With the SVT Focus slated to end production in 2004, Saleen saw an opportunity to continue the hot hatch offering with its own twist
Saleen’s version of the Focus was offered in 2004 and 2005, in two different trims. One trim was the “S121” (shown here) while the other was the “NO2”
Both packages included the Saleen body kit, Momo sport seats, short shifter and knob, white face gauges, Saleen wheels wrapped in sticky Pirelli Corsa tires, and a thoroughly upgraded suspension. In regards to engine upgrades, the NO2 came with a stock engine but added a wet nitrous kit that could temporarily provide a 75hp boost at the touch of a button, while the S121 package came with a Magnoflow free-flow exhaust system that added ~10hp to the stock engine. However, Saleen’s focus was not to chase power – rather, the goal was to chase grip. In fact, Saleen wanted to craft the best handling Focus to date
The carefully engineered suspension package (referred to by Saleen as the “Saleen Racecraft System”) includes stiffer shocks and springs, larger sway bars (1.25″ front and 0.98″ rear) with urethane pivot bushings, and a front strut tower brace
To say Saleen succeeded is an understatement. Motor Trend pulled an astonishing 0.97g (!) on the skidpad and 73.1 mph in the slalom. Not only does this obliterate the old SVT Focus (0.89g and 71.5 mph), these numbers are higher than the Evo MR (0.92g, 70.1 mph) and WRX STI (0.90g, 69.7 mph) of the same year. Even the Ferrari F430 could only manage 70.7 mph and 0.94g
It would be easy to blame the phenomenal handling on the sticky Pirellis, but the reality is that Saleen engineered the suspension upgrades around these tires from the get-go, and he did such a proper job that this thing out-corners most sports cars of the mid 2000’s
Key Model Year Changes:
Final year of the Saleen Focus, which was offered in 2004 and 2005 only
*SAE rated from factory. May not reflect current output.
*Performance numbers pulled from either the factory brochure or reputable automotive road tests.
*Base price when new does not reflect original MSRP of this particular car, nor does it reflect what the original owner paid for it.
*Advertised price at time of posting. Sellers can raise or lower prices on their original ad at any time. Click on the original ad to view current price/availability.
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