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Today at High Gear Media: Fastest Cars Ever, MINI and Corvette Hype

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2011 MINI Cooper Countryman

2011 MINI Cooper Countryman

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Maybe you missed it -- we're not quite sure how -- but this week at High Gear Media, we're wedging ourselves into the newest MINI before a big trip out to the Wet Coast (minus the "S," yes) for the Pebble Beach Concours classic. Today's news from around the empire of 106 HGM sites runs the gamut from performance to luxury, green to electric, and consumers and shoppers to future cars:

We had a blast in our first drive of the 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman. Along with the rest of the gang rallying in the MINI Takes the States cross-country epic, we dodged the Tail of the Dragon to find lots of BMW essence baked into the newest British-badged crossover. [MotorAuthority, TheCarConnection]

You know the names of the 10 fastest production cars of all time? Well, now you do. [AllExoticCars]

Sign a petition to bring the Audi TT RS to the States, and Audi's marketing department will reward you handsomely. Then you too can drive it like it's stollen. [MotorAuthority]

All those Corvette mid-engined rumors make us sigh out loud. Don't believe the hype. [SportsCarMonitor]

You've lived with roommates. What happens when you live with a Mustang V-6 for a week? Hilarity ensues, even without Messrs. Roper or Furley. [InsiderCarReviews]

Jerry Flint has passed, but we still can't help but think of how he'd confront chief Italian at Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne. SPOILER: There's cursing. [AmazingCarAds]

European automakers are baring it all on YouTube. The sexy commercials? No. Just their souls. [SocialCarNews]

Ryan Seacrest begs you, for the love of a simple little black dress and coordinating accessories, to please notice he's with a girl. And an Aston Martin. [CelebsAndCars]

The new 2011 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson pickup has descended from redneck heaven. And yes, there is lots of orange pinstriping. In the real heaven, there would also be PBR. [AllPickupTrucks]

There's a safe way to demolish a standing structure--and then there's the old-fashioned, four-wheel way. Now's the time to put on your protective goggles. [AllPickupTrucks]

Step aside, Nissan--Hyundai's now the fifth-most-shopped car brand. Not counting all those armchair tifosi and their penny jars. [TheCarConnection]

Honda's recalling almost 400,000 vehicles for roll-away shifters. Seasoned pros will recognize this as a page from Ford's 1970s playbook. [FamilyCarGuide]

Those cupholders in the new BMW X3: a sign of evolving German attitudes on American tastes, or a 3D translation of unprintable German swear words? [BestCarBuyingAdvice]

China's pledging $15 billion to get green cars going on a mass scale. Remember the last time they put that kind of effort into something? Beijing 2008 opening ceremonies. Don't discount the power of money. [GreenCarReports]

America's at the cutting edge of electric-car development. Republican take: "Hooray for George W. Bush's 2007 energy bill!" Democratic response: "Jimmy Carter, proven right again." (Our take: Congress does its job, for once.) [AllCarsElectric]

If you want to see where all the alt-energy efforts are taking us, take a look at Portugal. Just subtract the cork and olive farms and the amiable swarthiness. Unless you live in Newark. [PoliticsAndCars]

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