High-Performance Tesla Model S Now Available for $152,000

Steve Saleen, who’s famous for modifying American muscle cars, is taking orders for the $152,000 Foursixteen -- his souped-up version of Tesla Motors Inc.’s Model S.

Saleen Automotive Inc. officially began accepting orders yesterday, he said in an interview at Pebble Beach ahead of the Concours d’Elegance in California south of San Francisco. He said that as he placed his car on the Concours’s concept lawn on Aug. 16, people began approaching, 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 the price goes up 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.

The front end was changed to make it more aerodynamic, with a V-shaped hood that directs hot air away from the drivetrain cooling system, Saleen 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.

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

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