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Indy 500, Long-Term Jeep Cherokee, Cadillac Drops Three-Row Crossover, 2015 Ford Mustang Pricing

We're almost ready to record Episode #382 of the Autoblog Podcast! You can check out the topics below, add your own to the Q&A and join us live via UStream, as well. Keep reading for our embedded UStream player, and thanks for listening!

Steve McQueen might be the coolest American male of the 20th century. With movies like Bullitt and Le Mans, McQueen established himself as the king of cool of his era, and on the list of actors you would pick for a fantasy racing team – he or Paul Newman are the natural first choices. The latest Jay Leno's Garage video highlights one of McQueen's most special cars – a 1956 Jaguar XKSS.

We know that Maserati will eventually bring a version of its Alfieri Concept to the road, as a next-generation production model slated to arrive in 2016. Shown at the Concours d'Elegance at Villa d'Este, the Alfieri wowed spectators with its throaty singing voice, releasing a few barks and a very racy idle note. Sadly, we know it won't sound exactly like this when it goes on sale.

Like many of you, I spent my pre-Memorial Day Sunday sitting on the couch, watching racing. It started early, with the 7:00 AM kick off of Monaco Grand Prix coverage. There was a break in between, for things like bathroom stops, walking the dog and acknowledging that my loving girlfriend hadn't abandoned me for lack of attention. That was quickly followed up by a belter of an Indianapolis 500, which featured the second closest finish in race history.

Let's start with the good news. On average, any new car you buy in the US today will be 43 percent cleaner than any average new car in 1998. Here's some more good news, for Korea anyway, Hyundai-Kia has been named the cleanest automaker in the latest study by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), which looked at 2013 model year vehicles sold between October 2012 and September 2013 from the top eight automakers (by volume). The bad news? The big three Detroit automakers are, on average, still

There was a rumor back in April that Mercedes-Benz was busy developing a C450 model that would sit in between the current top-shelf C-Class, the C400, and the coming-soon C63 AMG. It appears that is entirely the case, and our spy shooters have the photos to prove it, showing off the newest model with no camouflage (in fetching Touring guise, no less).

Indy 500, Long-Term Jeep Cherokee, Cadillac Drops Three-Row Crossover, 2015 Ford Mustang Pricing

We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #382 this evening. Check out the topics below, or drop us your questions and comments via our Q&A module. And don't forget to subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so. To take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.

When it comes to street-legal cars there's "power," there's "Power" and then there's "PAHRRRRRR!" This Bentley Continental GT dragster built by Webster Engineering in Bedford, England owns that third category, with its 3,082-horsepower heartbeat erupting from a twin-turbo, 10.2-liter Chevrolet V8 crate motor built by Steve Morris Engines. An entrant in the Street Eliminator Class of last weekend's European Drag Racing Championship, it is fully road legal.

The schism that separates the European-market Volkswagen Passat and its American-built cousin is evidently only set to widen, as renderings have officially been released showing off the next-generation Euro-market Passat sedan, and it looks quite different than our larger, less costly family sedan. That's especially true up front, where it wears an aggressive scowl thanks to a chrome strip that forms a brow over the piercing headlamps and grille.

Samsung? Who's Samsung? That's what Panasonic is asking as the electronics conglomerate makes it clear it is looking to secure its position in Tesla Motors' plans to build a huge car-battery factory over the next three years.

BMW is set to recall some 6,400 of its new-for-2014 X5 SUVs built between December 12, 2013 and March 10, 2014 due to concerns that the child safety locks, if set, might deactivate without warning. The problem affects only those vehicles with the automatic soft-closing option.

An Extended Test Of Jeep's Radical New SUV

When we look back at some of the more shocking product launches of recent years, the Jeep Cherokee is certainly high up on the list. And we aren't just talking about its off-the-wall, polarizing design.

The electric vehicles that Renault offers today are having a bit of difficulty attracting customers. Maybe 180 miles of range could make prospective car buyers shed their anxiety. That's what Renault and LG Chem might one day find out, since the two giants signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last week to co-develop battery technology for long-range EVs.

Mini fans have had plenty to chew on lately. In the past month alone, the Anglo-Saxon automaker revealed its quirky, one-off Paceman Adventure pickup and dazzled showgoers over the weekend at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este with the Superleggera Vision concept. But what enthusiasts (to say nothing of dealers) have been really waiting for since the debut of the new Mini hatchback late last year has been the new John Cooper Works performance model. And that's just what we have here.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a second investigation into Nissan in May. The first covered inaccurate fuel gauges in the 2007 Quest minivan. The latest affects the Sentra and Versa from the 2013 and 2014 model years and the 2014 Versa Note, because of complaints of long brake pedal travel. If NHTSA finds a problem, it could affect an estimated 200,000 vehicles.

The Bentley SUV is coming and there's not a thing we can do to stop it. The latest indication that the wing-badged behemoth is on the way is this teaser video, which (thankfully?) doesn't show us a whole lot of the new vehicle, aside from its Continental GT-inspired headlights and its Mulsanne-inspired grille. Of course, we've seen this fascia before.

Court ruling says police can search a car based on probable cause alone

Police officers in Pennsylvania no longer need a warrant to search your car during a traffic stop. A recent court ruling granted law-enforcement authorities broader powers in determining whether they can search a vehicle.

After A Quarter-Million X6 Sales, Munich Goes Back To The Well

BMW has been in the line-blurring business of late, with the original X5 "Sports Activity Vehicle" muddling the line between SUVs and sport sedans in 1999, the 5 Series Gran Turismo challenging what our definition of "Gran Turismo" means in 2009, and pretty, low-roofed four-doors like the 6 Series Gran Coupe and the fresh new 4 Series Gran Coupe broadening the meaning of the word "coupe."

The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has already established itself as a legitimate successor to the crown with fantastic performance and dynamic looks. But it's a year old now, and that means it's time for some subtle tweaks to the mix. Pricing information for the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette isn't available yet, but the order guide with all the tasty new details has now leaked online. Unsurprisingly, mechanical changes are few, but for buyers looking for a dash more style, there are some exciting option

That bad habit some men have of seeing how far they can go when the "empty" fuel light is on? Many challenge their electric vehicles in the same way. Some things don't change.

UPDATE: Caterham has issued an unequivocal press release, stating explicitly: "Despite press romours to the contrary, Caterham Group is not for sale." The statement goes on to say that the sports car maker is "actively searching" for new investment as a means to support its continued development. Please scroll down to read the short press release from Caterham.

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