Saleen has tuned many Ford Mustangs in its day, but did you know it also turned up the heat on the Ford Explorer way before high-performance SUVs became a thing? Yep. Case in point is this big ol’ blast from the past—a 1998 Ford Explorer Saleen XP8 Supercharged that is making the rounds on Bring a Trailer. The souped-up SUV appears to be in practically new condition with only 23,000 miles on the clock.
About 300 examples were made between the late 1990s and 2001, and this one is number 28—it says so right on the Toreador Red painted bumper below the headlight in gold lettering. Pretty sweet. But wait, there’s more—way more! Check out those 18-inch gold rims shod with Pirelli Scorpion Zero rubber, retro Saleen decals, and a funky body kit with a rear spoiler. The tuned suspension was dropped about 2.0-inches by the SoCal tuner. It also wears Saleen Racecraft N2 shocks and sway bars, and disc brakes with four-piston calipers up front.
The Saleen XP8 packs a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 that drops 286 horsepower and 333 lb-ft of torque. Non-supercharged versions offered about 222 hp and 298 lb-ft of torque. The Saleen massaged V-8 is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel-drive.
The Pennsylvania seller recently acquired the Saleen SUV from its original New Jersey owner and it comes with a clean Keystone State title and matching Carfax report. Inside the Ford sports a leather and wood-trimmed steering wheel, tan leather Recaro seats with Saleen logos, matching carpets, and a CD and cassette stereo system for your old NSYNC collection.
The Explorer Saleen XP8 here sold for $52,228 when new with options that include Saleen brakes, leather seats, and a design hood. A touched-up scratch is noted on the hood and that appears to be the vehicle’s only deficit.
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