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This is not your typical V8 engine swap.

This Toyota GT86 gets an unusual powertrain from Italy.

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Ford Mustang comes close, but one muscle car permitted 'high likelihood' of injury.

Car enthusiasts don't buy sports cars to stay in the slow lane. But given that the allure of higher speeds and bolder performance might lead to faster and more aggressive driving, they might think manufacturers have outfitted these cars with stringent safety protections.

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This prototype shows a wedgier, more traditional shape. The joint venture between the German and Japanese companies should have a BMW inline-six under the hood.

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In many ways, we're living in a golden age of automotive performance. After all, it's possible to show up at a Dodge dealer, hand over about $60,000 and storm away with a 707-horsepower Challenger Hellcat. Or for those who prefer a touch more luxury, the BMW M4, Mercedes-AMG C63 and latest Cadillac ATS-V offer between 425 and 503 horsepower, depending on your pick, with a bit more poshness. However, none of these powerful vehicles fit the classic definition of a two-place, droptop sports car, an

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Sports-car giant McLaren pioneers new technology

Leave it to a British company to improve driving in the rain.

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Since it hit the market with a bang, the SRT Viper has mainly soldiered on making nothing more than a whimper. Demand for the reborn, V10-powered rocket has struggled, although SRT boss Ralph Gilles remains committed to the slinky serpent, according to a report from Wards.

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Lotus is getting a shot in the arm courtesy of corporate parent DRB-Hicom, which has announced a 100-million pound ($152.3M USD at today's rates) investment in the Hethel, UK-based manufacturer. The troubled brand was also in the news last week, with DRB announcing a new, three-year plan that would see variants of existing models introduced.

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Earlier this year, BMW and Toyota confirmed a four-part joint venture mostly focusing on increasing improving vehicle efficiency using fuel cells, lightweight materials and better battery technology. Also tucked into the announcement was a "feasibility study" for a shared platform to underpin a future midsize "sports vehicle."

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The Geneva Motor Show and upcoming Nürburgring 24 Hours will be a showcase for Aston Martin to honor its history and to show off the possibilities of what sports cars can do today – including racing in a hydrogen hybrid.

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All new from the ground up, new Viper civilized and wild

The SRT Viper is not a super car. It's an outrageously awesome, top of the line, incredibly fast, super beast. Every accolade in the book still doesn't do this vehicle justice.

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Here's a shocker: Translogic's Bradley Hasemeyer test drove the Tesla Model S Performance version and apparently had a darn good time doing it.

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The F-Type roadster is the spiritual successor the iconic E-Type

The New York Yankees have Lou Gehrig. Republicans have Ronald Reagan. And Jaguar has its E-Type. Every brand needs an icon to point to, a stake in the ground, an example of its essence that epitomizes everything the brand means and stands for, and serves as a reminder when the current caretakers lose the plot of the brand.

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It's no secret that the Toyota FT-86 will finally make its production-spec debut next week at the Tokyo Motor Show, and ahead of that, the automaker's UK office has released the first official photos and some initial specs. In Europe, the car will officially be called the Toyota GT 86. In Japan, however, the car will simply be called 86.

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2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS – Click above for high-res image gallery

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First Factory-Built Fisker Karma – Click above for high-res image gallery

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First Factory-Built Fisker Karma – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Sondergard Automotive Prototype – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Sondergard Automotive Prototype – Click above for high-res image gallery

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If there is any truth to this report from Road & Track, you inexpensive sports car lovers are going to owe the Toyota FT-86 a lot of thanks. RT says that the development costs for Toyota's re-entry into the truly sporty segment has run over estimates and the car is going to be priced higher than $20,000 – not what Toyota wanted.

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2010 Ariel Atom 3 - Click above for high-res image gallery

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2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S – Click above for high-res image gallery

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