Steve Saleen has been tuning Ford Mustangs since 1984. Saleen-tuned fifth-generation Mustangs come in three categories, the S281 Mustang, the 435S Mustang, and the S302 Mustang. The S281 is the most powerful version of the Saleen Mustang.

Several Saleen Mustangs were on display at the 2011 Houston Auto Show and are frequent guests at Houston Cars and Coffee events. The Saleen Mustang is a tuned Mustang. The Saleen Mustang has a small badge on each side. It will also have SALEEN on the windshield. It has a different front end, side skirt, grill, end caps, rear diffuser, front and rear fascias, and hood. All these exterior changes makes the Saleen Mustang look more aggresive than the standard Ford Mustang.

The Saleen S281 is powered by a supercharged 281 cubic inch, 4.6L V8 engine, paired with a five-speed manual transmission, that produces 485 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. The S281 goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and reaches a top speed of 150 mph. The S281 costs $51,934. The S281 is not as powerful as the Shelby GT500 or the Roush 427R. It is not as fast as the GT500 or the 427R, yet it is the only one of the three Mustang variants to cost over $50,000.

The Saleen S281 is the vehicle mode for Decepticon Barricade. It is playable in Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights, Test Drive Unlimited, Drag Racer 3, Speed Racing, Asphalt: Urban GT 2, Project Gotham Racing 4, Transformers: The Game, Forza Motorsport2, and Forza Motorsport 3.

Final Thoughts: This is an expensive Mustang. Both the Shelby GT500 and Roush 427R are faster the the Saleen S281. Yet the S281 is more expensive then the GT500 and 427R. If I was going to rank the three Mustangs, I would go Roush, Shelby, then Saleen. The S281 is still a good variant of the Mustang, but there are better Mustang variants out there.

CarJunkie

Photos taken from a camera phone

Originally written on August 6, 2011

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