallion now has 535 horsepower with 450 pound-feet of torque. The driver’s “reigns” are a six speed automatic or six speed TR350 manual transmission.
For those of us who like to step on the gas as we get on highways and go from stop light to stop light, what does all this mean? What numbers does the new Mustang produce? The 302 4V will go 0-60 in less than 4.5 seconds and cross the 1/4 mile in 13.5 seconds reaching 116 mph. The 302 SC reaches 0-60 in 4.3 seconds and it completes the 1/4 mile in 12.1 seconds reaching a speed of 119 mph. But don’t go anywhere yet, the SMS mad scientist isn’t finished. For those who want to yell “yee-haw!” as they light their hair on fire, a third, higher horsepower option producing more torque and quicker numbers will be available in the SMS 351 coming to fruition later this year. It hasn’t been disclosed as to how much insanity will be under the hood, but we can’t wait to take it for a test drive.
All of this potential power needs to be focused. This is accomplished with a new and unique SMS S4 high performance suspension including sway bars, high durometer pivot bushings, a new S4 Watts Link rear suspension, and more. Riding on Pirelli P-Zero high performance 20” x 9” 5 spoke front, and 20” x 10” 5 spoke rear alloy wheels, it not only looks good but has wonderful traction. The ABS brakes have cross drilled rotors, powder coated calipers and high performance racing pads to deliver impressive control and awesome stopping power when you need to pull back on the horses in a hurry.
So how can you get one of these new SMS Mustangs or other pony cars? You can call up the SMS sales division and have their parts (supercharger, suspension, etc.) put on your already owned Challenger or Mustang, as long as your model year is compatible. But, this does not deem your car an SMS car. To get the new 2011 SMS Mustang you either order your brand new car through the SMS sales division or through your local Ford dealership (Dodge for Challenger) specifically asking for the SMS version. A car then gets shipped straight to SMS from the manufacturer, and the SMS technicians break down the new car to the bones. “Not a single piece of the car goes untouched,” says Steve. The techs then replace the stock parts with new, specifically designed SMS components and high performance parts.
“With the extensive design, development, manufacturing certification and warranty coverage that we put into each vehicle, the government agencies all recognize SMS as the manufacturer of record for these cars.” – Steve M. Saleen
The naturally aspirated and supercharged models are available in coupe and convertible form. The SMS 302 4V Coupe begins at $54,990, while the SMS 302 SC Coupe begins at $64,990. If you like having the top down, then you can get into the SMS 302 4V Convertible starting at $59,990 or the SMS 302 SC $69,990. The pricing is as competitive as the cars.
SMS separates itself from other companies because it isn’t just an aftermarket performance racing shop. It is a unique car manufacturer with a sound and long heritage producing performance race vehicles that can be taken straight to the track. When you own one of these limited, stunning creations, you not only are entering a performance vehicle, you are entering a lifestyle. A lifestyle of exclusivity, luxury, and speed. Whether you are a Ford, Chevy, or Dodge consumer at heart, SMS Supercars has you covered.