Artist's Rendition of 2013 Porsche Cajun Small SUV

It's no secret that Porsche is working on a new model to further expand its range in the SUV segment. In fact, the German sports car maker not only confirmed the vehicle but also announced that it is being developed under the working name "Cajun". Further details remain unknown including of course the Cajun's styling direction and whether or not it will be a three-door (most likely) or five-door model.

Nevertheless, Teamspeed member and rendering specialist Wild-Speed has come up with a styling proposal for the Cajun. The artist designed the crossover as a three-door model with a sloping roofline incorporating styling elements from the latest Cayenne, Panamera and the 918 Spyder (notice the head lamps). You can check out the renderings in high resolution after the jump.

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A Nissan Silva Coupe with a Schizophrenic Personality

In October of 2010 we brought you a Toyota Soarer / Lexus SC that had been transformed into an abomination with a Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM front end and a Nissan 200SX rump. It was bad, but I still liked it better than the snooze-mobile that was the ‘91 Soarer / CS.

Well, from the same website that brought us that automotive mullet comes yet another creation that’s been refashioned into something else. This time its a Nissan Silva. This particular freak of coach building features a Mercedes-Benz rear end (or at very least the taillights) and Nissan 350Z front end. The result is less than impressive.

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Ayrton Senna's Nephew Bruno Signs with Lotus-Renault F1 Team

The nephew of the late three-times Formula One world champion Ayrton Senna, Bruno, has signed up with the new Lotus-Renault GP team, the British automaker announced on Monday. The 27-year old, who comes from a bad season in Formula One with the struggling Hispania team, will be a reserve driver for the 2011 season.

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Quick Chop: Ferrari FF Spider

While we're waiting for Ferrari to release some additional photos with more revealing views of its new four-seat, all-wheel drive, FF sports car, we thought we'd share this photoshop of a Spider version of Maranello's latest creation, made by a reader of a French car site. The chop was created by simply erasing the shooting-break-style roof of the standard FF and adding some details on the car's rear quarter. While it's pointless to pass judgment on the photoshop, it would be interesting to hear if you think a Spider version of the FF with four seats is something that Ferrari should consider building in the near future. Voice your thoughts in the comments section after the jump.

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VIDEO: VW Teases its Super Bowl Commercial for the 2012 New Beetle

Volkswagen is offering us a 10-second glimpse of its new 'Black Beetle' TV commercial that will air during the Super Bowl football game next Sunday, February 6, 2011. The is the first television spot for the next generation of the Volkswagen Beetle, which is scheduled for launch in May, 2011. However, the 'Black Beetle' commercial won't reveal the car itself as it is centered on a beetle (as in the insect) that runs around the forest outperforming all the other creatures. Follow the jump to watch the teaser spot.

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Jaguar Wants a Smaller Model to Compete with the BMW 3-Series & Co.

With a lineup that comprises only three models – the XK coupe and cabriolet, XF sedan and XJ flagship limousine –, Jaguar needs a smaller, more affordable car in order boost sales and successfully compete with the likes of the BMW 3-series and the rest of Germany's premium offerings such as the Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4. According to the brand’s new global director, Adrian Hallmark, the automaker is currently considering a small sports car positioned below the XF that could spawn numerous variants including a four-door sedan.

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New Honda App Allows iPhone Users to Catch Characters from TV Spot as they Appear on the Commercial

In a ground-breaking campaign, Honda has merged the worlds of iPhone Apps and traditional commercials, be they on your TV, computer screen or mobile phone. Created to celebrate the launch of the revised Honda Jazz [Fit in the U.S.], the new interactive app allows iPhone users to virtually catch animated characters as they appear on screen in the firm's new TV advert 'This Unpredictable Life' and drop them into their phones, more or less in the same way you'd use a PS3 Move or Nintendo wii motion-controller.

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VIDEO: 2012 Nissan GT-R vs 2011 Nissan GT-R Drag Race

Back in 2009, Nissan GT-R owners had to face an odd dilemma: even though the car came with a launch control system, using it meant voiding the warranty. In the ensuing controversy, the Japanese maker simply dropped it for the 2010 model year, stating that it doesn’t want to deal with the “warranty nightmare” anymore.

However, the launch control is back on the 2012 GT-R’s equipment list in a revised form that allows customers to use it four times in a row, before shutting off in order to protect the transmission. Just like the original, the new system (LC4) launches from 4,000 rpm, but it’s better at minimizing wheel spin, making the latest and more powerful (+45HP) iteration of the Japanese sports car a lot faster compared to the 2010MY GT-R in a straight line race. Hit the break to watch the videos.

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Audi Begins Producing A4 and A6 Models in Indonesia

Like many other automakers, Audi is constantly expanding its production network to include new countries. This time, the German premium carmaker has launched a new assembly plant in Indonesia in cooperation with INDOMOBIL /Garuda Mataram Motor, to produce the Audi A4 1.8 TFSI and A6 2.0 TFSI cars in the capital city Jakarta.

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Top Gear USA Host to Coach Bloggers and Consumers at 2012 Ford Focus Global Test Drive Event in Spain

This young man you're looking at the portrait above is Tanner Foust and he will be on hand to teach bloggers [sic] and consumers at Ford's 2012 Focus global test drive event that will take place in Madrid, Spain from February 18 to 20. And who is Tanner Foust, we hear some of you in the USA and probably all of you outside the North American continent, ask? Well, Foust is one of the hosts of the American edition of the Top Gear show that airs on History Channel.

According to Ford, Foust is also a "rallyist, stunt driver, drift champion and television personality". No offense but we think "an over-hyped racing driver that has been shoved down our throats by PR people and certain websites because he won some low talent events like the X games rally and Formula D drift championship", is a more appropriate description that's closer to reality.

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Mercedes-Benz Readying Baby CLS and Small SUV, will Arrive in the U.S. within the next Three Years

In order to attract younger customers, Mercedes is planning to launch several new compact models, all based on the brand’s upcoming MFA (Mercedes Front-wheel-drive Architecture) platform. These new vehicles will also be offered in North America. According to an Automotive News Europe report, the Stuttgart automaker is currently working on a 'baby' CLS four-door coupe model and an SUV, which could be joined later on by a convertible or shooting brake variant.

“We will introduce the next generation of our MFA family to the U.S.”, Joachim Schmidt, Mercedes' global sales and marketing boss, told ANE in an interview. “Two variants, maybe even a third, are planned for the U.S.”, he added.

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New Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Production Begins, Prices Start from $30,000

General Motor today celebrated the start of regular production of the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible at its Oshawa assembly plant in Canada. The drop-top version of the Detroit firm's muscle car will go on sale in the U.S. in February and will be available with two engine options and four trim packages with prices starting from US$30,000 MSRP including an $850 destination fee.

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VIDEO: Oops...Ford F-150 Steps Over Ferrari 458 Italia

The owner of a brand new Ferrari 458 Italia with some 500 miles on the odometer in Brandon Florida received a quick lesson on the disadvantages of a low slung sports car in the land of pickup trucks and SUVs when a Ford F-150 ran over its hood. We don't know if the F-150 driver mistook Maranello's creation for a red speed bump or if the Ferrari owner questioned Ford's 'Built Tough' slogan, but something tells us this video is going to become a hit. You can watch the clip after the break.

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Australia: Now you see the New Mazda2 Sedan, now you Don't

The Mazda2 four-door small sedan has been dropped from the firm's lineup in Australia, just eight months after launch. The reason is Mazda's decision to switch production of the Australian market version of the small car from its Thailand factory, which manufactures both sedan and hatchback body styles, to the company's Hiroshima plant in Japan, which builds only the hatchback version.

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Volkswagen Intros New R-Line Sport Package for Touareg SUV

Volkswagen Touareg shoppers now have one more box to tick on the options list as the German automaker has released the third and final R-Line package for the luxury SUV model, aptly called 'Exterior'. As its name suggests, the new package gives the Touareg a more aggressive appearance on the outside. It includes a bodykit with a front apron, chunky side skirts, a bespoke roof spoiler and a rear apron that incorporates a diffuser in a matte black finish with openings for the chrome tail pipes.

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VIDEO: New Aston Martin Rapide Promo Films [Part 3]

Aston Martin has released the third and final part of its promotional trilogy “True Power Should Be Shared” starring the Rapide four-door coupe. There's less action in this film as our heroes drive towards their destination, wondering what they are transporting. Well, it turns out to be some kind of a time machine, which saves them from being killed in an ambush and returns them to Lisbon, where everything started. Not what we expected, but at least the Rapide didn’t get blown up. Hit the jump to watch the video. Read more »

Official: BMW 2.0-liter Turbo Coming to the USA in 2011, Replaces 3.0-liter Straight-Six

We knew BMW's brand-new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine was coming to the States but now, the Bavarian automaker has made it official. The German company released a statement saying the first cars to be equipped with the force-fed four-banger will "arrive later this year" in the USA.

The 2.0-liter unit made its debut on the X1 compact crossover and will eventually replace BMW’s trademark normally aspirated 3.0-liter inline six. While BMW's US division has yet to announce which models will get the new engine, in Europe, the automaker has already confirmed the powerplant for the Z4 coupe-roadster and the 5-Series range.

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Ayrton Senna Documentary Receives Positive Reviews at Sundance Film Festival [with Video]

Seventeen years after the great Ayrton Senna died, the documentary about his life, aptly named 'Senna', was shown at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival last week and was met with critical acclaim. The work of British director Asif Kapadia and screenwriter and executive producer Manish Pandey, Senna tells the story of one of the greatest drivers who ever lived exclusively through archive footage.

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Poll: Should GM give in and call the Volt a hybrid?

Apart from the humorous articles and the plethora of eBay finds we come up with, Carscoop’s bread and butter is automotive news straight from the manufacturer. And as such, we read a lot of press releases. In all the ones I’ve read, General Motors refuses to call the Chevrolet Volt a hybrid. It’s a range extended electric vehicle.

I speculate that it might have something to do with hybrids being uncool (so sayeth GM CEO Dan Akerson) or to avoid comparisons with that other hybrid. You know, the one made by the world’s other biggest car manufacturer.

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AC Schnitzer Offers First Batch of Goodies for MINI Countryman

German tuner AC Schnitzer has launched its first tuning package for the MINI Countryman . The focus is clearly on the wheels, as clients can choose between four different designs in two different sizes (18- or 19-inch) to go with the two-tone white and black exterior paint job. In fact, AC Schnitzer has just broken a personal record: in a company first, it has fitted a MINI with 19-inch rims. As for the interior, the tuning house offers an aluminum pedal set and gear knob or various knobs clad in leather with incorporated, digital gear display unit.

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Fiat Abarth 500 Gulf Limited Edition: The Real Photos

This here is the actual, factual Fiat Abarth 500 Gulf Limited Edition special in the flesh, photographed at the Autopolis Fiat dealership in Luxembourg. We say this because yesterday, we reported on the limited run special and Fiat's photoshoped picture that made the internet rounds. While our friends from Auto55 and Autofans verified the story with the official press release, we were left wondering what the Italian mini with the classic racing-livery would look like in real life.

Today, our pondering came to an end as the Marketing and Communications director of Autopolis Luxembourg dropped the first real life shots of the car in our mailbox. We believe Fiat should have released these photos instead of the 'chop from the beginning, but we'll give them props for keeping a close eye on the web-o-sphere and swiftly reacting to our post.

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It Came from eBay Hell: ‘80s VW Golf Stretch Limo with Mercedes Nose

So you want your own limousine? Sure, I can dig that. Who hasn’t thought of trading in their daily commute for something that’s chauffer driven? And what better place to start your search than on eBay, where you’re sure to find something both unique and affordable, if not exactly well built or driveable.

Here’s one such find, based on a 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit (Golf for the rest of the world) with a Mercedes-Benz nose piece. The seller’s description reveals that this vehicle has new brakes, struts, a new exhaust, new wheels and tires, new windshield and gas tank. And it still has its original motor and transmission, with a twin barrel carburettor with aluminium intake and header which the seller assures us makes it, “Fast for what it is.”

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EPA Rates the 2012 Fiat 500 at 38MPG on the Highway

The U.S.-spec 2012 Fiat 500 equipped with the 5-speed manual gearbox has received EPA ratings of 38 mpg on the highway, 30 mpg in the city and a combined figure of 33 mpg. American buyers can also opt for a 6-speed automatic, which is rated at 34 mpg highway, 27 mpg in the city and 30 mpg combined.

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1955 Ford "Beatnik" Bubbletop Custom Concept going up for Auction

Making its way down to Florida for RM Auction's annual Amelia Island event on March 2, is this 1955 Ford "Beatnink" Bubbletop custom concept inspired by futuristic design studies from the 1950s. Despite its name, the Beatnik is a fairly new creation built by Gary “Chopit” Fioto. It is based on the body of a 1955 Ford model but rides on a modifies chassis of a 1988 Lincoln Town Car and is powered by a Chevrolet 350-cubic inch small-block V8 engine.

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VIDEO: Vintage Impala Fires up its Tires

We’ve seen our share of burnouts ending in fiery fails, but in this case, the flames are a sign of success. We don’t know if the owner of this vintage Chevrolet Impala used some kind of special tires, but he leaves behind him two very cool burning trails, just liked Doc Brown’s time traveling DeLorean did in the Back to the Future movie. Watch the clip after the break.

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New Chrysler 200 Convertible Prices Announced, Four-Cylinder Starts from $27,195, V6 from $31,990

We've already had our first in-depth look at the revised Sebring Convertible, which has been renamed to 200 Convertible, but now, Chrysler has releasing pricing a couple of months ahead of its market launch in the States. The new 200 Convertible is available in three trim levels (Touring, Limited and S), two engine choices including a 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a 3.6-liter V6, plus the option of a traditional soft top or a retractable metal hard top.

The range begins with the entry-level Touring model powered by a 173HP 2.4-liter four-banger matched to a six-speed automatic transmission, which is priced at $27,195 including a $750 destination fee. That brings the 200 Convertible in the same price range as Ford's 305HP Mustang Convertible V6, which starts at $27,495 (including destination and a $500 cash back).

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Volkswagen Reconsidering Scirocco and Phaeton for the U.S. Market

Earlier this month, Volkswagen announced that it’s going to expand its North American SUV lineup in order to catch up to GM and Toyota and triple its U.S. sales by 2018. However, the automaker also wants to boost its image, so it may bring back the Scirocco coupe and Phaeton sedan to the States.

In an interview in Washington, Jonathan Browning, head of Volkswagen’s U.S. operations, told Bloomberg News that the company is exploring the idea of selling the two models in the U.S. “We will reconsider bringing the Phaeton back to the U.S. in the next product cycle,” said Mr. Browning who added that no final decision has been made yet.

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Noble Introduces Production-Ready M600 with up to 650-horses

It's been a long time coming, but Noble has finally released the production version of its new M600 sports car. The British-made model comes with a full carbonfiber body and a mid-mounted 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine from Yamaha that sends up to 650bhp at 6,800 rpm and 604 lb-ft of peak torque at 3,800 rpm to the rear wheels through a Graziano six-speed manual gearbox.

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VW XL1 Hybrid Coupe Study: Videos and Photos from Qatar

The highlight of Volkswagen's presentation at this week's Qatar motor show is the new XL1, a futuristic looking diesel-electric plug-in hybrid study for an everyday-use coupe vehicle with a combined fuel economy of just 0.9 liters per 100 kilometers or an amazing 261 mpg US.

The extremely low fuel consumption is achieved through the use of a lightweight construction, carefully honed aerodynamics and of course, the hybrid powertrain that combines a 0.8-liter twin-cylinder diesel producing 48-horses with a 27HP electric motor. If you follow the jump, you can check out live photos as well as on the road videos of the XL1. For more details on the study, read our previous post here.

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Nissan to Sell Rebadged Mazda5 MPV in Japan

Nissan and Mazda said Friday that they are expanding their original equipment manufacturing (OEM) projects to include the Mazda Premacy, otherwise known as the Mazda5 MPV in markets such as North America and Europe. Under the agreement, Mazda will supply a "clearly differentiated version" of the Premacy to Nissan for sale in Japan, starting from May this year, the two companies said in a joint statement.

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Volvo to Cut Down its U.S. Lineup, V50 Among the First to go

With its U.S. sales steadily declining for 7 years now, Volvo has no choice but to radically rethink its strategy. The Swedish automaker is currently offering nine models in the States or about as many as Volkswagen does, but it sold almost five times fewer cars than the Germans in 2010.

Consequently, the Swedish brand, which is now owned by China's Geely, has decided to significantly reduce the number of models in its North American lineup and concentrate on best-selling vehicles in an effort to increase sales.

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Smart Four-Seater Prototype Scale Model Scooped at R&D Facility

It's no secret that Mercedes-Benz plans to give its Smart brand one more chance to extend its vehicle range after the not so-successful Mitsubishi Colt-based Forfour and the Roadster series. Last April, the German automaker signed a deal with the Renault-Nissan Group, with the two parties announcing the development of a new rear-wheel drive platform to be used on the successor of the current Smart Fortwo, a new four-seater Smart and the next-generation Renault Twingo.

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EV Owners in California to Feel the Shock of Higher Electricity Rates

Woe betide the electric car. Outpaced by their petrol-powered cousins in the 1900s, saddled with heavy and potentially dangerous batteries in the 1970s and crushed in the name of the Almighty Dollar in the 1990s, it’s been a rough road from there to here.

And now, on the dawn of a new age where electric cars seem poised to take their rightful place alongside gasoline cars, the electricity companies are about to throw a wrench into the works. If you live in California and intend to buy a plug-in hybrid Toyota Prius or Chevrolet Volt or an all-electric Nissan Leaf, you could be in for a...shock.

If the energy giants have their way, the Chevy Cobalt, which would have to rate on my list as one of the least desirable cars built by GM, is more economical to own or operate than any of the above. The reason?

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How do you Say Camaro in German? Schmidt Revolution's 625HP Supercharged Chevy

It's not very often that we come across European tuners doing their thing on good ol' American muscle - and for a very good reason as there are more chances of seeing a snow storm in the summer than a Chevrolet Camaro in Europe. That said, Schmidt Revolution's tuning proposal certainly piqued our curiosity.

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Big Brother is Watching your Teens Drive [with Video]

You wouldn’t let a novice with less than sixty hours experience operate a two tonne piece of heavy machinery unsupervised, would you? “Of course not!” you reply, not realizing that many of us do at least once a week. Ask yourself this: what do you think you’re doing if you let your teenage offspring borrow your car?

Okay, so maybe that’s a bit reactionary. You probably think I’m one of these people who want to ban everyone under the age of 30 from driving. That’s not true, mostly because I’m twenty-three and was a teenage driver. I’ve had more than my fair share of stupid, naive accidents behind the wheel and I feel comforted that I, unlike a few less fortunate friends, have made it into my twenties

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Hyundai Sells 3.6 Million Vehicles in 2010, up 16.3% from 2009, Net Profits Soar 78%

Hyundai continues its juggernaut-like growth breaking one record after the other. In 2010, the South Korean carmaker not only replaced Toyota as Europe’s best-selling Asian brand and passed the 500,000 sales mark in the US for the first time since entering the market in 1986, but the company also posted record sales and impressive profits.

Not including affiliate Kia Motor's results, Hyundai alone recorded global sales of 3,612,487 units (domestic plants: 1,730,682, overseas plants: 1,881,805) in 2010, which represents a 16.3 percent increase from a year earlier.

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Chevrolet Speeds Up Volt Rollout, will be Available Nationwide by the End of 2011

The Chevrolet Volt is currently available for sale only in a few states across the U.S., the reason being that GM was initially cautious and wanted to probe customer interest first. It turns out customers like the plug-in hybrid / extended range model (take your pick) more than anticipated, so Chevrolet today announced that it’s fast-tracking the national roll-out to match customer interest.

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Russian Customizer Turns a Jaguar into a GAZ-21 Lookalike

Previously on Carscoop, we’ve seen Pontiac Fieros turned into “Fierarris”, Toyota Soarers adorned with Mercedes-Benzes off cuts and some others too hideous to even mention. For the most part, it’s a case of turning a boring, mainstream car into something that resembles a high-priced exotic if you’re squinting through grease paper with the sun in your eyes and have lost a lot of blood.

What you rarely see is something exotic transformed into something that some people would call mundane. That’d just be silly. Never to be one to shy away from a challenge, the Russians have done just that: taken a Jag and turned it into a GAZ.

Originally this car was a 1993 Jaguar XJ40 with an automatic transmission and a 3.2 L V6. Its exterior has been adorned with the grille, head- and taillights, unique side vents and boot emblem from a ‘70s Volga. It’s not quite in the same league as the BMW 6-series derived Volga V8 Roadster or the Porsche Cayenne-based “Lenin-mobile”, but it’s still an impressive transformation.

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Fiat Preparing Limited Run Abarth 500 in Gulf Livery [Updated]

We've received several e-mails tipping us off on a new limited edition version of the Fiat Abarth 500 Essesse dressed in the Gulf racing livery, which will reportedly be offered exclusively in Luxembourg in a limited run of 10 cars priced at €25,000 (plus VAT) a piece. While we appreciate all tips sent in, that doesn't mean we aren't going to -or at least try our best to- perform a background check and either confirm or debunk a story.

In this case, we didn't find a press announcement, but that doesn't necessarily mean the story is not true. However, the picture that has been floating around on several websites has definitely been doctored, and we say this not only because the colors are off, but mainly because we found the original image. Hoax or not, we must say that the 500 Abarth looks awesomely cool in those traditional racing colors.

*Update 1: Un point to the folks at Auto55 for sending in the official press release from Fiat Belgium (added after the jump) confirming the Gulf model - but not the photo, as we've already proved.

*Update 2: The guys from Autofan e-mailed the press photo in its original compression. Apparently, Fiat mastered the photoshoped image...

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Mysterious Air Force Project Car Surfaces on eBay [with Video]

One of the most memorable movies quotes of all time is from the 1994 comedy-drama Forrest Gump, in which Tom Hanks’ character said: “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get”. Fast-forward to today, and eBay seems to be the proverbial box of chocolates with some truly sweet surprises, like this VW Beetle-based 1973 Air Force project car, named Talon.

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Nissan Picks Up 2011 COTY Trophy for Leaf

Now, before someone adds a comment of the sort "in other related news, Audi unveiled the new A6", let us make it clear that we're not reporting on the actual Car of the Year (COTY) 2011 results, which were announced in late November 2010, but on the special ceremony that took place at the Pavillion Gabriel in Paris earlier this week to hand over the trophy to this year's winner, the new Nissan Leaf.

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