The new 2007 Saleen S281, PJ/Saleen Special Edition: Sibling rivalry at its finest
Mar 23,2007 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

NADAguides.com Test Drives Two Modified Mustangs, Weighs in on the Side-by-Side Comparisons

Lead Auto Expert Mark Perleberg of NADAguides.com -- a leading vehicle pricing and information website -- recently test drove the 2007 Saleen S281 and the 2007 PJ/Saleen Special Edition in a week-long, side-by-side and back-to-back comparison. He weighs in on both cars' features and handling.

 
NADAguides.com says the New 2007 Saleen S281 "pins passengers to the back of their seats" when the supercharger kicks in. (PRNewsFoto/NADAguides.com) 
 
The New 2007 PJ/Saleen gives you "truckloads" of pull, according to NADAguides.com. (PRNewsFoto/NADAguides.com)  
"Since 1984, Steve Saleen has been remanufacturing new stock Ford Mustangs with a flare that only a businessman with a racing background could pull off," said Perleberg. "Saleen has emerged as a leader in squeezing the most out of new stock Ford Mustang GTs, giving them near Super Car qualities at a relatively low price."

Perleberg says the 2007 S281 features more of what all great performance cars need -- more horsepower! Up an additional 30HP from 2006, the S281 now musters up 465 ponies, and according to Perleberg, acceleration that keeps the car's passengers pinned to the back of their seats when the supercharger kicks in. Along with this power, the car features a race-craft suspension that virtually eliminates the loose rear end feeling you typically find in stock Mustangs, with a confidence the car will go anywhere you point it at high speeds. Perleberg says the 2007 Saleen S281 also features a comfortable day- to-day ride for a car of this nature. Combined with a tail extension, body cladding and an upgraded interior in the mid-$50,000 price range, Perleberg says the 2007 Saleen S281 has all the makings of a Super Car with the roots of a Mustang.

Next up, Perleberg tested the 2007 PJ/Saleen Special Edition, a high- performance 302 cubic inch V8-powered car with 370 horsepower and 370 ft-lb of torque.

"When Saleen made the announcement at the 2006 New York Auto Show that he'd partnered with legendary race car driver Parnelli Jones to build a PJ/Saleen Special Edition, my first thought was 'is this just an S281 with a retro-look paint and body scheme?'" said Perleberg. "The answer is 'absolutely not!'"

Perleberg says the 2007 PJ/Saleen Special Edition is a modern-day rendition of the Boss 302 that raced in the SCCA Trans Am Series in the early 1970's, with less horsepower than its S281 sibling, but it feels quicker due to the normally aspirated engine with a torque that chimes in at 4,000 RPMs.

"The 2007 PJ/Saleen Special Edition gives you truckloads of pull when you mash the throttle down in any gear," said Perleberg. "Handling is confident and very predictable with a somewhat lighter feel than the S281."

According to Perleberg, the 14" brakes give the PJ/Saleen its true racecar heritage, with only 500 lucky individuals ever owning one of these instant classics.

So between these two cars, did Perleberg have a favorite?

"Picking my favorite would be like picking my favorite child," said Perleberg. "I loved them both for their strong qualities, and although genetically similar, they still have their own distinct personalities."

"Little boys of all ages will love these cars just like the high performance Mustangs of the late '60's," said Don Christy Jr., President and CEO, NADAguides.com. "It's really fun to see the Fastback Mustang styling of the past on the street today, with big horsepower and performance. I know fuel efficiency is at the top of everyone's minds, but not in this case. Big performance is key and Saleen continues down this really cool path."