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We're almost ready to record Episode #253 of the Autoblog Podcast. Check out the topics below and you can join us live via UStream, as well. We've also embedded our UStream player after the jump. Thanks for listening!

Dan Neil, car critic at The Wall Street Journal and The Car Show presenter, is pretty smitten with the BMW 1 Series M Coupe, at least on most fronts. As a devotee of the E36 M3, Neil is happy to see that the fairly lightweight coupe comes with an honest inline six-cylinder engine under the hood, even with its forced-induction shenanigans. And the six-speed manual transmission with its excellent clutch and solid shifter apparently warranted spilling some ink over as well, but not all is right in

In most areas of the U.S., the bicycle riders follow a simple mantra: "Same roads, same rules, same responsibilities." A dust-up in the town of Hull, WI shows that not everyone agrees that cars and pedal-powered two wheelers should share the pavement.

The Pasadena Art Center College of Design held its annual Car Classic this past weekend, an event that has been a must-attend on our calendars for the past few years. While rain hampered last year's Car Classic, this year's event benefited from a typically beautiful Southern California day.

Vehicle owners hoping to spare their automobiles from rising flood waters in Bangkok have taken to parking on elevated highways. According to The Bangkok Post, around 500 vehicles were illegally parked between Ngam Wong Wan and Pracha Chuen while thousands more were left spread across other highways in the province of Nonthaburi. The vehicles made for difficult commuting for drivers already inconvenienced by the flood. Authorities have asked owners to move their property, saying that the congest

In 2009, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn stuck out his neck on electric vehicles when he said that he expects them to make up 10 percent of the new car market by 2020. A decade is a lot longer than ten years in the automotive industry, but Nissan remains confident in EV technology, as we can see in the Nissan Green Program 2016 it announced today.

Expanding an automotive empire is tricky business. You can either pit one brand within the group against another, or you have to differentiate them significantly. Volkswagen has opted for the former, with numerous competitors from different group brands in the same segments, but the Fiat/Chrysler group over which Sergio Marchionne presides is going the other route.

Chinese automaker BYD is set to open its North American headquarters in Los Angeles today. The company says that the office will add around 150 jobs to the area, including engineering and management positions. In addition, the manufacturer has announced a partnership with Hertz that will see BYD electric shuttles transport rental car customers to and from their vehicles at the Los Angeles International Airport. BYD is hoping to position itself as an EV specialist here in the States, but Edmunds

Mazda Motor says "real-world" fuel-efficiency will be one of its core attributes as the Japanese automaker seeks to lift U.S. sales volume some 74 percent by 2015. Don't worry though, 'cause zoom-zoom will remain Mazda's number one raison d'etre.

Word has it that the Ford TracKey feature available on the Mustang Boss 302 will come with some interesting fine print. According to Mustangs Daily, owners who opt to have TracKey installed at their local Ford dealer will have to endure a three-year, 36,000-mile powertrain warranty. That's noticeably shorter than the five-year, 60,000-mile warranty that comes standard on the Mustang Boss 302. In addition, owners who decide to bolt on any extra performance modifications in conjunction with TracKe

Just when we thought the heyday of pristine barn finds had all but dried up, cars like this one bubble to the surface. Back in 1978, Chevrolet celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Corvette by pacing the Indianapolis 500 and releasing a handful of special-edition pace car replicas to the public. Just 6,502 of the black and silver Corvette models were ever produced, and the vehicles sold out quickly. Sensing a potential future collectible, the original owner of this 1978 Chevrolet Corvette pace

Harley-Davidson has announced that it is recalling 308,474 motorcycles and trikes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the rear brake switch may be exposed to excessive heat from the exhaust system. If this happens, the rear brake light may fail to illuminate. It's also possible that the rear brake system could leak fluid, causing a brake failure. NHTSA says either condition could lead to an accident. Harley-Davidson will replace the brake light switch free of charge

We record Episode #253 of the Autoblog Podcast tonight, and you can drop us your questions via our Q&A module below. Check out our discussion topics or chime in to help determine what else the crew chats about this evening. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so, and if you want to take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.

Japanese automaker Honda will roll out the production version of the 2013 Fit EV at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show in mid-November. We're guessing Honda's electric-only 2013 Fit will somewhat resemble the automaker's Fit EV Concept, a vehicle which made its debut back at the 2010 LA Auto Show and is pictured above.

Since settling on Alabama as its North American manufacturing base, Mercedes-Benz has produced an endless stream of SUVs at its Tuscaloosa plant. Over the years, the facility has expanded to accommodate the M-Class, GL-Class and R-Class models. And in 2014 it will start producing the C-Class for the local market as well. Now the German automaker is planning on adding yet another line.

What's the percentage of Canadian buyers that could benefit financially from choosing to go electric instead of relying on old internal combustion? Well, somewhere between 20 and 40 percent.

Johnny Depp now has yet another reason to smile. The actor recently finished up work on the theatrical interpretation of the Hunter S. Thompson novel, Rum Diary. Depp plays journalist Paul Kemp in 1950's Puerto Rico as the writer attempts to survive an abundance of alcohol, powerful figures and, of course, a dangerously attractive young lady. Hilarity ensues. A number of period vehicles play a prominent role in the film, including a Fiat 500 and, perhaps more notably, a 1959 Chevrolet Corvette.

SEMA is only a few weeks away, and it seems like all the little fish are being let out of the pond first. We've heard about visitations from Focuses and Fiestas, Genesis Coupes and Velosters and classic Ford racers, now add the 2012 Honda Civic Si by Fox Marketing to the roll call. And full disclosure: Autoblog will have a sticker on this car.

Highly mechanized collection agencies making it easy to reap decades-old ticket revenue

Patricia deWeever got a surprising notice recently from the state of Massachusetts, saying her license would be suspended if she didn't settle parking tickets she received 25 years earlier in New Jersey.

Hyundai is practically a regular at the Super Bowl by now, having run Big Game spots touting the Genesis, Genesis Coupe, Elantra and Brett Favre over the past few years. Those ads focused on more practical reasons to buy a Hyundai. This year, Hyundai's intent on "sparking an emotional connection with consumers" with an ad that is as super as its backdrop.

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