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Link Love From The Car Connection: Fiat's American Lineup, X-Prize Autos, And Cash-For-Clunkers Rocks (In Germany)

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Enertia Motors' Enertia Car

Enertia Motors' Enertia Car

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Tread's 'Coco' bag

Tread's 'Coco' bag

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Way outside the box -- We've all heard of the Progressive Automotive X Prize competition, which is giving $10 million to the first team to build a vehicle that can (a) get 100mpg in real-world conditions, (b) meet federal safety requirements, and (c) be mass produced. We're not sure that all of the 111 competitors are on the right track (no pun intended at all), but the cars are nice to look at. Our fave so far? The Enertia Car, which runs on, "energy from the 4th dimension". We seem to remember that the fourth dimension is really just time, but still: doesn't that sound awesome? [HybridCars]

More than just a haircut -- Speaking of new cars and new technology: Ford has announced a $550 million makeover to its Michigan Assembly Plant. Why the big gavotte? Because that facility--which used to make Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators--is now going to churn out small cars and electric vehicles. No word on whether Ford's going to call in Ty Pennington and the citizens of Wayne to do the job. (UPDATE: GreenCarReports has its own take on the announcement.) [Ford]

Retread -- Changing tires is never really pleasant. Apart from the money and time spent putting on new ones, there's also the question of what to do with the discards. A company called Tread has addressed that problem by using inner-tubes from truck tires to create some nifty hand-crafted items. Because the world only needs so many rope swings out by the swimmin' hole, y'all. [Tread via AutoMotto]

Hedda Hopper would be proud -- Tom Stephens made an intriguing post on GM's blog yesterday, saying that "plug-in hybrid technology will be applied to one of GM’s four core brands". That's interesting and stuff, but we prefer getting our blind items from Page Six--or from colleague John Voelcker, who's got some good guesses about which brand might get electromofied. [GMblogs]

Clunk = Cha-Ching -- Here's something that's both weird and encouraging: auto sales in Germany rose by almost 20% in April. Weird, because sales everywhere else are down (in the U.S., they tumbled 37.4%). Encouraging, because Germany's recent "cash-for-clunkers" legislation is largely credited for the jump--and America is prepping to pass its own version any day now. Let's see if we get the same results. [Carscoop]

More makeovers -- A couple of days ago, we mentioned that Fiat's on a roll. For anyone curious about the models that the Italian automaker plans to re-work for the U.S., you need look no further than Chrysler's bankruptcy filing. It's that easy. [Edmunds]

 
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