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Hybrid cars, up until now, haven’t really broken the mold in terms of power output, at least for those intended for mainstream use, like the Toyota Prius or Honda Insight. The latter company is currently hoping to change that, with the release of the CR-Z “sports hybrid coupe”.

Sadly, with 122 HP coming out of the 1.5-liter VTEC four-cylinder engine combined with the Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system, it isn’t looking very performance-oriented. According to MotorTrend though, Honda might be preparing some new applications for the IMA system, involving either a V6 engine or a bigger 2.5-liter four-cylinder unit.

According to the report, it seems Honda wants to make a proper hybrid sportscar, and will reveal a new model soon enough. This hybrid will be a completely new car, and roughly the size of the Accord coupe edition.

Besides this, the V6 engine might see use in models like SUVs or minivans, together with the hybrid system, to produce adequate amounts of power. Also, the Japanese company might also be working on an Extended Range Electric Vehicle (ER-EV), like the Chevrolet Volt, that will use a capacitor-based energy storage device.

Read More: “Honda reportedly working on more powerful hybrid models”

Instead of limiting itself to racing in the various virtual worlds it has created over the years for the Need For Speed franchise of video games, Electronic Arts (EA) has decided to create its own real life racing team.

Don’t go thinking this is just some lame attempt at marketing, as EA is serious, entering its team into two competitions, one in the USA and one in Europe. For its US efforts, the company will enter the NFS team in the Formula D drifting championship, which will soon see its 2010 season start. Those in Europe will get a chance to check out the NFS team in the VLN (Veranstaltergemeinschaft Langstreckenpokal Nürburgring) endurance racing series, which has basically the same rules as events like the 24 Hours of Nurburgring and also takes place on the famous track.

As you can see above, the cars are also pretty interesting, with a BMW Z4, presumably for the endurance racing series, and a Mazda RX8 and a Nissan Silvia for the drifting competitions. The drivers are also top notch, as EA wrangled Patrick Söderlund, Mad Mike Whiddett and Matt Powers to race these cars.

Read More: “EA starts its own real life Need For Speed racing team”

Plenty of people in touch with the American tuning and customization scene have certainly heard about George Barris. For those of you who didn’t, he’s the guy major Hollywood studios turn to when it comes to creating unique takes on famous cars, with his work appearing in quite a lot of movies.

Now, Barris has revealed his latest creation, based on the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro muscle car. Dubbed the Spirit, the car has the same inner workings of a Camaro 2SS RS but also saw a lot of new options added. In the vein of keeping it affordable for the average consumer, no mechanical upgrades were made, just cosmetic ones.

The new visual features include a customized painted hood, with both pearl and metallic accents, a special scheme for the fenders and doors, symbolizing the speed of the model and a retro-looking three-bar chrome grille. You will also find Spirit engraved on the fenders, while a special plaque will be featured on the inside, signed by George Barris.

The first model of the limited edition will be revealed at the upcoming Community Chevrolet event, on Saturday in Burbank, California. Those who are already interested, should contact their local Chevrolet dealer, who will get in touch with Barris’ company.

Read More: “George Barris reveals customized 2010 Chevrolet Camaro Spirit”

The family just got bigger! The rmpGO.com masterminds, Bobby Voicu and Vlad Balan, have created yet another offspring from their automotive passion: RevvNation.com. RevvNation is a car/race themed Massive Multiplayer Online Browser based Text Game. A mouthful, I know, but if you can say this without having to gasp for air, you’re awesome!

The game is backed by an enthusiastic and passionate team, who want to combine their passion for cars and games in the perfect entertaining game. Part time geeks, full time auto lovers and gamers, they’ve stuck their foreheads to their laptops in order to make the best racing social game ever! Because the next best thing to driving is playing a racing game.

So, how does it work? Basically, you sign up, pick out a job, start a club, make money (virtual, that is), buy yourself a nice car and race it off. Oh, and you can also invite your friends and see who has the best skills. Let’s not forget that you can buy all sorts of parts and tune your ride in order to get the best performance out of it. You can either go wild with your spending habits or you can opt for the planned approach, and save up, to buy bigger and better upgrades.

You can play RevvNation at work, during lunch or whenever you feel like it. No consoles, no fee, no nagging from your significant other (we’re open to guys, girls and anything in between, just no bots) Don’t expect 3D or spaceships, because you won’t find them here yet (they’re on the way, though). But do expect good, clean fun and a relaxing experience with your friends.

You can also find RevvNation all over the Internet, thanks to its ever increasing fan base. They have a blog, where you’ll find posts about the game (d’oh), about the coolest things in gaming so far, but also interesting stuff about the auto world. They have a Twitter account: @RevvNation and you can also find them on Facebook: RevvNation Facebook Fan Page

And remember: gaming will save the world!

Despite last minute attempts to rally up support for the Hummer brand, representative Nick Richards revealed that GM will continue the wind down process and won’t take any more offers for the troubled SUV brand.

This practically means that Hummer is soon to be extinct. As you can remember, GM tried to sale the bleeding brand to China’s Sichuan Tengzhong, but the negotiations hit a dead end, leaving Hummer without any potential buyer.

The leadership chain is going to be retired, while the remaining stock of Hummer models will be subjected to big incentives. Also, a new campaign advertising that “this is your last change to buy a Hummer” will soon be aired, so that the stocks can be depleted as soon as possible.

GM said it is aware of the upcoming ‘Save Hummer‘ summit in Chicago, but declined to say if it will send representatives. With this new statement though, the brand doesn’t stand a chance.

Read More: “Hummer will be shut down, GM says”

What seemed like a rather awkward April Fools joke is now official: Daimler and Renault-Nissan will work together from now on, with the German company buying a 3.1% stake in the two companies, while the French-Japanese alliance will also acquire 3.1% in Daimler stock.

As was revealed last week, the two groups are going to collaborate heavily in terms of small cars, including the development of electric versions for the Smart ForTwo, Renault Twingo or the Twizzy EV. Platform and engine sharing is also included in the new partnership, as key assemblies from the Mercedes-Benz A and B Class are going to end up on the Renault Twingo and Clio.

Entry-level engines are going to be developed and swapped among the all of the various brands, including Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Smart or Nissan. The diesel know-how of MB is likely to be used by Nissan’s Infiniti division, to develop better engines targeted at European consumers. Also, a diesel engine and transmission from Renault Nissan is going to be used on the Mercedes-Benz Vito.

Expect many other collaborations between the brands, as representatives confirmed this partnerships is going to result in “billions of euros in annual savings for both sides.”

What do you think of this new partnership? Is it best for both companies? Share your thoughts below

BMW is quite serious about its art endeavors and has just revealed that the 17th model, based on a BMW M3 GT2 track car, will race in the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance competition.

The car, which you can see in draft form above, has been decorated by artist Jeff Koons, using a novel collage of stretched racing cars and colors, in order to portray the soul (apparently a rainbow-flavored one) of the M3 GT2 race car.

Following tradition, the car is going to be displayed at the Paris Centre Pompidou, on June 1, before it will head off to the race, held between June 12 and 13. The car is going to bear the number 79, commemorating the Andy Warhol BMW M1 art car, revealed in 1979 at the same Centre Pompidou.

Read More: “The 17th BMW Art Car by Jeff Koons will race in 24 hours of Le Mans”

Toyota received a pretty big blow this past weekend, as the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Association announced that they will issue a fine of $16.4 million to the Japanese carmaker.

According to new reports, seeing as how it isn’t “that” big a fine, at least in comparison to the profits the company is seeing lately, it will be paid in full. There’s still a pretty big drawback, as Automotive News reports it might help the cause of the those who are engaged in lawsuits against Toyota.

“It certainly bolsters our cases. It demonstrates Toyota has been less than forthright with the U.S. government and with consumers,” said Robert Nelson, a lawyer at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP in San Francisco. He currently represents over 20 Toyota customers who are engaged in legal battle with the Japanese company over the unintended acceleration scandal.

On the other hand, other legal representatives are saying it might not help their cause at all, as it can be used by Toyota to show that government inquiries never found anything mechanically wrong with its vehicles.

In case you don’t remember, Toyota has two weeks to pay the fine, or attack the decision, thus taking the case to court. Until then, the pending lawsuits should continue like before.

Read More: “Toyota fine might help those who are suing the carmaker”

The Dodge Viper showcased that even American companies can attack the supercar segment and succeed. Sadly, the snake’s swan song is approaching rapidly, with the production of the Viper, as we know it, set to end this summer.

Until then, Dodge has announced the supercar will go out with a bang, and detailed the 2010 Viper Final Edition models, based on the coupe, roadster and ACR. Only 50 cars will be made, all based on the top-of-the-line SRT10 spec, meaning 600 HP and 560 lb-ft of torque. The number will be divided as such: 20 Coupes, 18 Roadsters and 12 ACRs.

The Final Edition cars will boast a Graphite Clear Coat, with a black center stripe, outlined by red strips. A black windshield surround will grace the hard top models. The Coupe and Roadster will sit on six-spoke wheels, as opposed to the ACR, which touches the ground with Sidewinder ones.

As you can imagine, badges are going to be applied liberally on the inside. Besides that, red accent stitching on black surfaces, while red halo surrounds will decorate the gauge cluster. A numbered plaque will round off the interior, and remind you of your special Viper.

No pricing details were given, but if you want to own a piece of American supercar history, you’d better act fast.

Read More: “Chrysler announces 2010 Dodge Viper Final Edition”

If you’ve been admiring models from Ford while driving around in another brand’s vehicle, then you’ll definitely be glad to hear that the Blue Oval is bringing back its successful ‘Swap your ride’ campaign.

For those that don’t remember, it allows you to head down to the local Ford dealerships and just trade in your model for a new, Blue Oval-badged one. Now, the offer is even more tempting, as besides the trade-in value, you also get an extra $1,000. Even more, the company is offering 0% financing for any purchase you make.

There are a few strings attached, as you can’t opt for any of the hybrid lineup, nor for performance models like the Shelby GT500 or the F-150 SVT Raptor. Still, that leaves you with quite a few great choices among the lineup. Expect new ads starring Mike Rowe to appear on a TV set near you, as the offer is available up until the end of May.

For more details, head on over to the official page of the campaign.

Read More: “Ford restarts ‘Swap your ride’ campaign, offers $1,000 and 0% financing”

When GM announced that a very special Chevrolet Camaro will act as a pace car for the famous Indianapolis (Indy) 500 race later this year, it was pretty obvious that a limited edition based on it isn’t too far away.

It’s all official now, as GM announced that 200 or less 2010 Camaro Indy 500 Pace Car replicas will be made, in order to commemorate the racing event. They will all be based on the Camaro SS and will be outfitted with the RS appearance package. Power arrives from the 6.2-liter V8 engine, packing 400 HP and coupled to a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Other features include a set of 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, a retro-looking grille which borrows from the old 1967 pace cars, as well as a plethora of Indy 500 badges and logos. Paint all this package in Inferno Orange, and you’ll be getting one very limited edition Camaro. The price you ask? $41,950, including the $850 destination charge.

Read More: “Chevrolet Camaro gets limited Indy 500 pace car edition”

The Chevrolet Cruze is one of General Motors’ biggest bets when it comes to mid-size sedans this year. After enjoying a pretty successful start in life in other markets, the Cruze is now gearing up for its US debut.

Part of that gearing up process will also include getting some new features and upgrades, at least according to one recent report. It seems that GM wants to make the US-spec Cruze quieter, and will fit additional sound proofing on the inside. Besides that, a laminated windshield might be added, while the airbag count will be increased to an even 10.

This isn’t just good news for those who want a quiet and a safe ride, as GM is also rumored to drop the standard torsion bar rear suspension in favor of a more dynamic Z-link setup, giving the US-spec Cruze a better ride quality than the other versions.

Read More: “US-spec Chevrolet Cruze gets upgraded before its debut”

Citroen is seemingly fixated with a new “air” denomination, as after it revealed yesterday, in Brazil, the AirCross model, it has now presented two eco-friendly versions of the C3 Picasso MPV and the C4, dubbed airdream+.

As you can imagine, the two new models are focused on increasing fuel averages, by using the new entry-level HDi diesel units, and decreasing CO2 emissions, by using tweaked transmissions. The C3 Picasso will use a five-speed manual, which will have a gearshift indicator to swap gears at the optimum time, while the C4 will get an automatic gearbox.

This translates in a CO2 emission rating of 99 g/km for the family-friendly C3 Picasso, while the C4, in the airdream+ version, will output just 119 g/km of CO2.

Besides these changes, options like parking sensors, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, power windows all around and mirrors, as well as automatic A/C, will also be included in the airdream+ versions.

Read More: “Citroen C3 Picasso and C4 get eco airdream+ versions”

Welcome to a new edition of Motorsport Weekend, where we bring you the latest results from the most important racing events from the past few days.

Even though many people celebrated Easter this past weekend, there’s no rest for the wicked. We were treated to the Formula 1 Malaysian GP, held at the Sepang Circuit, the WRC Rally of Jordan, as well as the Nascar Nashville 300 race, counting for the Nationwide Series.

Curious to see how Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg, Sebastien Loeb or Kevin Harvick faired in their respective races? Then hit the jump and find out!
Read More: “Motorsport Weekend: Formula 1 Malaysian GP, WRC Rally of Jordan and Nascar results”

Sometimes, the only right thing to do is drive. Driving is a simple pleasure that  can take away all the stress of a hard day. Driving is that moment of the day when you leave behind the noisy city, play your favorite track, lay back and enjoy the scenery. It’s not nearly as much fun being a pedestrian as being a driver and we all know that. The only thing pedestrians do is get in the way, with their feeble legs and scared stare. So take this simple advice into the world and make it a better place: Stop walking. Start driving.

For more inspirational driving T-shirts to fill out your closet, check the RevvNation Store.