2016 S302 Saleen Mustang — Hellcat Beater?

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s302 yellowThe 2015 Saleen Automotive rendition of the Ford Mustang outclasses the inaugural 1984 version by leaps and bounds. Thirty-one years ago the Saleen Mustang produced a sluggardly 140-horsepower. This year’s Saleen Mustang, offered in entry level White label, mid-level Yellow label, and top-tier Black label, tops out at an unthinkable 730-horsepower and 690 lb.-ft. of torque.

Every Saleen Mustang (available as a convertible or a fastback) features a Saleen Axial grille with a Saleen grille badge, a Saleen high-performance rear downforce wing, special paint, striping, and graphics, body-color dual-power blind spot mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators, automatic headlights with wiper activation, LED sequential tail lamps, a tire mobility kit, HID headlamps with unique accents, and polished stainless-steel exhaust tips.

S302 blackInterior highlights include Katzkin leather upholstery with Saleen graphics along with special Saleen floor mats (front and rear), a serial numbered Saleen plaque on the dash, power one-touch front windows, Saleen signature white-faced gauges, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters (automatic transmission only), power adjustable front seats, driver foot rest, air conditioning, premium audio system with CD player, auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather wrapped steering wheel with Saleen center emblem, tilting and  telescoping steering column, and a full console with locking storage.

The key difference between White, Gold, and Black versions of the Saleen Mustang can be found under the hood. The S302 White Label model bumps horsepower for the stock 5.0-liter Coyote V8 up from 435 to 450. Torque is also increased from 400 lb.-ft. to 410 lb.-ft. The S302 Yellow Label car adds a supercharger to yield 715-horsepower and 595 lb.-ft. of torque but still falls short of the S302 Black Label. It uses a twin-scroll supercharger to produce 730-horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque. A Saleen PowerFlash programmer and Saleen tuned exhaust system with high-performance mufflers are also standard equipment.

s302 whiteYour choice of either a six-speed manual transmission (with short throw shifter) or six-speed automatic transmission is available. The limited-slip rear differential may be selected with 3.15 and 3.55 gear ratios, with the manual transmission, or 3.31, 3.55, or 3.73 gears with the automatic transmission.

All S302 Mustangs ride on high-performance suspension systems but the Black Label is equipped with fully adjustable coil-over front struts and a fully customizable suspension is available as an option. Braking duties are handled by large 13.9-inch front and 13.0-inch rear cross-drilled and vented rotors with four-piston calipers in front and single-piston calipers in the rear. An even larger braking system is also available as optional equipment. Wheels are 9-inches wide in the front and 10-inches wide in the rear. Standard equipment lists a set of 20-inch alloys and a set of 19-inch Minilite-inspired wheels are optional. Expect Pirelli P-Zero rubber in 275/35 up front and 275/40 rears. Even larger tires (possibly some 305s) are already in the developmental stages.

So, it would seem that the 2015 Saleen S302 Ford Mustang has something for the 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat (707-horsepower). It is certainly no coincidence that the S302 Yellow and Black Label models pull just past the Hellcat when it comes to horsepower. The cars are comparably priced, as well. The S302 White Label has an MSRP of $42,754, the Yellow Label costs $53,720, and the ground-pounding Black Label car lists for $73,214.

Photos courtesy of Saleen Automotive.

S.M. Darby

S.M. Darby

I am a freelance author with over 25 years of experience as a professional, ASE certified automotive technician and shop owner, muscle car enthusiast, avid street racer, and classic car restoration specialist.