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Cinderella teams, surprises and upsets are good business for the car companies that sponsor the NCAA men's basketball tournament, and even though there are no fairy tales left in this year's event, business keeps looking up.

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The Highway Loss Data Institute finds that cars that are insured in zip codes around a football stadium get in more crashes when the home team loses, and not necessarily around the stadium.

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Summer is finally here, and that means sports season is in full bloom. Whether you've caught World Cup fever this year or are just supporting your local baseball team, there's a lot to get excited about. However, if you've got one or more of those little pennants or flags attached to your car fluttering in the wind, your fan enthusiasm might be costing the world more than you might think.

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A suicide during this weekend's NRA 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway will likely only add to the controversy behind the National Rifle Association's title sponsorship of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Kirk Franklin, 42, of Saginaw, TX, shot and killed himself in the infield of the track during late stages of the race Saturday night following an argument with other race fans.

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Five models doesn't quite equal GM, but it's pretty impressive for a startup.

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The 2012 American Solar Challenge just finished with a familiar winner: the University of Michigan Solar Car Team. (We featured this impressive student group on TRANSLOGIC 99.) Along with claiming a 4th consecutive national championship--and 7th title overall--the U-M team also broke the national record for the 8-day endurance race. Of course, that record was already set by the "maize and blue" in 2008.

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Toyota MR2 Sports Hybrid Concept – Click above for image gallery

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Toyota MR2 Sports Hybrid Concept – Click above for image gallery

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Dutch auto journo Thomas Bangma giving his opinion on the Lexus LF-A -- Click above to view the video after the jump

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It is a travesty that the initials "MG" are coming to be a convenient epithet for the term "woe." The British sportscar maker has had an exceedingly trying history recently, and things haven't got any better with word that its owner, MG Motor UK Ltd. (which is really Nanjing Automobile Corporation), is reportedly closing the company's Longbridge plant.

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Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the microsite for the SLS AMG called "From the Ground Up," and it has all the information you need on gullwinged retro rocket from the space from to components to the magnesium backrests in the seats.

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A lightly-camo'ed Ferrari 458 Italia has been caught napping by the roadside, and from the looks of it, Ferrari doesn't appear to have pulled any tricks with its renderings: the car's a dead ringer for what was presented last week, right down to the seriously extended mirror stalks and that disappearing back end. This is all very good, and we can't wait to see the 458 Italia up close in Frankfurt. Hat tip to Milad.

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Stafford Audi, a U.K. Audi dealer, placed an advertisement on the popular website Pistonheads for the forthcoming R8 Spider. For a picture of the car, they used an uncamouflaged picture of an R8 Spider from the Iron Man sequel, as you can see from the California license plate that reads "Stark." According to the ad, though, the car was "spotted testing in Germany."

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An Italian site perusing Ferrari's online media outlet found the screen you see above. At the end of the list of La gamma attuale -- the current range -- is a box captioned "600 GTB" accompanied by a "Coming soon" image.

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Even though it's been going on for more than two years now, the tale of the Acura NSX is like a news story that just broke: you have to keep checking back for details, and each subsequent update could turn the whole story on its head. The V10 NSX that was going to own the sports car gods on Mt. Olympus was killed, and a rumored newly resurrected NSX is said to be a V6 hybrid that will challenge Toyota's own will-they/won't-they FT-HS/Supra.

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As recently as February, the Toyota/Subaru sports car was declared dead, a week later it was back on, a few weeks after that there were rumblings that it would be at this year's Tokyo Motor Show. Japan's Best Car magazine is apparently reporting that the little car will definitely be revealed in Japan. The news makes some sense, as this year's show will be well down on foreign automaker participation, so it's reasonable that local makers will want to take advantage of the dedicated attention to

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2010 Jaguar XKR Goodwood Special -- Click above to enlarge

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