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Your guide to the Saleen XP8 and Saleen XP6 Ford Explorer

MuscleJunkie

Elite Explorer
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Year, Model & Trim Level
'00 Ford Explorer LTD AWD
From the dead ********* Site about 15 years ago

The Ultimate Saleen XP8 Guide

I've been following the Saleen Explorer XP8/XP6 aggressively ever since I had the chance to finally see one in person a couple years ago. Every so often, I think about what truly makes it such an appealing vehicle. I've come to decide that it is the mystique, rarity, and performance potential that the Saleen Explorer XP8/XP6 has that makes it such a hot topic. Even on those "other" domestic boards (read: GM, Daimler-Chrysler, etc. owner boards) although the Ford Explorer may be seen as a "soccer-mom mobile" or the butt of rollover jokes, all that is generally set aside once the Saleen XP8 is mentioned.

The origins of the XP8
It is said from Saleen that the Saleen XP8 came about because one day as Steve Saleen was driving on the highway, he passed an Explorer and realized that it was an untouched but potentially big niche market. He wanted the performance of a Mustang in an Explorer; the ability to haul friends and family but to get there in style and speed. The result was the Saleen Explorer XP8, and it saw production for only a very limited number of years (1998-2001) and best estimations are approximately 120 ever made. Thus, the Saleen XP8 today is a very valuable and coveted vehicle amongst Ford performance enthusiasts.

In all honesty, Saleen was largely ahead of its time with the Saleen XP8 as they even badged it as a "PUV - Performance Utility Vehicle", which this market has honestly not seen enough support and growth until today, 2005. Had Saleen released the XP8 today or feature a current generation body style (2002+) XP8, it would be very interesting to see how much better the XP8 would perform in sales. I am willing to bet they would do a lot better as the high horsepower races seem to be back in full swing despite some of the most expensive oil prices in the past few years.

In sickness, and in health
For better or for worse, the Saleen Explorer was abandoned officially in 2001 and all support was ceased. No more body parts, accessories, or XP8 production was to ever continue and now the XP8 is as what some owners describe as a "glass slipper." If any sort of serious accident were to occur to any of these vehicles, they would not be able to simply call Saleen and order replacement parts. This exclusivity is for many an attraction as it is a deterrent to owning it.

Because the Explorer 5.0 V8 engine is largely almost identical to the 5.0 V8 that was in past Mustangs, the performance potential is outrageous for the Saleen XP8. And there is nothing cooler then picking up your friends or even the groceries in a XP8 and beating some "other" domestic vehicle. Currently the Saleen XP8 owners seem to vary their stance in customizing their XP8. Some are stuck between keeping the vehicle as much at factory spec as possible; others do minor performance upgrades and call it a day. The very select few are working on building it into pure performance powerhouse, what they believe Saleen should have delivered from the factory.

Setting the XP8 apart from the rest
It was recently asked on our forums, "what makes an XP8 so great?" The answers were varied, one even stating its "just a very expensive Explorer with a bodykit." Agree or disagree, but the Saleen XP8 is far from just an Explorer with a bodykit. Here is the full, official specifications from Saleen for the Saleen XP8:

Engine
5.0L (302cid) V-8 engine
Horsepower: 222 @ 4200 / Torque - 298 ft. lbs. @ 3300
Compression ratio 8.5:1
Saleen 2.5 inch stainless steel 4-way catalytic high flow custom exhaust and muffler system
Saleen performance air filter
Optional: Supercharged 5.0L (302 cid) V-8 engine (Dealer installed option)
Horsepower: 286 @ 4200 / Torque - 333 ft. lbs. @ 3000
Compression ratio 8.5:1

Drivetrain
4-speed automatic transmission, Available in 4x2 and All-Wheel Drive (AWD)

Suspension
Front: Independant SLA, torsion bar, high pressure Saleen/Racecraft N2 gas shock absorbers and Saleen/Racecraft front sway bar and pivot bushings
Rear: Semi-floating type rear axle, variable rate leaf spring, high pressure Saleen/Racecraft N2 gas shock absorbers and Saleen/Racecraft sway bar and pivot bushings
Saleen high performance alignment and tuned chassis

Brakes
Power 4-wheel ABS Brakes - Front: 11.3" dual piston vented disc / Rear: 11.2" disc
Optional: 13" rotors with 4-piston front calipers (AWD only)

Wheels
Saleen aluminum wheels - Front: 18"x8.5" / Rear: 18"x8.5"
Optional: Chrome alloy wheels

Tires
Pirelli Scorpion Zeros - Front: P255/55 R-18 / Rear: P255/55 R-18

Dimensions
Curb weight - 3800-4450 lbs.
Fuel capacity - 21.0 gal.
Wheelbase - 111.6 in.
Length - 191.0 in.

Exterior
Driving lights
Carbon-fiber outside mirror covers
Front facia
Side skirts
Door cladding
Rear valance
Saleen rear wing
Syling graphics
Concealed tow hitch
Luggage rack
Rear Wiper / Washer / Defroster
Serialization number, front bumper
License plate frame
Saleen windshield graphic
Saleen Championship wreaths
Optional: Composite hood

Interior
Carbon-fiber steering wheel and accents (Gray interiors only)
Wood grain steering wheel and accents (Tan interiors only)
Saleen gauges
Saleen racing pedals
Serialization console plaque
Serialization engine plaque
CoCo floor mats (front and rear)
Owner's jacket
Air conditioning
Front overhead console
Hi-series Floor console
Electronic AM/FM Stereo / Clock / CD
Power Windows / Locks / Mirrors
Speed Controls / Tilt Wheel
Key Pad / Auto Lock
Optional: Saleen / Recaro leather seats

Colors
Harvest Gold Clearcoat Metallic
Chestnut Clearcoat
Bright Red Clearcoat
Toreador Red Clearcoat Metallic
Medium Wedgewood Blue Clearcoat Metallic
Deep Wedgewood Blue Clearcoat Metallic
Tropic Green Clearcoat Metallic
Medium Platinum Clearcoat Metallic
Black Clearcoat
Oxford White Clearcoat

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EB4X

Explorer Addict
Joined
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Orange county, Ca
Year, Model & Trim Level
95 Explorer 4X 4.0 ohv
Here's a Saleen for sale not far from me:
Looks pretty sweet... although I'm more into off roaders.....

 






MuscleJunkie

Elite Explorer
Joined
April 14, 2007
Messages
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Year, Model & Trim Level
'00 Ford Explorer LTD AWD
Here's a Saleen for sale not far from me:
Looks pretty sweet... although I'm more into off roaders.....


 












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