Friday, September 16, 2005

N20 No No, or "Don't believe the hype" Saleen style

OK, prompted by the same call from my brother, is this posting subtitled "Don't believe the hype" (lyric from Public Enemy rap song) in which I try and inform the uninformed about the truth about the Saleen N2O Focus, which if you follow the link, they describe as a 250hp, "Nitrous ready" performance version of Ford's compact Focus. Sit around boys and girls and let me fill you in, or just read in between the lines on Saleen's own site.

The Saleen Focus N2O is fitted with the top of the line 2.0 Duratec I-4 which from the factory makes 150hp, not bad , nothing to be ashamed of. But here's where it gets interesting. Saleen supplies you with a "Nitrous ready" package, which includes all the wiring, plumbing and even the 10lb. bottle of Nitrous, plus Saleen's upgrades to the ECU. But two things are misssing for your $$$$, the bottle is empty and there is a hose missing. You see boys and girls, if you hook up the hose and fill the tank, you can kiss your warranty goodbye!!!!!!!!! Now most manufacturers will void your warranty if you get caught racing or abusing your car, just ask all those poor slobs who boughts Mitsubishi Evos or Subaru WRXs and then went autocrossing at SCCA events. But with this, you only have to hook up the bottle and goodbye warranty.

So the question is, why would anyone buy one? For the "rally inspired styling" and the neat Saleen interior upgrades? I don't know, but when I was told the one that my brother was standing by at the dealer was stickered at over $25k I thought I heard PT Barnnum calling out "Step right up folks and see the amazing PinHead."

I don't mean to imply that anyone who buys a Saleen Focus N2O is a Pinhead. Oh OK you got me, yes that's exactly what I'm saying. Further the fact that Steve Saleen would push this farse out the doors, makes him on too. Why can't we have a real 250hp Focus like the Euro ST? This one comes with 250 hp and a warranty, but not here.

Shame on Steve Saleen and Ford for the shell game they play on stupid people who buy these. You can have 250hp if you buy my car, add the gas and hose and don't mind loosing your warranty. If it was my money and I wanted a rice fighter, I'd walk over to Chevy and buy the Cobalt SS Supercharged or go over to the Dodge boys and buy the Neon SRT4, both with over 200 hp and a full warranty for just over or near $20. I say again, shame on Saleen.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post, until I read this I was excited that 250HP would be available. But I didn't know about the details. and seeing both of your pics makes me realize how dated US Focus realy is.


Dotty Gale said...


OK, I don't need it. But I think I can get a deal on a GTO after the Employee Pricing sham is over.

Big Ford Fan said...

MM, glad to clear that up.

Dotty, even though it's not a Ford, good luck with the GTO

Shawn said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought all pre-installed nitrous cars ship/delivery without the hose & the bottle empty? ...For liablity reasons.

Or am I totally off on this?

Big Ford Fan said...

Shawn, shipping with an empty tank is not the issue. The issue is that if you fill the tank and install the hose, you void your warranty. So you buy a nitrous prepped car, and follow the logical step by filling the bottle, then installing the hose. You don't even need to start the car, your warranty is dead.

Shawn said...

I know, but what I'm saying is Saleen CAN'T offer a warrenty on a nitrous car when it cannot ship as a nitrous car.

The only problem I see is if the dealer failed to explain this to a buyer.

As far as I know, this is the same with all pre-installed nitrous (or "nitrous ready") cars.

Big Ford Fan said...

Shawn, I may not be following your logic. Let me see If I can be clearer in what I'm concerned about.

If you go to a Saleen dealer, and by the Focus N20, which they market as a 250 hp vehicle, and then in smaller print explain that this is with the supplied 100 hp Nitrous kit, then hook up the kit and fill the bottle, neither Ford nor Saleen will honor any part of the original 3 year warranty.

Now I'm not aware of any other "Nitrous Ready" vehicles being sold as new through and OEM dealer network. Can you point out 1 other? Most OEM hot hatches are turbo or superhcarged. And if Saleen is selling a "tuner car" then why are they available at the dealerships?

But I am aware of several OEM dealers that offer small cars with over 200 hp and a factory warranty. Just look at the Chevy Cobalt SS Supercharged, Saturn Ion Redline Supercharged, Dodge Neon SRT4, Mitsubishi Evo and Subaru WRX. Now with several of these cars, if you take your car to an SCCA sanctioned event, and the results are posted on the SCCA website, your warranty is void.

How does Saleen expect anyone to pony up to $25,000.00 for a Focus that is "Nitrous Ready" but really is just the stock 150 hp Focus with some Saleen dress up parts?

If the only problem you see, is a dealer's failure to notify a buyer, then I don't know how I can explain it any clearer.

This is a sham, a shell game, a ripoff. Saleen sells these through select Ford dealers, and on the sticker is the factory warranty. Possibly there may be a disclaimer about hooking up the nitrous. But what fool is going to buy a car that is hyped as 250 hp and then not hook it up. For the money there are too many other cars with better performance.

Saleen would have better served the Focus community with a sueprcharger or turbocharger kit and a warranty.

This is not about the inconvenience of illing the nitrous tank or installing the hose. It's about the buyer paying that kind of money and having no warranty.

Shawn said...

You're absolutely right if Saleen dealers are not explaining this to their customers. They should not advertise it as a 250 hp car. It is just a dressed up Focus with some systems preinstalled.

Nitrous is different than Turbo or Superchargers. In many states, it is illegal to drive on public roads with the nitrous hooked up.

Now is it a rip off? Absolutely. You can buy the system yourself and install it for a LOT cheaper.

Now if you think losing the warrenty is a big deal, try calling your insurance company after you install NOS.

Anonymous said...

The N20 cars don't even come with rear disc brakes. Saleen should have started with the SVT Focus. And left the n20 stuff for tv shows. Saleen now has the N20 kit on sale for 500.00.

Anonymous said...

I have the 2004 ford N2O Saleen it has 3000 miles on it and I have never had the opportunity to use the nitrous and was not informed about the warranty issue luckily my friend told me than I asked the dealership and the said that yes it would definately void the warranty. How nice is that? Why the heck did I buy it?