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It was always going to be hard for Peugeot to follow the blind-man-can-see-it neon paint of the 2008 Concept car – which was seared onto our retinas in Paris last year – but that doesn't mean the production version of the CUV here in Geneva is unattractive. The rather more sane white paint still covers pert, attractive lines on the new French crossover, and the Peugeot folks certainly have high hopes that European shoppers will feel good about it, too.

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First we saw the Urban Crossover Concept at the Beijing Auto Show, a small high-rider from Peugeot that was a product of the company's design studios in Paris, Shanghai and São Paulo. That evolved into the Peugeot 2008 concept and a liquid lime paint scheme at the Paris Motor Show a few months ago, now the French firm has unveiled the production version of the B-segment crossover that's an offshoot of its 208 hatch.

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Peugeot's naming convention might not be all that exciting, but it does come up with some tantalizing vehicle designs. What we see here is the 2012 Peugeot 2008 Concept, which is going into production next year. The new subcompact crossover will slot below the Peugeot 3008 CUV.

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The Peugeot Urban Crossover Concept (UCC) unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show earlier this year has morphed into the 2008 Concept that will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in a couple of weeks. Essentially a way for young urbanites to get the things they love about the 208 hatchback but with crossover height and functionality, the 2008 Concept is a thinly veiled preview of what we'll see next year when it goes into production.

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While airbags can be a major safety asset in the event of an accident, crash test data and real-world incidents have shown that front airbags can actually be dangerous for younger, lighter children. Many newer vehicles now have sensors that turn off the front passenger airbag when the occupant doesn't meet weight requirements, but the sensor may not work in some 2007 and 2008 Kia Sorento models.

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Any competent financial advisor will tell you that, almost invariably, buying a brand new car is a bad investment. With very few exceptions, as soon as you drive a new car off the lot, its value drops significantly. Hopefully, the now publicly traded stock of Tesla Motors will fare better than the price of a used Tesla Roadster.

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Honda Element – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Since 1975, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been recording the number of fatalities on U.S. roadways, and with the exception of 1992, that figure has never dropped below 40,000 deaths per year. According to NHTSA's new figures, that changed in 2008, when 37,261 fatalities occurred in the U.S. – a drop of nearly 10% over the previous year and the largest reduction in both number and percentage since 1982.

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Lamborghini Gallardo LP-560 - Click above for a high-res image gallery

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One of the refrains we've all heard in recent years is how strong Buick is for General Motors in China, where it's not cursed with the stigma of being a grandparent's brand in the States. While most of yesterday's attention was rightly focused on the industry-wide year-end U.S. sales bloodbath, Shanghai Daily reports that 2008 was a bummer for GM's joint venture with SAIC in China.

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Click above for a massive high-res gallery from the 2008 24 Hours of LeMons at Thunderhill

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2008 is at an end, and while the editorial pages of some newspapers spend the final days of December focusing on ways to further burden taxpayers and foment interstate hostility, the Washington Post Magazine has, thankfully, handed several pages over to Dave Barry who, as usual, makes the events of the past year actually seem funny. This includes car-related stuff like the farcical Detroit bailout proceedings, which often bordered on satire. Fortunately, Barry knows exactly how to handle that so

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2008 MINI Cooper S

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage

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Click above to check out Thunderhill's top ten, and a few of our favorites

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At 5:00 AM PST this morning, the 2008 25 Hours of Thunderhill restarted after a fog-induced 7.5-hour delay. We were able to catch a few hours of sleep in the interim and got word at 4:30 AM from team Cytosport that the fog was lifting and that the race would be underway shortly.

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the action on Saturday afternoon

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UPDATE - 11:13 AM PST: The green flag has dropped and the race is underway.

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