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Shelby American announces Mustang Shelby GT500SE with over 800 horsepower, plus GT350SE limited edition variants

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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.

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Source: https://www.autoblog.com/2020/07/31/shelby-gt500se-gt350se-limited-edition-versions-debut/

Automotive

Volkswagen to make electric car cells, battery packs in U.S.

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German automaker Volkswagen said it was expanding its Chattanooga factory in Tennessee to make electric vehicle cells and battery packs in the United States, alongside assembling electric vehicles.

The company said it plans to break ground for a laboratory in Chattanooga to develop and test cells and battery packs for its upcoming car models assembled in the U.S., with the goal of a fully operational lab by spring 2021.

“A lot of auto companies will farm out the development and testing of batteries to another company, and some will actually do the work of developing and testing in-house. We are doing the latter,” said Wolfgang Maluche, vice president of engineering, Volkswagen of America.

Volkswagen’s plan to produce its own cells and battery packs for electric vehicles in the United States follows an emissions scandal at the company, which admitted to using illegal software to cheat pollution tests in the country.

The scandal has cost Volkswagen 30 billion euros ($35.51 billion) in fines, penalties and vehicle buyback costs worldwide.

Insourcing electric vehicle cells and battery packs reinforces Volkswagen as one of the most ambitious traditional carmakers in the electric vehicle domain, Credit Suisse analyst Dan Levy said.

Last year, the carmaker said it would invest $800 million to build a new electric vehicle at its plant in Chattanooga.

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Source: https://www.autoblog.com/2020/08/13/volkswagen-plans-chattanooga-battery-production/

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The Aston Martin Rapide leads this month’s list of discounts

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Aston Martin was an early entrant into the coupe-shaped sedan battlefield with its rakish Rapide. It was first shown in concept form in 2006 at the Detroit Auto Show before finally going into production in 2010. Ten years have passed since then, and this could well be your last chance to drive a new Rapide off your neighborhood Aston Martin dealership’s lot as the four-door is replaced by the DBX crossover.

If you’ve got your eye on a new Rapide — and congratulations if so — you’ll be pleased to know that you can snag a 2019 model for the low price of just $217,484. Sure, that’s still a lot of money, but it’s $24,341 off the car’s average $241,825 sticker price. That’s the largest monetary savings of August, 2020, and it represents a discount of a little over 10%. And even if the Rapide is getting a little long in the tooth, it’s still a strikingly beautiful machine, particularly in its most recent AMR guise.

Looking for something different but still extremely rapid? The 2019 Acura NSX is selling for an average transaction price of $142,141. That’s an 11% savings off its sticker of $159,703. Or you could opt for a Maserati Quattroporte if you’d like the convenience of a luxury sedan but not the price of the Aston Martin – the four-door Trident-badged machine’s average transaction price this month of $107,372 is a 12.4% discount.

And if none of that is up your alley, you could go full baller with a Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV for $320,085. That’s a savings of $12,665 off the car’s average retail price of $332,750. Just think of how much Grey Poupon you could afford with all that leftover cash.

For a look at the best new car deals in America based on the percentage discount off their suggested asking prices, check out our monthly recap here. And when you’re ready to buy, click here for the Autoblog Smart Buy program, which brings you a hassle-free buying experience with over 9,000 Certified Dealers nationwide.

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Source: https://www.autoblog.com/2020/08/13/aston-martin-rapide-biggest-discount-price/

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This Toyota Tercel promises minimalism, ’80s-style

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We’re guessing it’s been a while since you’ve seen one of these: Toyota’s humble Tercel, the brand’s longtime entry-level model, an econo-box that resided below the Corolla. This 1983 model is for sale right now on eBay Motors, looking just as you remember. That is, if you remember.

These cars have all but disappeared from American roads despite the fact that the Tercel was quite popular in its day, owing to its combination of an ultra-low sticker price and its high fuel economy. And yet, as those of us who were around in the ’80s and ’90s can attest, the cars were pretty much invisible even back then. Now, though, the tiny Toyota turns heads — it did ours, at least.

This is the second-generation Tercel, which switched to front-wheel drive. This two-door hatchback body style was the most commonly seen, although there was also a four-door hatchback and the better-known all-wheel-driver Tercel wagon. As an SR5, this Tercel is the fanciest available trim level, but it was still pretty parsimonious.

The included original window sticker (!) shows a starting price of $6,618. That includes power front disc brakes but not power steering, which was optioned here for $185. This buyer also ticked the boxes for alloy wheels ($265), a rear window wiper/washer ($90), and carpeted floor mats ($46). The biggest extravagance was a power sunroof for $460. Air conditioning, however, was a bridge too far.

Under the hood, a 1.5-liter engine dishes up 62 horsepower, and since this is an SR5, the driver can track its ministrations with the standard tachometer. It’s fair to say that the new owner will be working the five-speed stick pretty hard to wring the most out of this engine, but just imagine the smile on your face as you motor simply, the way they did back in the Reagan era. After all, not everyone back then was a yuppie or a “Greed-is-good” Wall Street leveraged buyout king. This was a car for the victims of LBOs.

The window sticker shows that this Tercel was originally Light Yellow, and the seller acknowledges that the current golden hue is a respray. The body, though, appears laser-straight — thank that gentle California climate. And the cloth-and-vinyl buckets seats, those carpeted floor mats, and that AM/FM radio all appear well preserved. So far, one bidder has a raised a virtual paddle, offering $3,000. With five days to go, there’s plenty of time for the price to climb. Or not. Whoever ends up with this Tercel will likely have the only one for miles around. Oh, what a feelin’!

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Source: https://www.autoblog.com/2020/08/13/toyota-tercel-for-sale-ebay-motors/

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