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Mustang and supercar master Saleen dives into the world of performance EVs

saleen automotive confirms electric car plans s5s raptor
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Saleen Automotive is going green.

The brand known for its tuned American muscle cars and the S7 supercar announced that it will build an electric car.

“We recognize that electric cars are a trend, not a fad and expect this vehicle category to continue to increase as an automotive option for consumers,” Saleen Automotive founder and CEO Steve Saleen said in a statement.

Saleen will release more details, along with scale models of the car, in the coming months. Until then, Steve Saleen and his company are keeping the project under wraps.

So what could a Saleen electric car be like?

While Saleen’s seemingly abrupt decision to build an electric car may inspire some skepticism, the company has pulled off miracles before. In the early 2000s, Saleen went from modifying Ford Mustangs to building the S7, a supercar that stood toe-to-toe with the best exotics from Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche.

Steve Saleen recently told Autoblog that his company is working on a successor to the S7. Whether this “S8” is in any way related to the electric-car project is unknown.

An electric performance car definitely fits the Saleen M.O. The S7 is the only bespoke vehicle to ever wear the Saleen badge; a successor called the S5S Raptor (pictured above) was planned, but got lost in the shuffle of the Great Recession.

An electric Saleen sports car could compete against the plug-in hybrid BMW i8, as well as the increasingly-theoretical Detroit Electric SP:01.

The electric-car project is latest sign of life from an automotive brand that’s been in the legal Twilight Zone for several years.

Steve Saleen left his original company, Saleen Inc., in 2009 and later formed SMS Supercars, expanding his repertoire to include tuned Chevrolet Camaros and Dodge Challengers. Saleen Inc. was subsequently sold, and Steve Saleen challenged the new owners’ right to use his name. He won the legal battle and united the two companies under the Saleen Automotive banner.

With all that over with, Steve Saleen is probably eager to get back to making cars, not court appearances. Hopefully this new electric car will live up to its name.

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Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
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