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Today at High Gear Media: Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf and MINI

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2011 Chevrolet Volt

2011 Chevrolet Volt

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Yesterday was the 2011 Ford Explorer's day--and today at High Gear Media, you could hardly escape the dueling electric vehicles making news at Plug-In 2010 in San Jose.

The new GM electric car made headlines across our network of almost 3 million readers as General Motors announced the Chevy Volt's price.Coming in at $41,000 before incentives, the Volt's met its initial price target -- but will it meet lofty sales goals? And is it worth its luxury-like price tag? At least the Volt's lease rate is just $1 more than that of the Nissan Leaf, its most direct competition for your green-scented greenbacks.

Across town, High Gear Media took a spin in the 2011 Nissan Leaf EV, and breaks news on AllCarsElectric.com that the car company doesn't think it will lose money on the multi-billion-dollar, multinational electric-car effort. In fact, it's throwing down the gauntlet for the Volt: Nissan says its Leaf is cheaper, and reminds you that you can't do better than zero emissions--though they managed not to point directly at the Volt's range-extending gasoline generator when they said it. Nissan doesn't seem to have much fear that buyers will be turned off by the Leaf's 100-mile range; it's backing the batteries with an eight-year warranty, and is leveraging strong interest from Toyota Prius buyers to ease its way into the oil-free era.

The Prius wasn't entirely absent from today's Web conversation; Toyota is said to be planning a U.S. production date for the fourth-generation Prius, but it won't arrive here until 2016. And would you be curious to know that the first Prius lost $28,000 per copy? That's what you learn through industrial espionage, says Kinder Essington over on PoliticsAndCars.

On the performance tip, AllCarsElectric reports that Porsche is also testing electric cars, in this case battery-powered Boxsters. MotorAuthority has the latest spy illustrations of the next BMW 1-Series, and brings word that the MINI brand will return to rallying behind the power of its new Countryman crossover. For daydreaming value, the kids over at CollegeCarGuide picked the Lexus LFA as their supercar of the week--and Jim Hamel's InsiderCarReviews pitted the 2010 VW Golf against the 2010 Mazda3 in an impromptu comparison test.

Buying a car this weekend? What do you do when the dealer won't give you the keys to your car back, and holds you hostage until you sign? L. James Johnson has some tips on how to deal with car-dealer tricks today at BestCarBuyingGuide.

Before you go, Kia wants you to know it's not all about hamsters -- if you're a YouTube wonder, they're looking for your clips. Get your SAG card up to date, and tell them we sent you--and follow us on Twitter @highgearmedia for the very latest from High Gear Media.

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