It's not every day two heavyweight fighters announce their supremacy at the same time. And when those contenders are vehicles backed by some of the biggest private-label names in the auto industry, high-performance truck lovers come out the real winners. Entering the sport-truck war (one that Chevy, Ford, and Dodge haven't done much to further lately), Steve Saleen will add the all-new S331 to his list of limited-edition power-snorting vehicles, as will Jack Roush, with his all-new "Roushcharged" Stage 3 F-150. Although both are Ford trucks, the way each company will execute its strategy is different. Saleen will offer two models -- one at $40,000 and another at $50,000 -- whhile Roush will hae several performance levels, ranging from Sport for $4800 (over the price of an F-150) to the topline State 3 setup at $15,860. Neither fully outfitted truck will be inexpensive, but from the looks of the parts and pieces their engineering teams have put together, both companies' setups will add fire breathing life into a stock Super Cab F-150.
Here are a few highlights of the trucks in question. A more detailed analysis of these beasts is due once we get them in-house to test--and we'll make sure the trucks can deliver what both companies have promised. For now, this is what we know.
Saleen Sport Truck S331
The Saleen truck will come in two flavors, essentially distinguished by their engines: the first is a normally aspirated 5.4e S331 to go on sale by fall 2006, fully certified and carrying a three-year/30,000-mile warranty through Saleen.
• Part of the F-150 overhaul package from Saleen includes 23-inch seven spoke forged wheels wrapped with BFG 305/40R23 tires, helping provide a huge improvement in overall handling and grip. Likewise, the front brakes are replaced with 15-inch slotted and vented discs, along with six-piston calipers.
• The interior also can include a number of changes, from custom Saleen pedals to all-new five-way-adjustable leather seats. One of the few options is a Rockford Fosgate 10-inch subwoofer upgrade for the factory radio. We like this twin-gauge pod the fits atop the dash.
• Saleen has created its own injection-molded exterior components for the front fascia and side skirts and designed the rear spoiler and unique hood.