Here’s your chance to Shelby your Shelby. Shelby American just announced Carroll Shelby Signature Edition versions of the Shelby GT500, Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT350R. They include the Shelby GT500SE, Shelby GT350SE and Shelby GT350RSE. OK, now that we’ve broken the record for most uses of the word “Shelby” in a paragraph, we’ll dial it back a notch.
We’ll kick it off with the supercharged GT500SE. Shelby takes the 760-horsepower 5.2-liter supercharged V8 and fits a new supercharger pulley that ups horsepower to “800-plus.” Shelby doesn’t provide any additional detail besides stating that it requires 93 octane fuel to make that power. A high-volume intercooler and heat exchanger are fitted to handle any excess heat, and a new vented carbon fiber hood is added, too, which weighs 30 pounds less than the factory piece. Suspension upgrades include more aggressive springs, sway bars (front and back), caster camber plates, forged aluminum wheels, extended and hardened wheel studs and a total recalibration. It comes standard with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, but you can add Pilot Sports Cup 2s. Also available optionally is a rear seat delete with harness bar, a widebody kit and painted stripes. Both the interior and exterior are sprinkled with Shelby badging and extra niceties. There will only be 100 per model year of the GT500, and all will receive their own plaque with serial numbers.
Moving on, we come to the Shelby GT350SE and R variants. Shelby provided photos of an R, but you can apply the upgrades to either Mustang. There’s no extra power on tap for the naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V8 in the GT350SE, but Shelby does add suspension. Similar to the GT500SE, the GT350SE has more aggressive springs, front and rear sway bars, forged wheels and caster camber plates. One note on the wheels: If your Mustang is already fitted with the factory carbon fiber wheels, it’s hard to see these aluminum wheels being an upgrade.
Its appearance add ons are similar to the GT500SE, too. You get additional Carroll Shelby badging everywhere, new leather seat covers and the same plaque treatment. Shelby plans on limiting the GT350SE to 100 units from each model year going back to the 2015 launch. That means you can send your old Shelby here and have it be retroactively double Shelby-fied.
The conversions aren’t cheap, though. A Shelby GT500SE is another $29,995 on top of the base car. Upgrading the GT350 to a GT350SE is much cheaper at $9,995. Neither of those prices include transportation to and from Shelby American in Las Vegas. We’d suggest getting in touch with the company if you want to spring for one of these limited edition upgrades.
Tesla has received federal approval to remove more trees from the property it owns in Brandenburg, Germany. The site, which is currently being used for the company’s European production facility, known as Giga Berlin, is under development. However, the automaker requested permission to remove trees from more of the property and received approval early this morning.
The State Office for the Environment in Brandenburg approved an early start for the clearing of further forest areas for the construction of a pipeline system and storage areas on the Tesla Giga Berlin property. The Office approved 82.8 hectares, or 204.6 acres, of land to be cleared to prepare the pipeline and storage systems to be installed.
Tesla initially sought out approval for the tree clearing process in late August 2020, but constant revisions to what the company would be allowed to do on the site delayed the announcement until now. The scope of the area that the automaker would be allowed to remove trees from was reduced several times in accordance with environmental concerns, and the Office decided that the removal of 82.8 hectares of trees was “absolutely necessary” for Tesla to continue its efforts, Land Brandenburg first reported.
Comprehensive requirements have been outlined and must be followed in order to protect the land and the species that inhabit the area. Tesla has made it obvious that it aims to protect the area and the wildlife that call it home and have taken necessary steps to alleviate any concerns of wrongdoing. When the automaker performed the first deforestation efforts in 2020, it made several promises to citizens and the Environmental Office, including replanting three trees for every tree it removes and protecting wildlife in the area. For example, Tesla did not remove the Giga Berlin land’s final tree until the bats who live in the tree had vacated it.
The State Office for the Environment has stated that the deforestation work may only take place during weekdays and must occur between 7 AM and 8 PM local time. Tesla must document compliance with these requirements and must also submit noise measurements to ensure that volume levels comply with local standards. Construction should not interfere with the life of local residents.
It should be noted that Tesla continues to carry out the approved measures at its own risk. This means that if the project’s final approval is not granted, the entire facility, including its buildings, must be removed, and the entire area must be reforested on the company’s dime.
Tesla gains permission to begin second phase of deforestation at Giga Berlin
Shares of Nikola Motor Company (NASDAQ: NKLA) dropped by over 24% in early trading hours on Monday morning after General Motors signed a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, describing their partnership’s newly minimized terms. GM has completely backed out of the idea of helping Nikola produce its all-electric Badger pickup and will focus solely on the manufacturing of Nikolas Class 7 and Class 8 zero-emission semi-trucks that will be powered by GM’s Hydrotec fuel-cell technology.
Nikola released a statement on Monday morning that described a non-binding MOU, which was signed by both parties, outlining a partnership between the two companies that would have GM supplying its fuel-cell systems into Nikola’s semi-trucks. The new MOU will supersede and replace the previous agreement that was set to be finalized in early December. The initial agreement was announced on September 8th, but many things have happened since then that have complicated the nature of the deal.
After GM and Nikola had announced their initial intentions to make a deal for manufacturing, a group known as Hindenburg Research released a document entitled, “Nikola—How to Parlay An Ocean of Lies Into a Partnership With the Largest Auto OEM in America.” The report called the company “an intricate fraud” and outlined several accusations involving Nikola being fraudulent and misleading to its shareholders. Arguably the most shocking claim was that Nikola’s demonstration of the One, its introductory semi-truck, was not self-propelled. Nikola revealed that it had spent a tremendous sum of money on the One, and it had no desire to spend more capital on the development of a One prototype. Instead, the company let the semi-truck drift down a slightly embanked hill, which gave the appearance that it was self-propelled.
After admitting this, Nikola shares fell by around 10%, and the company’s widely-criticized CEO, Trevor Milton, stepped down from his position and disappeared from the public spotlight.
Teslarati recently reported that GM and Nikola talks had frozen after the Hindenburg accusations. GM told us that the transaction was still incomplete as of November 18th. It appears that the two companies were working out a new deal that would still require a partnership but would be less intimate.
As a result of GM’s new, minimal agreement with Nikola, the electric automaker filed an offer of up to 23.9 million shares linked to warrants and an additional 53.4 million shares of common stock. The extension of shares caused the stock to fall, and at the time of writing, it was down 24.26%.
GM cuts back terms of partnership with Nikola, shares drop over 24%
Tesla China continues to blitz towards the impending ramp of the Model Y in Gigafactory Shanghai, with the EV maker securing the necessary permissions to start selling the all-electric crossover in the country. The approval was published by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on its website on Monday.
Tesla applied for the Made-in-China Model Y’s sales permission earlier this month. The application comes amidst sightings of trial production Model Y around the country and within the Gigafactory Shanghai complex. With these developments in mind, it appears that Tesla China is poised to start delivering the Model Y to customers in early 2021.
As observed by Tesla owner-investor @Ray4Tesla, the Made-in-China Model Y has also been included in the 12th batch of New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) that are recommended by the country. The all-electric crossover is also poised to be exempted from purchase taxes, which stand at about 10%.
Assuming that Tesla is also able to secure a production permit for the Made-in-China Model Y, the electric car maker could very well start a serious ramp of the vehicle’s production soon.
With the Model Y entering the Chinese EV market, the reach of the electric car maker in the country would likely see a boost. The Model Y, after all, is a crossover, which competes in a segment that is far more popular and lucrative than the sedan market, which the domestically-produced Model 3 competes in.
Tesla China is poised to take on a larger role in the EV maker’s global operations, with Gigafactory Shanghai recently producing vehicles that are designed for export to the European market. Reports indicate that next year, Tesla plans to produce 550,00 vehicles in Gigafactory Shanghai alone, over 100,000 of which will be intended for exports.
Tesla secures permission to start selling the Model Y in China
CEO Elon Musk says that SpaceX is set to attempt one final Raptor engine static fire test before putting Starship through its high-altitude launch debut later this week.
Liable to begin as soon as November 30th per public road closure notices, Musk says that Starship serial number 8’s (SN8) launch debut – both Starship’s first fully-assembled flight test and first high-altitude launch attempt – is now scheduled no earlier than (NET) 8 am to 5 pm CST (UTC-6) on Wednesday, December 2nd.
November 30th will instead host what is believed to be a unique kind of static fire test for Starship SN8, hopefully proving that the rocket has a decent shot at surviving its risky launch debut.
“On November 25th, Starship SN9 (featuring “small improvements”) was stacked to its full 50-meter (~165 ft) height. If SN8 is destroyed during testing, SN9 will likely be ready to roll to the launch site almost as soon as the dust settles.
Meanwhile, Starship SN10 is likely just 7-10 days away from a similar nosecone stacking milestone, and Starship SN11’s tank section is just one stack away from completion, likely putting it less than two weeks behind SN10. In other words, insofar as speed is a priority and each prototype is anywhere close to as cheap as Starship’s majority-steel bill of materials might suggest, SpaceX is building Starships so quickly that it almost doesn’t make sense to spend more than a few weeks working through bugs on any single suborbital ship.”
In fact, delaying SN8’s launch to try to refine the rocket in situ and better ensure success could actually be to the detriment of successive prototypes and the Starship program in general. If, for example, a fundamental design flaw is revealed in Starship SN8 only after the prototype’s first test flight, SpaceX could be forced to scrap a huge amount of work done on as many as six, seven, eight, or even more subsequent prototypes. In that since, while it may seem like caution maximizes the value any single Starship prototype can provide SpaceX, that’s only true as long as the Starship design is mature enough that new fundamental flaws are unlikely to arise.
Given how young SpaceX’s agile Starship development program is, it would make very little sense to hinge months of work and more than half a dozen rocket prototypes on the quality and success of a less mature prototype unless all the vehicles in question are more or less identical final products. SN8 through SN15+ are certainly not final products in the sense that Starship is meant to be the largest reusable orbital spacecraft ever built.
As such, the Starship program is probably better off if SpaceX pushes vehicles to failure as quickly as reasonably possible. Having now spent more than two months at the launch pad while no less than three full-scale prototypes rapidly approach a similar level of completion, Starship SN8’s test flow is likely an overcorrection from a haphazardly rushed schedule to extreme caution.
Along those lines, SpaceX is now hopefully set on launching Starship SN8 within the near future. First, though, the company apparently plans to attempt another Raptor engine static fire test on Monday, November 30th. Scheduled between 7 am and 9 pm CST, the test has been described as a “handoff” static fire, referring to the process of switching each Raptor engine’s propellant feed from Starship’s main tank to much smaller ‘header’ tanks reserved for landings.
What exactly that handoff refers to is unclear. It could mean that SN8 will switch from main tanks to header tanks during a Raptor static fire test, though it’s unclear why that capability would be necessary unless Starship’s current header tank design is too small. “Handoff” could also refer to the process of switching between main and header tanks between Raptor operations – far more likely. In other words, Starship SN8’s Monday testing might involve two back-to-back static fires, performed with no human intervention. If successful, such a handoff static fire would simultaneously test Starship’s ability switch propellant sources and perform multiple Raptor engine ignitions – both necessary for a launch and landing.
Musk himself believes that Starship SN8 has a ~33% chance of successfully launching, reaching apogee, stably ‘skydiving’ ~14 km (~9 mi) back to Earth, reigniting Raptor engines, and landing in one piece. It’s unclear what will happen in the seemingly unlikely event that SN8 survives, but Starship SN9 is practically nipping at the relatively ancient prototype’s heels.
SpaceX sets dates for Starship static fire, high-altitude launch debut