Saleen Begins Taking Orders on $152,000 Tricked-Out Tesla Model

Aug 17, 2014 11:00 am ET

Aug. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Steve Saleen, the man famous for tricking out American muscle cars, has turned his attention to Tesla Motors Inc.’s Model S, creating a $152,000 performance car called the Foursixteen.

Saleen Automotive Inc. officially begins accepting orders today, Saleen said yesterday in an interview at Pebble Beach in advance of today’s Concours d’Elegance in California south of San Francisco. While placing his car on the Concours’s concept lawn yesterday afternoon, he said, people began approaching him wanting to buy one.

It will appeal “very much to the person that wants to have luxury but also have a performance sedan that goes with their lifestyle, something they can have fun with and be able to enjoy the handling and performance while at the same time feel they are contributing to the green effort,” said Saleen, who is chairman and chief executive officer of the company.

The Tesla-based model marks the first electric vehicle for Corona, California-based Saleen, which designs, develops, manufactures and sells high-performance cars built from base chassis of Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Camaros and Dodge Challengers along with exotic supercars.

The car begins at $152,000 including the Model S and reaches to just under $200,000, Saleen said.

That’s about double what Tesla, led by CEO and co-founder Elon Musk, charges its customers. The Palo Alto, California- based carmaker, which isn’t involved in Saleen’s efforts, sells its car in the U.S. at a starting price of $71,000. With options, the price can rise above $100,000.

Saleen has changed the front end of the Model S to make it more aerodynamic, with a V-shaped hood that directs hot air away from the drivetrain cooling system, the company said in a statement.

Saleen also upgraded the drivetrain for quicker acceleration and changed the suspension to improve cornering agility. Inside, a center console has been integrated into the design, including a cup holder.

Saleen said it will take six to eight weeks for a car to be ready after being ordered.