Porsche Releases Details on All-Electric Boxster E RWD and AWD Prototypes

Back in February, Porsche announced the development of three pure-electric prototypes based on the Boxster roadster, but aside from a single photo and the fact that the electric motors could produce up to 180kW/241HP, the Stuttgart-based automaker did not release any other details on the cars.

After the demonstration of the Boxster E at last week’s Michelin Challenge Bibendum in Berlin, the company decided to share more information on the test cars that are being used as part of the government-funded “Model Region Electro-Mobility Stuttgart” large-scale trial to study the everyday practicality of all-electric vehicles. Of the three Boxster E prototypes, two are rear-wheel drive and one is all-wheel drive.

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SPIED: Nissan Testing New 2012 Sunny / Versa Sedan in Europe

Our spy photographers have captured a lightly camouflaged prototype of the freshly revealed in the USA and China, Nissan Versa / Sunny series, during testing in Sierra Nevada, Spain. The prototype was a right-hand drive example with test license plates from Spain.

Aside from the odd-looking exhaust tail pipe that extends all the way to the outer corner of the rear bumper and possibly the headlamp and tail lamp designs, we didn’t notice any other styling differences compared to the North American Versa and the China market Sunny models.

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Bertone Auctions Off Some of its Most Recognizable Concepts to Avoid Insolvency

Here lies Bertone, the famed Italian automotive design house, bankrupt and on almost on the verge of death. The once legendary company was forced to sell its most prized possessions – six concept cars – to appease the bankruptcy commission and also to remain afloat. RM Auctions of London handle the sale at this past weekend’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2011.

So what delectable concepts were the vultures able to get their beaks into? Well, there’s the 1967 Lamborghini Marzal that once graced the Monaco Grand Prix and is often cited as the inspiration for the Espada of the following year.

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President Obama’s Cadillac gets Trapped on a Ramp in Ireland

The heavily armored Cadillac that U.S. President Obama relies on for short-distance travel caused an embarrassing moment during his trip in Dublin, Ireland, today when it got jammed on a ramp after exiting the U.S. Embassy's complex. The first cars from the presidential motorcade passed without problems through the gates of the Embassy, but a BMW 7-Series preceding the Cadillac slightly touched the asphalt.

The Presidential Cadillac, nicknamed ‘The Beast’, came next and hit the ground much harder and was immobilized. "There was a loud kind of bang, metal-on-metal, grinding, crunching noise and the car was stuck," an RTE reporter told the AFP.

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Hyundai Set to Become Sixth Biggest Automaker in the U.S. In 2011

In the realm of U.S. automotive sales, 8% is a magic number. When an automaker hits 8%, they know they’ve become one of the big guns. Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Honda, Dodge and Nissan have all made it, and 2011 is expected to be Hyundai’s year.

So sayeth market research firm Polk, and I’m tempted to agree. Hyundai and its partner-brand / internal rival Kia have steadily been evolving into truly world-class carmakers. They’re keenly priced, inoffensive to look at and comprehensively covered quality-wise – everything the vast majority of new car buyers want in this day and age.

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VW Salesman Likes to Bang and Jump on Doors

As the adage goes, there is no such thing as bad publicity and it is better to be reviled and even mocked at than to be ignored. In the case of Larry Roesch Volkswagon (that’s how the name of the German automaker is spelled on the dealer’s Youtube account), making the automotive ridiculist was intentional to grab some media and customer attention. And since we’re here talking about it, you could say that their goal has been achieved…

The VW dealer has published a series of intentionally cheap and corny commercials starring one of the company’s salesmen, Nick Pontarelli. In two of the videos, Pontarelli abuses a Volkswagen Golf GTI and a Jetta by forcefully shutting and climbing onto the doors to prove the cars' ‘German’ strength and quality. His final statement is “try that with a Hyundai or a Honda”. Watch the clips after the break.

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Lamborghini CEO Hints at New "Everyday" Model Fueling Rumors about the Estoque

Italian sports car manufacturer Lamborghini plans to add an "everyday" model to its lineup, according to a report from Reuters quoting the firm’s CEO Stephan Winkelmann. The Lamborghini executive believes the luxury super sportscar market will return to the record levels seen in 2007 by 2013-2014. In 2007, some 35,000 super sports cars were sold, compared with around 26,000 in 2010.

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Report: Next Holden Commodore VF to get Aluminium Panels, Electric Power Steering

*Current Holden WM Caprice pictured in the above development sketch

When Holden’s next-generation VF Commodore series launches in Australian in 2014, it will be the first locally-produced automobile to incorporate mass produced aluminium panels in its construction. In addition, the new large car, which will also spawn a long-wheelbase Caprice model, will get improved aerodynamics and electric power steering in place of the current-gen’s hydraulic unit. It’s all part of an effort by Holden to lighten up its flagship model and thereby make it more fuel efficient in an effort to remain competitive with the likes of the locally-produced Toyota Camry Hybrid.

Fuel savings are expected to be around the 7% mark, bringing the 9.1lt /100 km (26 mpg) combined rating of the 3.0 L V6 SIDI down to a more politically-correct 8.4 lt/ 100 km (28 mpg). Similar savings will be experienced with the older 3.6 L Alloytec V6: 9.1 lt / 100 km (26 mpg) down from 9.8 lt / 100 km (24 mpg). The program is part-funded by the Australian federal government, which poured AU$39.8 million in from the now defunct Green Car Innovation Fund.

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Real Life Grand Theft Auto with Man Stealing Police Car and Crashing it into a Truck

Today's video find contains three things: a police vehicle, a dangerous individual and a high-speed run that could answer the question what would Grand Theft Auto look in real life. It all started on Friday, March 13 when 38-year-old Arthur Lee Thompson allegedly attempted to steal a computer from a Walmart store in Summerville, South Carolina. According to the report, when faced by the store manager, he purportedly punched him in the mouth and took off in a green Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The police were called in to investigate and it didn’t take long for an officer to locate Thompson and pull him over. From there on, the entire incident was caught on film by the police cruiser’s inboard camera.

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China Becomes Bentley's No. 2 Market after Record Breaking Q1 Sales

Bentley Motors sold 396 cars in Mainland China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the first four months of 2011, an all-time record result for the Asian market. With this number, Bentley broke its previous record set just last year, by an amazing 66 percent increase in sales.

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Video: Sights and Sounds of the Aston Martin V12 Zagato

Having brought you a first look at the winner of the design award for Concept Cars and Prototypes at this year’s edition of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy, it is now time to show you the Aston Martin V12 Zagato in the flesh and on film. The concept study is a V12 Vantage draped in an aluminum Italian suite, and it will spawn a racing model that will compete in the 24-hour Nurburgring endurance race in late June as well as a limited run production version, scheduled for launch within the next year.

Follow the jump to get a look of the supercar’s lines and a taste of the brutal sounds produced by Aston Martin’s 517-horsepower 6.0-liter V12 engine in our collection of videos.

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Feds Won’t Pay the Bill for a Ferrari F50 Wrecked by an FBI Agent

Back in 2009, an FBI agent made headlines after crashing a rare $750,000 Ferrari F50 that had been stored in a government impound lot. The story has it that the Italian supercar was stolen from a Pennsylvania dealer in late 2003, and while the insurance company paid off on the loss, the F50 was eventually found in August of 2008 in Kentucky. The V12-powered model from Maranello was then impounded and kept in Lexington, Kentucky, as part of an active criminal investigation. And here’s where the story gets interesting.

In May of 2009, FBI agent Fred Kingston invited Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Hamilton Thompson for a “short ride” in the 1995 Ferrari F50, of which 349 were ever made with only 50 coming to the States. Unfortunately, the joy ride was cut short after the driver lost control of the Italian supercar.

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New Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Grand Edition ups the Luxury Ante

While Mercedes-Benz’s GL-Class isn’t short of luxury, the automaker has presented a new variant called Grand Edition that caters to the needs of buyers desiring a little extra opulence. The packaged adds numerous features, including 20-inch special light-alloy wheels, two-tone leather seats with a new design and wood trim in black ash.

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Toyota Mulling a Larger Hybrid Minivan than the Prius V with Seating for Seven

The all-new Prius V five-seater minivan isn’t due to arrive in U.S. showrooms until this fall, yet Toyota is already looking into the development of a larger model capable of seating seven passengers as well as carrying their luggage, according to Bob Carter, Toyota Division general manager. The larger Prius won’t be based on the Japanese market Prius Alpha nor the European specification Prius+, both of which pack a retractable third row of seats into the Prius V’s cargo area.

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Aston Martin V12 Zagato is the Winner of this Year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Design Award

The world premiere of the new Aston Martin V12 Zagato, which took place at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2011 this past weekend on the shores of Lake Como in Italy, was marked by the design award for Concept Cars and Prototypes. The conceptual model, which was created to celebrate the Aston Martin and Zagato partnership in the 50th anniversary year of the famous DB4GT Zagato, won the approval of the visitors to the Concorso D’Eleganza event.

The competition in the Concept Cars and Prototypes category included BMW’s new 328 Homage Roadster, the Ferrari Superamerica 45, Audi Quattro, Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake, Infiniti Etherea, Italdesign VW GO!, Rinspeed Bamboo, Renault DeZir and the Scuderia P4/5.

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Rough & Tough MINI DSQUARED² Glides Down the Catwalk in Vienna

The BMW Group’s Mini division continues to support the Life Ball gala, Europe’s largest annual charity event in the fight against HIV and AIDS, by commissioning designers to fashion up its cars and then offer them up for auction. For this year’s event in Vienna, Austria, brothers Dean and Dan Caten, who are better known as the Canadian designer duo DSQUARED², crafted the Red Mudder based on the three-door Mini Cooper S.

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VW Launches 180HP Transporter Sportline in the UK

A new trim level that brings sportier looks and enhanced equipment features has been added to the UK range of the latest Volkswagen Transporter. The Sportline specification is available on the panel van and kombi models, in both short and long-wheelbase versions, with prices starting at £28,220 (€32,000) for the panel van, and at £30,100 (€34,150) for the kombi.

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Lexus Loses Big In the U.S.A.: Outpaced by Two of its German Rivals

It took eleven years for Lexus to earn the title of top dog of the U.S. luxury car market, and roughly the same amount of time for it to lose it. As a result of parent company Toyota’s accelerator pedal recall saga and the fifty percent drop in production capacity caused by the Tōhoku earthquake, old guard automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz have left the Japanese upstart gasping for air in third place.

According to automotive forecaster IHS, Mercedes-Benz will most probably sell 254,100 cars and SUVs in the States topping BMW’s estimated deliveries of 250,400 units. Lexus is projected to drop to third place with 192,900 sales.

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BMW’s Retrolicious 328 Homage Concept Makes Official Debut

The stage is set for this weekend’s Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in Italy with automakers and individual owners of classic cars already rolling out their goods for the 2011 edition of the show. The famed event will also play host to the world premiere of a fresh batch of sports car concept cars such as the Aston Martin V12 Zagato that we told you about earlier today and the BMW 328 Hommage concept, which we present here.

The BMW 328 Hommage was created on the occasion of the original model’s 75th birthday. While the Bavarian automaker avoids to make the connection, the 328 Hommage appears to be based on (or at least developed from) the Vision ConnectedDrive roadster study, which premiered at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

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BMW’s New Age 328 Roadster Concept: First Live Photos

Just a few minutes ago, the Belgian crew from Autofans dropped these cell-phone photos (courtesy of a Twitter user Sjoerdvstokkum) of a new BMW concept model into our e-mail box. The design study is called the 328 Hommage Concept and it was created by BMW to celebrate the original model’s 75th birthday. Stay tuned as in a few minutes we’ll bring you the full details and photos of the 328 Hommage.

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Audi-fied Fiat Uno Turbo is a Hideous Eyesore

Along with Peugeot’s award winning 205 (remember the Rallye and the GTi?), the Fiat Uno is considered one of the finest superminis to come out of Europe in the 1980s. And the fact that both models remained in the market with small changes for more than a decade is a testament to that. The Uno’s clean and modern lines were the work of Giorgetto Giugiaro's ItalDesign, which has now passed into the hands of the ever-growing Volkswagen Group.

The Uno Turbo with its 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine developing 105HP at launch and 118HP in the refreshed model was the flagship version of the range. And as with any other hot hatch, the Uno Turbo was subjected to numerous modifications, be that in design or performance. That said, we’re accustomed to seeing the Uno Turbo in strange outfits, but what we have here is beyond words…

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Ferrari's One-Off Superamerica 45 Special Drops its Top at Villa d'Este

The coachbuilt Ferrari Superamerica 45 special commissioned by American billionaire Peter Kalikow has arrived at the Villa d'Este for the Concorso D'Eleganza contest. Not surprisingly, a by-passer took advantage of the occasion and filmed the car's roof mechanism in action at its first outing under the sun. This is the first time we see the supercar’s rotating top on the move and we have to admit it's pretty fast.

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Aston Martin’s One-77 Supercar Filmed on the Streets of London

There are very few cars in this world that can stir our imagination just by looking at them parked on the road, and this is one of them. We’re talking about the top dog in Aston Martin’s current lineup, the One-77 supercar, which was filmed here on the streets of London as it was being started up and ready to launch, by a Youtube user. It’s always great to see a rare supercar being used on the road instead of spending its life in a garage as a centerpiece.

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Q&A with Endora Cars on its Corvette-Based SC-1

Coachbuilt Corvettes are a dime a dozen these days, but only a select few builds manage to stand out from the crowd. The most recent Corvette-based proposal to pop up in the news is the new SC-1 from Endora-Cars, a company based in Karlshuld, a municipality in the district of Neuburg-Schrobenhausen in Bavaria, Germany.

Now, seeing that the SC-1 captured the attention of you, our readers (albeit in a sort of love-it-or-hate-it kind of way), we came in contact with Endora Cars and asked their spokesman, Björn Marek, a few questions about their Corvette-based build. Follow the jump to read our Q&A session with Marek.

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Autocar Magazine Envisions the Perfect Driver's Car with the BS1 (No Pun Intended…)

What we learn from specialized publications is that all cars have their flaws, no matter how expensive they are. So could there be such a thing as a perfect car? Autocar believes it so, with the British magazine going as far as creating renderings and specifying a driver’s ideal set of wheel. Editor-at-large Steve Sutcliffe's vision of the perfect sports car goes like this: an open-top two-seater with a mid-engine layout, rear-wheel-drive, less than 1,000 kg (2,204 lbs) and with a price of £35,000 ($56,800).

“As the world of cars gets ever more complex and produces machines that are increasingly sophisticated in their design and engineering, there’s still a desire for something at the other end of the scale. A sports car that’s simple to understand and interact with. And, most of all, dead good fun to drive,” says Sutcliffe.

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New Toyota FT-86 / Scion FR-S Sports Coupe Scooped on Video

By now, you have probably already seen our spy shots of the kitted-out Toyota FT-86 prototype with the Supra-like rear wing, which was snagged during testing in Germany, but one scoopster managed to film the sports car on the road as well.

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Kubatech’s Chipped Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG with 583-horsepower

For some people, there is no such thing as too much horsepower. The more the better, even if we’re talking about a compact sedan like the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG that leaves Stuttgart’s factory with a 6.2-liter V8 engine cranking out 457-horsepower and 600 Nm (442 lb-ft)of peak torque.

In the case of German tuning firm Kubatech, the answer to the C63 AMG’s horsepower problem was a Stage 3 performance kit that includes a new ECU from Mcchip-dkr along with a complete sports exhaust system from Cargraphic, which help bump output to 583HP and 692 Nm (510 lb-ft).

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Aston Martin V12 Zagato: Italian Elegance Meets British Brute Force

Some companies really know how to celebrate. Take AstonMartin and Zagato, for example. The iconic British sports car maker and the legendary Italian coachbuilder will mark the 50th anniversary of their first collaboration with a brand new study.

To honor their first joint project, the 1961 DB4GT Zagato, the two companies developed the Aston Martin V12 Zagato, a race car study that will be unveiled on May 21 at the Villa D'Este Concorsod'Eleganza in Italy, where it will compete against the Ferrari Superamerica 45. But this elegant and dramatic coupe was not built for classy Concours d'Elegance events alone, as it will actually race at the Nurburgring 24 Hour event on June 25-26.

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SCOOP: Audi’s Über R8 GT Spyder Hits the ‘Ring

There’s a new Audi model coming to town. We’re talking about the 2012 R8 GT Spyder that will make its global premiere at the upcoming 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show and which we caught testing in and around the Nurburgring racetrack in Germany. Even though Audi recently teased us with a set of renderings, these are some of the first real life photos of the R8 GT Spyder, which is seen here in prototype guise.

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What Lies Ahead in Saab’s Future?

Saab is in trouble. With mounting debts and limited capital investment, the Swedish company is a prime candidate to go the way of the dinosaurs. The troubled automaker has not built a single vehicle since the 1st of April, and a much touted deal with China’s Hawtai Motor Group has fallen through. They did however sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with another Chinese company called Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. Ltd, earlier this week, but we will have to wait and see if the deal goes through.

In light of this, I’ve thought up four plausible (though unlikely) scenarios for Saab. These range from the hugely cynical all the way to the brazenly optimistic. After all, isn’t it better than Saab has some future rather than no future at all? Without further ado, here are your options:

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Oakley Design Working on Extreme Lamborghini Aventador LP760-2

With its 700 horsepower and jaw-dropping styling, the recently launched Lamborghini Aventador hardly needs a tuning job. However, that's not what the crew over at Oakley Design believe, as the UK-based aftermarket specialist recently unveiled plans for an extensively upgraded Aventador.

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Double Fail: Service Crew Flips Double-Decker Truck Full of Cars

The hows and whens of this accident involving a double-decker lorry full of cars that fell on its side dropping the top row of vehicles on the road remains unknown as the video footage your about to see was filmed during the recovery process.

A service truck along with its crew hooked up the 18-wheeler and tried to get it back on its feet. Well, let’s just say the procedure didn’t go as planned as they managed to flip the truck for a second time thus completing the damages on the rest of the vehicles on the bottom row… Video follow after the break.

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Mazda Debuts New 1.3-liter Skyactiv Gasoline Engine on JDM Demio

The new generation of powertrains developed by Mazda under the Skyactiv name will soon have its another member out on the road, as the company announced that the “Skyactiv-G 1.3” direct-injection gasoline engine will debut on the facelifted Demio (known as the Mazda2 in international markets) in Japan this summer. Mazda will unveil the new engine at Tokyo's Automotive Engineering Exposition on May 18-20.

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Report: Do Speed Cameras Save Lives?

No matter where in the world you live, speed cameras are bound to be a hot button item for most drivers and especially automotive enthusiasts. With a recent proposal by the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) suggesting that the operation of and collection of fines from speed cameras in the hands of local government, the issue has once again come to the forefront of public opinion. The big question on many people’s minds is: are speed cameras actually effective at saving lives and preventing accidents?

First, let’s eliminate any prejudice against speed cameras. I and many others object to the sometimes devious ways our nation’s police force use speed cameras. Camera vans hidden in the bushes, signage placed in front rather than behind the vans and the use of unmarked vehicles have all soured public opinion on this supposed accident-reducing device. This is not about how speed cameras are used; it’s a question of whether or not they actually do what they’re intended to do.

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Hilarious Honda Malaysia Ad Mocks Independent Service Centers

As car owners, most of us have had bad experiences with auto service stations, either official or independent. Of course, carmakers don't like competition from independent units, so here's what Honda of Malaysia thinks of these stations. In a commercial for the local market, Honda mocks an independent garage called “HONDI” which, as you may have already assumed, offers bad service for big bucks.

A beautiful young woman, owner of a Honda Civic, is shown taking her car to the Hondi service center, where all sorts of strange things happen, with the personnel doing a crappy job while singing their own version of the famous “YMCA” song. If only service stations were such a blast... Follow the jump to watch the ad.

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Endora SC-1: A New Coachbuilt Corvette from Germany

The Corvette is not only a popular sports car among buyers but also among individual coachbuilders. Over the years, we’ve shown you tons of Corvette-based builds ranging from the bad-ass Rossi SixtySix and the Genadi LSR Roadster to the more recent Soleil Anadi. In other words, there’s a Corvette for every taste, however outlandish you can imagine.

The latest company to jump onto the Corvette coachbuilding bandwagon is Endora Cars, which is based in Germany. Their build is called the SC-1 and it’s styling is inspired by the American and European sports cars of the 1960s and early 1970s. Seen here in the first official renderings, the SC-1 blends certain elements of the Corvette such as the Coke-bottle profile and sweeping roof, with a sharp front nose and a unique rear end along with partially covered rear wheel arches.

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Car Spotting: New BMW 6-Series Coupe

antonio melandries reader Florian G. from Germany emailed us these photos of a 2012 BMW 6-Series Coupe that he spotted parked on a road in Munich. While not a scoop in the traditional sense given the introduction of the new BMW 6-Series Coupe at last month’s Shanghai Auto Show in China, it is an interesting find nonetheless.

The only thing we’re not sure of is what the ‘iCenter’ sticker below the vents of the front fenders means (that is, if it means anything). For the record, we’ve encountered the same logo on a few recent BMW prototypes. Follow the break for more pictures.

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GM Celebrates 100 Years of Chevrolet and Indy 500

America's most famous race, the Indianapolis 500, celebrates its 100th anniversary this year and so does Chevrolet, whose name was tied to the “Brickyard” from the very beginning. Arthur Chevrolet competed in the inaugural Indy 500 on May 30 1911, a few months before founding the company that bears his name, on November 3 the same year. Today, Chevrolet and Indy 500 are still together, with the Camaro SS Convertible to be the 22nd Chevrolet to pace the Indy 500 race on May 29 as a common celebration for their 100-year anniversary.

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