Revved up!

Jun 10, 2004

Matt Wright '02 returned to campus to discuss his work on high performance cars for Saleen Inc., one of the world's preeminent producers of limited, high performance vehicles.

Graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and securing a position with an automotive company is the goal of many Kettering students. But for one lucky soul, this goal proved to be even more exciting than he could have imagined.

During his career at Kettering, Matt Wright was fortunate to land a co-op with Saleen Inc. of Irvine, Calif., which produces limited, high performance vehicles and racecars that are continuously sought after by drivers and racing enthusiasts. Some of the company's most famous of products is the Saleen S-7, which the company conceived to combine the performance of a track-only racecar with the driving pleasure of a road car. The vehicle is capable of speeds in excess of 200 mph and boasts a 7-litre engine that generates 550 horsepower at 6400 RPM. The car also has optimal aerodynamics that allows the wind to flow smoothly over the body and reduce friction against the vehicle. The price tag for the S-7 starts at $395,000 and the time to produce one from order to completed package is several weeks.

Wright worked on the team that developed the S-7 and displayed a short video of the vehicle production and tests during his visit to campus, as well as clips of cars the company is currently working with to make them high performance vehicles. He is currently a design and development engineer at the company's corporate offices in Fairbanks, Calif., and finds the work both challenging and enjoyable.

"Working for Saleen means coupling the most exciting and challenging aspects of Racing, Production and Aftermarket into work every day," he said.

Kettering's Professional Leadership Honor Society (formerly the Management Honor Society) sponsored the event and more than 100 students attended Wright's talk. For more information on Saleen Inc., visit the company website at

Written by Gary Erwin
(810) 762-9538