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Liberty Walk shows us how Japan does Lamborghini customs

Anywhere you find rabid car culture you'll find rabid tuners. Japan's no different, where the make-it-hotter ethos applies to everything. When it comes to Lamborghini, Chrysler, and yes, even the Suzuki Every kei car, Wataru Kato's 18-year-old Liberty Walk shop wants to be the last word in entertainment - not only for owners, but also for visitors.

The ZUGO reimagines the Yugo for the 21st-century cheapskate

The Zastava Yugo 45 was intended to be a serious car. Instead, it became a punchline. Milos Paripovic's Zugo concept, on the other hand, is a bit of a joke that instead was taken seriously enough to win fifth place in a European design competition. After updating the lines of the Yugo for the Zugo, Paripovic endowed it with features that probably would have been useful on the original.

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Say what? Rep. Dingell claims Chevy Volt is "selling like hotcakes"

There isn't a much bigger Congressional champion than Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), but if a recent story in the Detroit News is correct, then we'd like to know where he's getting his information.

Detroit Auto Show debuting its first lawn tractor

The new Ford Fusion. The 2012 BMW 3 Series. The Lexus LF-LC. The Craftsman CTX-series... lawn tractor? Indeed, as odd as it sounds, you can count the latter among the many debuts scheduled for the 2012 Detroit Auto Show when the doors open to the public.

Official
Bret Michaels selling family truckster and more at Barrett-Jackson

As the Poison frontman is wont to sing, every rose has its thorn. Indeed, if the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Bret Michaels sold at the 2011 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction was that flower, his latest consignments are as painful as pricked fingers.

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Gingrich says UAW to blame for hobbling U.S. industry

Proving that he is nothing if not predictable, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich blamed the United Auto Workers for the loss of American manufacturing jobs at a recent campaign appearance. Automotive News reports that Gingrich lauded the BMW factory in Spartanburg, SC, for being "vibrant" and mentioned Honda, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan in a positive light, while blaming the UAW for impeding continuous improvement at domestic automakers. The UAW did not respond to a request for commen

Video
When your country floats on oil, your police drive only Porsches

Qatar's police force has a sizable fleet of Porsche Panamera and Cayenne patrol vehicles at its disposal. How is this? Well, Qatar has lots of oil, for starters, so there's that income. The emirate also holds a 17 percent stake of preferential shares in the Volkswagen Group. So, it's not particularly hard to see how the stable of luxo-cop cars came to be. The force took them for a spin on December 18, Qatar National Day, and you can get a look at the coolest fleet in the video after the jump.

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Exclusive
Autoblog's Top 100 Photographs of 2011

We are nearly at the end of 2011, and that means another 365 days of driving the latest cars and attending automotive events around the world. Of course, we constantly have our cameras at our sides so we can share everything with you, and we take a lot of pride in bringing you beautiful, high-res images of all the cars we come across, whether it's one that just debuted at an auto show or one that just spent a week in our garage.

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Autoblog's Most Popular Posts of 2011

We've been doing Autoblog for a while now and still don't know exactly why some posts become popular and others completely miss boarding the crazy train to Viralville. Maybe we were the first to post about a hot topic. Videos are almost always poised for success, and of course any post that includes a first look or specs of a highly anticipated vehicle can be a hit waiting to happen. But every time we hit the publish button it's like throwing a dart in the dark.

Rumormill
Saab in discussions with Turkey and Mahindra about reviving brand?

The Great Saab Story of 2011 looks hellbent on running straight on through the new year and well into the future, despite the fact that the automaker has officially gone bankrupt and hasn't produced a vehicle in what seems like ages.

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What will happen to automakers if the Euro zone implodes?

Figuring out post-doomsday scenarios can make for hours of fun, but short of a cinematic "Kill them all!" they're rarely that accurate. That's because we never know which entrance doomsday is going to use, and the big doomsday is often followed by little doomsdays (as this year's Japanese earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown should have taught us yet again). Still, that hasn't stopped Automotive News from taking a look at what might happen to European carmakers in case Italy, Spain and Greece lea

Official
Coda's first sales of electric Sedan will probably take place in San Diego

It's been a long time coming, but the $39,900 Coda Sedan will soon finally be available, and the place where it will be sold first, most likely, is the long-standing Marvin K. Brown Auto Center in San Diego. In a statement, the Chairman and CEO of the dealership, David Grundstrom, was quite optimistic about the car's prospects: "It's clear San Diegans are increasingly interested in zero-emission vehicles, and the Coda sedan will resonate with the local community." MKB also sells another plug-in

Followup
Infiniti QX-powered boat continues construction

Over the summer, we posted on a project being undertaken by students at the Tennessee Technical Center-Nashville and Nashville State Community College: prepare a 400-horsepower, 5.6-liter V8 from an Infiniti QX56 for seafaring duty in a 20-foot Chris-Craft.

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Alleged drunk driver so intoxicated he didn't realize his car was on fire

"Are you that drunk," the officer asks, "that you did not realize that your car was on fire and you were sitting in a burning car?"

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Auto applications sought for new advanced metal that's 100x lighter than Styrofoam [w/video]

Automakers are being pinched to increase safety and improve fuel efficiency, but those two goals often work against each other. That could change thanks to a material that is 99.99-percent air.

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Latest group that Jeremy Clarkson has offended? Indians

Pretty much every time Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson opens his mouth these days, someone takes offense, which does make it hard to tell whether Clarkson is actually offensive.

First Drive
Long Term
2011 Mini Countryman: December 2011

As much as I detest the winter months here in Detroit, the truth is, I'm kind of bummed that we've only seen about a half-inch of snow so far this season. In fact, I was happy that our most recent snowfall actually started to stick to the parking lot across the street from my loft, simply so I could capture this photo of our long-term Mini Countryman with some powder on the ground. Two hours after I took this picture, it had all melted. Sigh.

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New car seat concept uses your butt print as identification

If Fido can distinguish people and other pooches by their backsides, why not a seat? When students at the Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology in Tokyo, Japan asked that question, they came up with a car seat fitted with 360 sensors that makes a map of the pressure applied by your posterior. Among the six rumps tested, the seat was 98 percent accurate at sorting one from another.

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