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Torino may have been a Ford nameplate (and part of a Clint Eastwood film title), but the Italian city's presence in the U.S. auto industry will next be felt through General Motors.

General Motors says it will invest €20 million ($28.4 million U.S. at the current exchange rate) at its Powertrain Engineering Center in Torino, Italy. This investment comes on top of the €30 million ($42.6 million U.S.) that GM spent to establish the center back in 2005.

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While he's shown a certain flair for historical pieces, we sincerely doubt that Clint Eastwood would forego his formidable film-crafting talent to make a documentary about a mid 1970's Ford that can be had for a dollar per pound. Details are scant, but Warner Brothers has targeted December 2008 as a release date for Gran Torino, which Eastwood both stars in and directs. Eastwood is no stranger to the big Ford - he drove a '72 in Magnum Force, the sequel to Dirty Harry, in which he wheeled a '68

The last time we wrote about the Torino Design studio in Italy, it was to take a peek at their Prius of the Future challenge. Those cars were pretty far out there, but that's to be expected when designers are looking to predict what the Prius will look like in 2015. Heck, for some people, today's Prius is too outlandish. The Torino studio is responsible for a less crazy hybrid design unveiled today at the Guangzhou Auto Show by the Chinese Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC).

It must be fun to design cars of the future. I mean, a completely orange windshield? That's totally futuristic. Students in the Three Year post-diploma Transportation Design – car design Course at the Istituto Europeo di Design di Torino have completed work on three Prius of the future concepts. From left to right in the montage above we have the Forma, the H.A.L.O. and the Waterfall (you can see each car in full by clicking on the thumbnails below). I see hints of the Trivia Pursuit scori

CNN Money has published a list of the "Top 10 Muscle Car Stars" as compiled by Kelley Blue Book. Some of the picks are obvious, such as the Hemi 'Cuda convertible, GTO Judge convertible, and the venerable Plymouth Superbird. More of a surprise is the presence of the Ford Torino Talladega, which is labeled as an up-and-comer in the muscle car marketplace. With values currently in the $30,000 range, the Torino is still attainable by those who don't have six-figure budgets to work with.