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The spawn of the Chrysler-Fiat merger has made its way to the English market, in the form of the 2012 Chrysler Delta and 2012 Chrysler Ypsilon. If they look familiar, that's because these cars are cribbed directly from the Lancia range.

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Quentin Wilson, a British motoring expert, recently drove Delta Motorsport's electric E4 Coupe 'round the iconic Silverstone Circuit, home of the British Grand Prix. Quentin walked away impressed, calling the E4 a "cracker" and saying that the electric coupe is proof that "Brits can still design the best cars."

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1991 Lancia Delta HF Integrale stretched limousine – Click above for image gallery

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Chrysler Lancia – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Things are moving along quite nicely with the development of the Chevy Volt. According to Bob Lutz, test mules of the extended-range electric vehicle are now being built atop the soon-to-be-released Chevy Cruze. This is a logical progression since the production Volt will share its Delta underpinnings with the new compact from General Motors when it finally goes on sale in 2010. Prior to these latest mules, the test cars used last-gen Malibu shells that Lutz and the team affectionately referred

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Chevrolet has seen a double-digit sales increase of its Cobalt compact car this year since gas prices began their unstoppable upward trajectory. Fortunately for us in the states, the newfound importance of small cars means that we will likely see the new 1.4 liter turbocharged global-mill in the U.S. version of the Chevy Cruze when it goes on sale here in 2009. See, everything has an upside if you look hard enough. Fuel economy in the forties on the highway will be welcome, as will the adequate

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Rising fuel prices, both in the U.S. and abroad, means that automakers can now offer similar engines in vehicles sold throughout the world. According to Automotive News, General Motors' next small car, the Chevrolet Cruze, will be offered with a new 1.4-liter force-fed four-banger, putting out between 120 and 140 horsepower and returning fuel mileage in the 40 mpg range.

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click above for high-res gallery of next-gen Chevy Cobalt spy shots

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Could premium small cars be the next hot segment? Things appear to be heating up with the MINI being joined by the Volvo C30 and word of another Swede stepping into the fray. Saab will unveil its Delta platform-based 9-1 at the 2008 London Motor Show and it will be available for purchase in late 2009. Nondefinitive descriptors provided by Saab assure us that the 9-1 will be dramatically styled with an iconic shape. There had been some attention paid to a high-roof small CUV idea, but Saab assert

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UPDATE: We've learned that the UAW contract disputes aren't likely to affect the introduction of the 2008 Malibu, since it will be built on the Epsilon I platform, which is still on track. The negotiations, however, may affect the debut of the next-generation Malibu and Aura, both of which will move to the Epsilon II platform.

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Typically we get production announcements from manufacturers one model at a time, if not one brand at a time, but the Fiat Group has released their full production schedule for the Lancia, Alfa Romeo and Fiat brands for the next few years.

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Lancia has orchestrated the return of the Delta name in the form of the new Lancia Delta HPE concept car, which is being unveiled at the Venice Film Festival. Inspiration for the car is said to be drawn from the Lancia Beta HPE, but this is a lot better looking than that car ever was.

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