Concept supercar showcases new supercharged 650-hp V8 and runs on ethanol.

At a quick glance, you might think this car is Italian--a Lamborghini perhaps, or even a Ferrari. This yellow supercar is all-American, however. The Saleen S5S Raptor made its world debut at the New York Auto Show, putting an exclamation point on the specialty manufacturer's recent reinvention of itself.

Considerably more restrained than Saleen's previous supercar the S7, the S5S Raptor features clean lines sculpted in lightweight composites. A solar-tinted glass roof allows daylight in, and the purposeful mid-engine design looks world-class.

Saleen's racing heritage is obvious at the S5S Raptor's heart, a new 5.0 liter supercharged V8. This 650-horsepower, 630 lb-ft torque engine runs on ethanol, just like the IRL and American Le Mans cars, and Saleen reports a 3.2-second 0-60mph time and a top speed of over 200mph. Saleen chose the ethanol burning engine partly as a nod to the track and partly to consider reduced emissions and oil dependence. The engine uses a twin-screw supercharger and is hooked up to a six-speed manual transmission. The Raptor is also designed to handle a paddle-shifted sequential gearbox, if desired.

Double wishbones are used at all four corners, and the massive fifteen-inch front, thirteen-inch rear brakes are augmented by ABS and traction control. The 20-inch forged aluminum wheels have a black diamond and carbon-fiber finish.

That's all very exciting, but it's all just bench talk until the rubber hits the road. Saleen says that the S5S Raptor could be on the road in two years at an estimated $185,000 MSRP, depending on the public's reaction to this car. Saleen seems to have thought this through, so it's a good bet that we'll see a roadgoing Raptor in the near future.

Be part of something big