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Photo by kadavy. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

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The European Parliament has called for Formula One to adopt more environmentally-friendly engine alternatives, and the FIA seems to be all for it.

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Two stories, one bit of news: hybrids are not the answer in Europe.

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The European car market is filled with all sorts of interesting models that we only wish we had Stateside, and every year our counterparts across the pond pick the best with the European Car of the Year awards. Last year Ford's S-Max, the minivan that makes grocery runs exciting, won the citation, preceeded by the new Renault Clio in 2006 and the greentastic Toyota Prius before it.

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Despite the fact that the new Ford Focus will be revealed in just a few days, we couldn't resist showing you these renderings that show a more dynamic and sporty small car. Ford is doing well enough with the current Focus to not be forced to redesign the car, but with competition increasing in the small car market, a facelift was in order.

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From the too much time on his hands file, we bring you this unfortunately customized Renault Clio. The owner of this little French runabout has a serious sticker fetish, and a hankering for knicknacks, too. This car is just bristling with stuff and we're surpised that it passes any kind of safety inspection. The outside is covered in more logos than a race car with actual sponsors, and looking underhood reveals zip-tie mania. There's either a small nuclear plant providing electricity, or lots of

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After last week's flurry of news from Detroit, we're realizing that little was heard from Mercury. Parent Ford certainly had some introductions and unveilings, but nothing from across the corporate hall. It makes us wonder whether the Mercury brand is going to completely wither and die, or if Ford's got some surprises left. There really seems to be little point to the brand. There are no Mercury-specific models like there once were (Cougar, Villager, etc.) and really nothing particularly compell

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More widely used in Europe than in America, retractable concrete-reinforced pillars, placed underneath the road, do a much better job than wooden toll arms or even tire-snagging spikes at stopping traffic from getting into restricted areas.

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We spend so much time on this blog bemoaning the fact that Ford has yet to offer to the "Euro" Focus in the United States. So much time, in fact, that we fear the concept of a C1-based Focus on U.S. soil has been placed on a pedestal and is widely considered to be the smartest move Ford has never made.

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The Ford Transit has for decades been the standard working horse of Europe and much of the rest of the world – the F-150 for our friends across the pond. The versatile work-a-day hauler was recently named Van of the Year by a pan-European panel of automotive journalists. (Why didn't they ask us? Just 'cause we can't find "Yurp" on a map doesn't mean we don't have an opinion!)

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