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Reporter endured rough ride; Musk calls review a "fake"

Shares of Tesla Motors took a ride Monday after a weekend article in the New York Times claimed that its electric sedan, the Model S, ran out of power during an East Coast road trip and had to be towed to a recharging station.

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Car movies have been big business of late – Transformers, Death Race, The A-Team – which makes it unsurprising that the business of getting cars prepped for movies is becoming even bigger business. The upcoming Green Hornet will use 29 classic Imperials; the third film in The Fast & the Furious series needed 200 cars built and modified; and the fourth installment required 240 rebuilt rides.

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No, really. If you didn't know, U2's front man and Africa activist Bono is a regular columnist at The New York Times. And he (too) has a top 10 list to kick off the new decade we now find ourselves living in. Bono first smartly apologizes for burdening our collective eyes and minds with yet another such list, before then presenting his.

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The Mexican drug trade business is booming. Drugs are flowing between Mexico and the U.S. on a daily basis, overwhelming the Mexican military and U.S. border patrol officers. Most of the drugs arrive stateside via cars and trucks, and the vehicles transporting contraband range from a Rolls Royce to a VW Rabbit. The New York Times spent some time in Sinaloa, Mexico with Mexican General Federico Solórzano at what looked to be a used car lot.

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The holidays are almost here and your gearhead loved ones need presents. Badly. But what to get them? Well, we like tools. Gloves to protect us from grease, too. Oh, and we love models of cars. Of course most spouses we know don't really want tools, gloves or small cars sitting on the coffee table. So what about a nice book?

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Since it was announced that the highly quotable Bob Lutz would be departing from his General Motors management spotlight, automotive bloggers and reporters everywhere have been mourning the loss of an executive with such an exquisite way with words. Now it appears that the pining may have been premature, thanks to the emergence of another top management type with the brass, it seems, to freely speak his mind in public.

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Since it was announced that the highly quotable Bob Lutz would be departing from his General Motors management spotlight, automotive bloggers and reporters everywhere have been mourning the loss of an executive with such an exquisite way with words. Now it appears that the pining may have been premature, thanks to the emergence of another top management type with the brass, it seems, to freely speak his mind in public.

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Click above for a gallery of the Marquis DeSoto

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While it took months for GM to let the media drive its Volt mule, Ford has wasted no time in giving Bill Vlasic of the New York Times a chance to try out its own all-electric Ford Focus-based prototype. The company just announced the existence of the vehicle a few days ago.

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Can you hear that? Those are the war drums, and more and more of them are beating the same tune: bring on the gas tax. An editorial in The Gray Lady is the latest and arguably the weightiest to join the shock troops advocating for higher gas prices. The writer proposes a fluctuating consumption tax that would keep gas at least $4 per gallon in 2008 dollars, while an economist suggests a sliding tax on the price of a barrel of oil to achieve the same effect.

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Click image for a look at the other model debuts by the NYT

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We don't get it. Saturn has done an amazing job transmogrifying itself into a productive division for The General, and people are wistful for the Saturn of yore? In internet parlance, WTF? Three years ago, it would have been apt to predict that Saturn would be nearly done circling the drain by now and well on its way to the same fate as Oldsmobile. What has in fact happened has been an impressive brand renaissance, invigorated by GM's smart utilization of its global operations. Jerry Garrett opi

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Many of us green-minded car nuts have at one point or another suffered from the worst of all diametrical battles within - high performance v. high mileage. I'll be the first to admit that some years ago I owned a '69 Alfa Romeo GTV. The engine displaced just under 1.8 liters, but with high-performance camshafts and a stripped-out fuel injection system replaced by two 45mm Weber side-draft carburetors, mileage wasn't exactly an underlying (or even peripheral) theme. Now that I'm older and wiser,

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Treehugger recently wrote about this article in the New York Times spotlighting General Motors for switching to solar power for electricity in some of their buildings. The reason why the General's accountants are so happy is because they're saving money on their electric bill and there wasn't a single penny to pay for upfront costs.

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The weekly New York Times Automobile section is always a good read, with articles written by people who clearly like cars, and topics that you just don't often find in the buff mags. Take this week's gem, a piece by Peggy Minnis on her daughter's search for a new vehicle. Now, you may be thinking that car shopping isn't exactly the most newsworthy topic, and for the most part, you're right. The Times piece has an angle, though.

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It's time to take a serious look at our country's federal gasoline tax. According to the New York Times, it's been set at 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993. This is FAR lower than any other industrialized nation. The article also points out that according to the International Energy Agency, America's overall gas taxes in August averaged just 40 cents per gallon while Britain and Germany were at $4.24 and $3.99, respectively.

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On Monday, Dr. Cornelius Murphy, Jr. president of the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) and Timothy S. Carey, president and chief executive officer of the New York Power Authority (NYPA), were presented a plug-in hybrid electric Sprinter van concept vehicle by DaimlerChrysler for use in SUNY-ESF's fleet of 34 alternative-fuel utility vehicles.

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After a visit to Brazil, the world's only major ethanol exporter, Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign affairs columnist Thomas L. Friedman wrote a piece published in Friday's New York Times (Times Select subscription required) fully endorsing ethanol as a renewable alternative to gasoline.

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