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Video of the week: France

This has to be one of the most daring TV commercial that any car company has ever come up with. Renault is showing off the safety of their cars in the ballet of crushed sheetmetal and twisted frames. It’s an ad for the European market of course.

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2008 BMW 1-Series convertible unveiled

2008 BMW 1-Series convertible unveiled

A soft-top convertible version of the 2008 BMW 1-Series has been unveiled in Europe, even before the coupe version has gone on worldwide sale. Like the coupe, the convertible will also be available in a top-of-the-range 135i variant, among others.

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Nissan Skyline GT-R to debut in Tokyo

Nissan Skyline GT-R to debut in Tokyo

Nissan is going to unveil its best ever sports car at the end of next month during the 2007 Tokyo Auto Show. Dropping the “Skyline” name, it will be called the Nissan GT-R, and will be equipped with a twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V6 powerplant, pumping out an estimated 480 hp to 530 hp. Shown above is the disguised working prototype. The surprising part is it has unofficially been proven to be quicker around a track than a Porsche 911 Turbo, which costs twice as much as the GT-R.

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The truth about GROSS hp vs NET hp

The truth about GROSS hp vs NET hp

I just got the press release for the new 2008 Chevy Avalanche, to be launched mid-October, claiming their 5.3-litre V8 to have 355 hp. I also read a review in Wheels magazine where the writer assumes the Tahoe has 355 hp, and that the Murano has 265 hp. And then there is another review on AutoMiddleEast where they use Ford ME’s explanation that net hp means power at the driven wheels. Also, a lot of people assume that since Nissan ME claims the Infiniti G35 has 330 hp locally, the American-market models have more catalytic converters or something to reduce their power to 306 hp.

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So I bought a used benchmark 4WD

So I bought a used benchmark 4WD

While I test cars, I unconsciously compare them to my 17-year-old inline-six “baby” Mercedes to see how far cars have progressed (not far enough really). Similarly, I compare tested sports cars with my 20-year-old modded twin-turbo Supra. But I’ve never owned a 4WD before, and I needed one to judge new trucks against. I set a budget, and I started researching for a reliable, tough and true 4WD that could go up against the latest. Oddly enough, the 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 you see in the picture fit the bill. A Jeep? Reliable? There’s more to the story.

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So we got a Toyota FJ Cruiser

So we got a Toyota FJ Cruiser

Okay, this is getting ridiculous. We just picked up a brand new Toyota FJ Cruiser, and after the Mini, Hummer and Corvette, this is our fourth yellow car in a row. Yellow! Never have we seen so much yellow! Yellow fever aside, the FJ really is the Japanese answer to the Hummer. We found its back-to-basics off-road equipment to be adequate, while its power leaves the seriously-slow H3 in the dust. Both are rated at around 240 hp, but the FJ has more torque and is somewhat lighter, with an extra speed in the auto gearbox.

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