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There’s no denying that Saleen builds a sharp looking Mustang, and this 2005 S281-3V (Saleen #720) drives the point home. The brilliant Sonic Blue paint coupled with the Saleen bodywork and other accents are a fantastic combination. Throw in the Saleen 20” wheels (which fill the wheelwells perfectly) and you’ve got one fine looking Mustang, with just 33k miles and a clean Carfax report.
But of course a Saleen Mustang is more than just a pretty face. The suspension is upgraded front and rear with Racecraft components, providing significantly improved handling. Brakes use larger 14” drilled rotors and 4-piston Saleen calipers in front. The unique exhaust employs dual mufflers with a pressure activated bypass valve for less restriction under load. And of course there is the powertrain.
Saleen takes the Mustang GT 3-valve 4.6L engine and bumps it to 325 hp through a special tune and underdrive pulleys. This one has been further massaged with an aftermarket cold air intake, headers, and exhaust. Note the catalytic converters have been removed and the engine re-tuned accordingly. It makes a fantastic sound that is very fitting for any performance Mustang. The engine is backed by a Saleen quick-ratio 5-speed transmission with short throw shifter, while the 8.8” limited slip rear end houses 3.55 gears.
The leather interior is highlighted by Saleen sport seats with louvered headrests. The dash uses Saleen black-face gauges including a 200mph speedometer. The dash and steering wheel also have Saleen accents, while the pedals and shifter are Saleen parts as well. There is also a Shaker 500 audio system. Everything works properly and there are no warning lights present on the dashboard.
This is really a nice package. You get a Mustang GT with Saleen performance and appearance upgrades. But you also get a car that is easy to drive and live with from day-to-day, featuring good ingress/egress, a practical seating position, a rear seat, and a real trunk. All without breaking the bank.