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One 2.5-mile runway, three different ways to take off: a Ducati 1098, a tuned Nissan GT-R with 580 horsepower and a launch control upgrade, and a Lamborghini Reventon Roadster. You'd naturally expect the Ducati to assert it's lightweight, high-horsepower authority in these matters, but with more than two miles to run, the ride that gets the jump at the line isn't always the one that gets the win.

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As champions of both rear-wheel drive and the hand brake, we completely understand the compulsion to get sideways on occasion. Hell, there was a time when no vacant parking lot was safe from our hellion ways – but there's a difference between harming nothing but your own rear tires and putting an entire highway's worth of commuters in danger. That's exactly what a set of Orange County Oakland kids managed to do when they shut down what looks to be a six-lane interstate for the soul purpose

Study

A new survey by AutoMD.com finds car owners trust independent shops over dealerships when it comes to vehicle repairs. The site surveyed 3,000 owners online between November 2 and December 12, 2012, and 80 percent of the respondents said they felt they had been overcharged for repairs at a dealership, while 90 percent felt they could save more money by visiting an independent shop.

Report

Rap star and exotic-car enthusiast, Rick Ross, had a double-close call on Monday morning, escaping harm in what appears to be an attempted drive-by shooting.

Spy Shots

When Toyota first announced that it would be bringing the 2014 Tundra pickup to next month's Chicago Auto Show, we weren't quite sure if the truck would fall into the "all-new" or "refreshed" category. After seeing this latest set of spy shots, we're striking "all-new" from the record, but the enhancements do appear to be more than just a simple nip/tuck.

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In most states, it's illegal to transport oxygen and acetylene tanks inside of a closed cabin vehicle. Why? Ask the owner of this 2012 Honda Civic.

Podcast

Toyota back on top, Barrett Jackson, Crowdsourcing your Dodge Dart payments, Nissan and Toyota double down on pickups

Investment preserves 4,000 jobs in region, but doesn't add new ones

How far has General Motors come since the federal government rescued it from bankruptcy four short years ago?

Official

How does $3,950 off sound? That's the amount (converted) that Nissan decided to drop from the price of its all-electric Leaf in the UK, bringing the MSRP down by 2,500 British pounds to just 23,490 pounds ($37,115).

Tanner Foust, Adam Ferrara and Rutledge Wood are set to return to our television screens. The trio are back in action for the third season of Top Gear USA, and this time around, they'll be exploring even farther flung destinations. From testing the best college car for a road trip to Mexico to building a machine capable of taking on the apocalypse, the guys have plenty of entertaining stunts planned for the new season. You can check out the first episode of the season tonight at 9:00 PM EST on t

Spy Shots

With the redesigned 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class getting closer to production, the camera-wielding crew over at Autospies somehow managed to get inside of the car to snap some detailed spy shots. As the prototypes continue to shed camouflage, it would appear that Mercedes-Benz is getting closer to unveiling the car, and with the Geneva and New York auto shows coming up, it could be sooner rather than later.

Quick Spin

We won't beat around the bush: The all-wheel-drive Dodge Charger is not a brand new car. This generation launched in 2011, AWD models and all. But for 2013, Chrysler has added an optional sport package to the AWD model, available with both the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 or the sweet, sweet 5.7-liter Hemi V8. The upgrades for this new sport pack are mainly cosmetic; a gloss black grille, new 19-inch alloy wheels and body-colored rear spoiler make up the list of exterior changes. Inside, there are new

Official

Ford brought in $5.7 billion in net income during 2012, which is around $307 million less than one year prior. Even so, the automaker closed out 2012 with the highest pre-tax profit for a single quarter in nearly 10 years, earning $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter thanks largely to a higher-than-average truck mix in the US. That's a jump of $577 million over 2011. Likewise, that translated into fourth quarter income of $1.6 billion. All told, Ford set a full-year pre-tax profit record in 2012.

Report

So you think you've seen the quickest-ever battery-powered race car in the world? What about Rhys Millen in his electrified 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe setting the Pike's Peak speed record? Or John "Plasma Boy" Wayland in his converted 1972 Datsun 1200, the White Zombie, as he turned heads at the Portland International Raceway? Or even the Tesla Model S, in the production category.

Official

As a part of the festivities to launch its Aventador Roadster model, Lamborghini has announced that is returning to racing with the new Gallardo GT3 FL2 and its in-house race team, Lamborghini Squadra Corse. The new race-spec Gallardo, co-developed with Reiter Engineering, will initially compete in motorsports series such as the Italian GT3 Championship, Asia Le Mans Series and the single-make Blancpain Super Trofeo Championship. Additional series will be announced later including races in the U

Teased

Kia is teaming up with the Justice League once again to create another show car that will be on display at the Chicago Auto Show. At the 2012 SEMA Show, Kia showed off various models inspired by DC Entertainment characters Batman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern and Cyborg, but a Superman-themed Kia Optima Hybrid will roll into the Windy City for next week's show.

Official

US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has announced that he will not serve a second term in President Obama's Cabinet, but will stay on until a successor is confirmed. Of his and the Department of Transportation's many initiatives, the one LaHood will perhaps be remembered for most is his efforts to reduce distracted driving, particularly the dangers of texting while driving. Secretary LaHood even addressed Autoblog readers directly about the subject back in 2010.

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Collectively, the Autoblog staff has its fair share of two-wheeled close calls, but the gentleman in the video below takes the cake for skin-of-your-teeth escapes. While sitting at an intersection waiting for a stop light to change, a semi truck takes a hard left turn in front of him and soon topples onto its side mere feet from the biker's front tire. While the video doesn't have any audio to go with its images, we imagine the noise of that big metal box falling over could only be rivaled by th

Video

Superimposed Jamaican accent has angered many

Volkswagen's Super Bowl ad has been causing quite a stir since it was released. The commercial, which features the Beetle Turbo and a white, Minnesota man speaking with a Jamaican accent, has caused many to label the ad as "racist." But two Caribbean cultural groups have come forward to defend VW.