Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
July 14, 2008

Focusing on performance automobiles for 25 years takes a great deal of commitment and passion. From his early automotive days spent preparing his personal cars for racing, to his inevitable entrance into the professional racing world, and finally into the domain of the automotive business, automotive icon Steve Saleen has done it all. Steve set the course for his automotive future in his first race on August 19, 1973, at Riverside International Raceway, where he took his GT350 to the Winners' Circle, and he never looked back.

Steve Saleen moved up through the amateur, then professional, ranks of closed and open-wheel racing during the '70s and '80s, racing and winning against drivers such as Bobby Rahal, Gilles Villeneuve, and Danny Sultan. His racing career eventually intertwined with his USC business degree when, in 1983, he formed Saleen Autosport and produced his first vehicle, an '84 white-and-blue high-performance Saleen Mustang, the first of thousands of vehicles that would eventually be built based on his innovative niche manufacturing, certification, and racing business model.

Steve and his vehicles have dominated the competition wherever they raced around the world, having won nine championships, countless races and set track records from Daytona to Le Mans and every track in between. Steve is still racing, and he is currently testing one of the two European Le Mans Series Championship winning S7Rs in preparation for his return to competition in the American Le Mans Series later this year.

For 25 years, Steve Saleen has been the leading pioneer in lifestyle performance automobiles, with his companies building an amazing array of high-performance sports, race, and collector cars coveted by enthusiasts and celebrities alike from Tim Allen to Tom Cruise. His companies have created everything from the world's fastest production Mustang, the S302 Extreme, to the Saleen S7 and S7R, the most victorious supercar-based racing vehicle ever, with 171 Top Tens, 118 podiums, 84 pole positions, 76 fastest laps, 72 wins, and 9 GT Championships. Amazing cars aren't the only thing associated with Steve Saleen's name and ingenuity. His companies are also credited with an impressive array of patented automotive technological innovations.

As an entrepreneur, his endeavors encompass more than simply delivering the performance hardware. In 2006, he was the driving force behind the opening of his company's first automotive retail experience. With as much visual impact and excitement as one of his supercars, Maxim magazine awarded it "Best Automotive Retail Store."

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To celebrate his illustrious automotive career, Steve Saleen and his new company, SMS, have developed a truly innovative and exceptional celebratory vehicle--the '08 SMS 25th Anniversary Mustang concept. To find out more about the 720hp SMS concept car, we talked to its creator, Mr. Steve Saleen.

Comments by Steve Saleen, Chairman and CEO of SMS:"In celebration of my 25 years in the niche manufacturing business, I wanted to create a personal car for myself that appropriately marks this very special anniversary. The functional aesthetic innovations that we have developed are truly exceptional in every way. Though this car is not going to be for sale, it nevertheless demonstrates the technological advances present at SMS.

"With the SSC, SA-10, SA-15 and SA-20, I used those platforms to introduce new technology to the automotive market. In keeping with that tradition, this concept car incorporates many important advances developed by SMS. In particular, our patented SMS Red Butterfly Induction System and SMS Light Blade LED Taillight System are definitely the coolest things that any Anniversary car has ever had! When those butterflies crack open under throttle, people stop and stare. You can be sure you'll see those on our future products. And when you're passed by this car and the full-width sequential turn signals come on, you'll be just as awestruck!

"Along with the main features, the supporting cast of innovation developed by SMS is just as deep, including SMS Side Splitters and Diffuser Fences in carbon fiber, SMS billet aluminum signature elements, a beautiful SMS two-tone leather interior and the unique SMS "Chromosome Silver" paint with the signature Anniversary yellow, white, and black graphic accents.

"My Anniversary cars were always the most powerful of the breed, and this car continues that tradition, as it produces 720 horsepower at the crank and 612 horsepower at the rear wheels! And the exhaust note truly is something else. Topped with 670 lb-ft of torque, it's quite a steed to tame, thus it's equipped with SMS Cross Drilled 15-inch 6-Piston Front Brakes and a completely new SMS Billet Aluminum Watts Link System that is robust, durable, and attractive.

"The performance is astounding. The SMS 25th Anniversary Mustang has reached nearly the same levels of performance as was previously achieved in the S7 Twin Turbo! It's not every day that the word "supercar" is associated with a Mustang, but in this case it's appropriate. The team and I are very excited about the vehicle, as it incorporates an entirely new platform of technological advances by SMS, and it's a testament to what our company is capable of. We look forward to it touring the show circuit this summer to show that we're in the business of power!

"I look forward to the next 25 years!"

Key functional and aesthetic innovations:

  • SMS 720 hp supercharged 5.0L aluminum block V-8
  • SMS CNC-ported Saleen supercharger
  • SMS CNC aluminum heads
  • SMS Red Butterfly Induction System
  • SMS Light Blade LED Taillight System
  • SMS Billet Aluminum Watts Link System
  • SMS Cross Drilled 15-inch 6-Piston front brakes
  • SMS Cross Drilled 12-inch rear brakes
  • SMS Two Piece Billet Aluminum Hood Vents
  • SMS Carbon Fiber Side Splitters
  • SMS Carbon Fiber Diffuser Fences
  • SMS Red Butterfly Quarter Intakes
  • SMS Chromosome Silver Paint
  • SMS Leather Grip Billet Aluminum Shifter and Shifter Bezel
  • SMS Leather dash
  • SMS Leather two-tone door inserts
  • SMS Leather two-tone seats
  • Six-speed Transmissions


  • 720 hp/612 rwhp
  • 667 tq/565 rwtq

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