Saleen Automotive CEO said it best: “The time is right that we return to the market with a product that feeds an audience of hungry Saleen Truck enthusiasts.”
I’ve written several articles here at Torque News (your home for all things F-150) about niche performance vehicles. From Roush to Hennessey to Mil-Spec Automotive. It seems performance truck makers are coming out of the woodwork.
My colleague Marc Stern wrote last year about the outstanding Saleen Sportruck, which is more of a track/drag strip performance truck than an off-road ready pickup.
For 2020, Saleen still offers the Sportruck, but now also offers the Sportruck XR to go off the beaten path, while still holding onto ample power and performance.
Steve Saleen said, “Furthering Saleen Automotive’s commitment to continued growth in the performance car and truck markets, we are proud to debut our Saleen Sportruck XR.”
2020 Saleen Sportruck XR F-150
The 2020 Saleen Sportruck XR is based upon the Ford F-150 platform and can be offered in a variety of engine options including the 2.7-liter Ecoboost or the popular 3.5-liter turbocharged and the naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8. When Saleen is done modifying the 5.0-liter V8 it finishes with 700 horsepower.
This can rival the Roush and Hennessey models that I’ve written about. But where Saleen separates itself is by putting some more off-road readiness into the Sportruck XR. They did this by collaborating with off-roading legend Greg Foutz to build the ultimate off-road truck.
The XR’s suspension has front 2.5 coil-over shocks to level out the front with the rear, and rear 2.5 Smooth Series shocks. The Black Label edition utilizes upper and lower Racecraft control arms, Spindle and specially made for Saleen by Fox, tuned front shocks with by-pass for 12-inches and custom rear by-pass shocks for 14-inches of travel. This XR also includes Saleen rear leaf springs and Saleen bump stop with frame gusset.
Saleen’s Signature brakes are standard on all versions with 13.8 -inch ABS vented front rotors with 2-piston calipers on fronts and 13.8 ABS vented rear rotors with 1-piston calipers on the rear. Larger brakes with 6-piston calipers are optional.
Exterior enhancements include Saleen-designed front and rear bumpers, body-color wheel flares, and Saleen Grille, sidesteps, tailgate panel and power hood. The Sportruck XR comes with six-spoke alloy wheels 17x8.5 front and rear, shod with General Tire Grabber X3 33x12.5-17 front and rear. Options include either Chrome or Carbonite wheels. All XR’s feature a Saleen serialized front bumper number in addition to Saleen VIN stampings.
2020 Saleen Sportruck XR Specs
There are three variants offered (White Label, Yellow Label and Black Label). Each of these have their own special outward appearances and options.
The Sportruck XR with a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 has 700 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque. Meanwhile the 3.5-liter EcoBoost has 390 horsepower with 480 lb.-ft. of torque.
The Sportruck XR with the 2.7-liter Ecoboost has 340 hp and 410 lb.ft. of torque.
Each “label” comes with Saleen Side Exhaust with duel polished stainless-steel tips as well as Saleen’s Powerflash Performance Calibration and Saleen Performance Air Filter. This all makes for a unique, exclusive performance/off road truck that has Saleen’s distinctive performance and sound, but that can also go through creek beds comfortably and aggressively.
I asked in a Facebook forum of F-150 enthusiasts which was their favorite performance-oriented truck builders and the responses were varied. I want to hear from you about your preference and what your thoughts are on these niche pickups.
As I wrote recently, even if the horsepower might be more impressive, nothing beats a 2017 Raptor for me.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.