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Ford Shelby GT350, LA Auto Show, Volkswagen Golf Is Motor Trend COTY

Episode #406 of the Autoblog Podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Brandon Turkus, and Chris Bruce talk about the Mustang Shelby GT 350, the Los Angeles Auto Show, and the Volkswagen Golf winning Motor Trend Car of the Year honors. We start with what's in the Autoblog Garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Check out the rundown below with times for topics, and you can follow along down b

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Well, that was quick. A mere 20 months after its debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Audi has issued a fairly significant update to its RS Q3 crossover. A light exterior refresh – the most noticeable change is that the grille surround and headlights are now joined – belies more significant changes under the compact crossover's hood.

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Audi only debuted the 2015 Q3 compact crossover for the US market at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show in January, yet that feels like a lifetime ago. However, the little luxury CUV is finally getting close to reaching these shores, and alleged pricing for it is leaking out.

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The annual Wörthersee festival is much more than a land of ridiculous one-off concepts for fans of the Volkswagen Group to ogle over. Brands like Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and SEAT actually showoff some real stuff, including accessories for existing vehicles.

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If you're traveling overseas and happen upon a Seat showroom, you can expect to see a lot of lift-gates. You'll see them on city cars, hatchbacks, wagons and minivans, but with the sole exception of the rebadged old Audi A4 they call the Exeo – which is available as either a sedan or, again, as a wagon – they've all got hatches at the back, not trunks. The one thing it's been missing is an SUV or crossover, but that's just what the Spanish automaker has in the works.

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You can hardly blame Audi for its decision to finally bring its Q3 compact crossover to America, even though it's been on sale in other global markets since 2012. CUVs of all stripes are red hot, and the number of players in the US entry-level premium segment is mushrooming. Rapidly growing Audi simply can't afford to be left out of the discussion in favor of vehicles like the BMW X1, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, and even small near-luxury entries like the Buick Encore, if only because capturi

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The market for small premium crossover vehicles continues to grow in popularity here in the US, and Audi is finally ready to get in on the action. Going up against competitors like the BMW X1, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque and soon-to-arrive Mercedes GLA-Class, Audi will unveil a US-spec version of the 2015 Q3 at the Detroit Auto Show next week. And in what we can only assume is an amusing coincidence, the Q3 will go on sale during Q3 of this year.

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Practicality Packing Some RS Heat

The year 1994 was a really good year for German performance fans, because it was that year when Audi released its very first official RS model (for "RennSport," or racing sport), the RS2 Avant. Recently, I was invited to participate in a three-day leg of the Audi Land of Quattro Alpen Tour, a blatant flaunting over hill and dale of the company's current lineup of RS models. We hit Austria, Switzerland and Italy – the roads were epic and the weather held for this exquisite boondoggle.

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One of the major changes that made to the Audi SQ5 to get it ready for the US market was a ride height that was lifted by 1.2 inches compared to its European counterparts. The small increase allowed the SQ5 to retain its "light truck" classification of the Q5 for emissions regulations. In a similar move, Car and Driver is reporting that the Audi Q3 crossover will also be joining the Audi lineup in the US once it receives a facelift and taller ride height.

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By the end of this decade, India is expected to be one of the top three car markets in the world, but automakers are already starting to duke it out for sales. In terms of premium brands, Automotive News says that Audi has jumped out to an early lead for sales in the country due in large part to the recent introduction of the Audi Q3 (shown above).

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According to a report by Autocar, all we thought we knew of the in-development Audi supercar we might not actually know. A piece in Car and Driver, not even a month old, said the diesel-hybrid halo car was in the design stages, would get the engine from the R18 E-Tron Quattro and its carbon fiber tub. Now we get word that that while the coupe is indeed being designed, it hasn't yet been signed off and there's no business case for it yet. Said business case, whenever it is built, is also dubious

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After salivating over the Audi RS6 Avant last night, we're happy to see yet another RS-branded Audi here on the show floor at the Geneva Motor Show. Meet the RS Q3, Audi's first ever high-performance crossover, showing what's possible when the Ingolstadt automaker brings its best sporting bits to its smallest CUV.

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Ahead of its big reveal next month at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Audi has released a handful of images and plenty of details for the all-new RS Q3. As the first-ever crossover from the marque with RS branding, this will be the fourth RS model to go on sale this year after the RS5 Cabriolet, RS6 Avant and the RS7, and while UK and Germany sales have been confirmed, there is no word as to whether we can expect this high-performance CUV to be available in the North America.

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General Motors reported its third-quarter earnings today, and while revenues were up in the three-month period, overall profits were down 14 percent compared to last year. GM's Q3 net revenue was $37.6 billion (almost $1 billion more than 2011), but its net income was $1.5 billion, down from $1.7 billion last year. This is the opposite trend from Chrysler and Ford, which were both up considerably.

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Now that the bell has rung to signal the end of Q3 2012, Ford is standing in the ring with both hands in the air like Rocky: The company's overall profit of $1.63 billion for the last three months is nearly equal to its entire 2011 total of $1.94B. Those numbers come thank to the record-breaking pretax operating profit in North America of $2.33B on revenues of $19.5B, the third straight quarter that The Blue Oval has crossed the two-billion mark. Customers are paying more, on average, for Ford v

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Chrysler reports that its vehicle sales jumped by 12 percent in the third quarter over the same period in 2011. That step up was enough to bump profits by 80 percent to $381 million on $15.5 billion of net revenue. Moving forward, the automaker expects to see fourth-quarter profit of $210 million, which should help the company realize its forecast of $1.5 billion of net profit for the year. Reuters reports Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne expects the automaker's free cash flow for 2012 to be "well

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Volkswagen is on a mission to dominate sales in almost ever category, with a goal of selling one million Audis and VWs yearly in the United States by 2018. Projected U.S. sales of both brands for 2012 is only 565,000. To bridge that gap, analysts say the two brands will need to compete in almost every sales category.

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