Today hot auto news
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09/03/2008 [Original: Kia World via Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, Kia, Rendered Speculation
So the Kia VG mule that has kept spy photographers busy the last few weeks has now been given a computer animated face and body. It's a nice looking ride, though has a surprising amount in common with the Hyundai Genesis... which means we also see, well, a lot of other cars in it. But that's not a bad thing, really, because the result is a tasty little creation, especially coming from Kia. The lines are a touch more forceful than those on the Genesis, which goes along with Kia being the sporting brand, or so they say. If the final version looks even close to this rendering, and they give it performance to match... well, then Kia will have taken a giant leap forward. Thanks for the tip, miha!
06/24/2014 [Original: Autoblog]
Category: EV/Plug-in, Mercedes Benz, AutoblogGreen Exclusive
There was something unexpected hiding in the new configurator for the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive: a $600 "Temporary range extender." Since we've never heard of such a thing, we had to click through for more.
The official explanation runs like this:
The passive features that increase range should be standard in all models, we think. But we were more curious about the battery charge situation. How do you increase a maximum? And is it a good idea to do so? The configurator includes this disclaimer, after all:
A suite of options to further increase your driving range includes added insulation of the doors and roof for to increase climate-control efficiency, along with an electrically heated windshield and a range-extending charge function. By pressing a button on the console prior to charging, the maximum charge level for battery will increased for the next charge cycle. The higher-capacity charge can provide up to 17 additional miles of range.
How much is excessive? We investigate below.
Range extender should only be used on a limited basis, and could shorten battery life if used excessively.
Continue reading 2014 Mercedes B-Class ED battery much bigger than previously stated
07/09/2014 [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, SUVs, Trucks/Pickups, Recalls/TSBs, Safety, Crossovers/CUVs, Hatchbacks, Ford, Lincoln
Ford is announcing six separate recalls for a variety of issues affecting a dozen models and a total of 100,610 vehicles in North America. However, according to Ford spokesperson Kelli Felker, "None of them have caused accidents or injuries." Half of them cover fewer than 1,000 cars.
The largest recall covers 92,022 North American examples (about 83,250 in the US) of some models of the Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKS, Ford Interceptor, Flex and Lincoln MKT from the 2013 and 2014 model years; the 2012-2014 Edge and the 2014 Lincoln MKX. All of them have a potential issue with the halfshaft on the right side that might not be fully seated and could move outward over time. If it shifts too far, the models may no longer be able to drive, and the condition could also allow the vehicles to roll away, even when in Park. Dealers will inspect the shaft to make sure it's seated and will replace the part if necessary.
The next-largest recall covers 5,264 North American examples (4,867 in the US) of the Ford F59 Commercial Stripped Chassis from the 2011-2014 model years. It's possible that an electrical junction box can corrode in areas with salty roads and short circuit. The problem could potentially cause a fire. Dealers will replace the box with an improved design.
Another campaign covers the 2,124 North American units (1,867 in the US) of the 2014 Ford Escape with the panoramic sunroof. It's possible that there could be a bad bond between the glass and attaching bracket, which could cause additional noise, water leaking or for the sunroof to fall off the vehicle. Talk about a bad day. Vehicles built between October 15-22, 2013, at the Louisville Assembly Plant will get a replacement panel.
Ford is also issuing a recall for 635 units of its F53 Motorhome Stripped Chassis and F59 Commercial Stripped Chassis from the 2014 model year because the brake calipers could have been incorrectly machined, a condition that could cause a brake fluid leak. Dealers will inspect vehicles made between February 14 and March 7, 2014, at the Detroit Chassis plant and will fix the problem as needed.
The next recall is strictly on paper. Ford is recalling 368 Ford Transit Connect vehicles from the 2014 model year that are located in Puerto Rico because they have the European brake reservoir cap label, instead of the mandated US version. Dealers will replace the decal on the affected models.
Finally, Ford is recalling 197 North American Ford Fiesta vehicles from the 2014 model year, 175 of which are in the US. Some models built from October 25, 2013, to February 27, 2014, at the Cuautitlan Assembly Plant may not have an adhesive layer in the fuel tank, which could allow the cars to leak fuel from a seam in the tank. Obviously, this is a fire risk. Affected Fiestas will have a replacement fuel tank installed.
Scroll down to read each announcement from the Blue Oval, including the specific powertrains covered under the halfshaft recall.
Continue reading Ford issues six recalls covering 101,000 vehicles for multiple issues
11/15/2006 [Original: Aston Martin via Autoblog]
Category: LA Auto Show, Convertibles, Sports/GTs, Euro, Aston Martin
Click to enlarge
Late last month, VIPs got a sneak peek, and today Aston Martin officially pulled the wraps off its new V8 Vantage Roadster for the rest of us to enjoy. The subject of innumerable spy photos and fanboy drooling, the beautiful baby Aston's looks are made even better when its triple-layer top is neatly stowed under its hard tonneau. Should the weather should become less than perfect, raising it back up is an 18-second operation that can be done on the fly as long as you don't exceed 30 mph.
And when the roof's closed, there's no need to worry about the car's looks. The AM designers and engineers have worked it so that the soft top's roofline apes that of the Vantage coupe. When it's dropped, a pair of leather "speed humps" that match the car's interior color add visual interest to the rear deck. The rest of what you see is pure V8 Vantage -- the muscular stance, the slick taillamps, the wheels -- they're all here, blessedly unchanged. Some things shouldn't be messed with, and the car's appearance didn't need to be doctored up to give the roadster some additional presence. The simple act of lowering the roof achieves that goal.
The convertible was developed at the same time as the coupe, and as such it shares the fixed-roof car's rigid structure. The 380-horsepower all-alloy V8 pulls the 3769 lb. roadster to 60mph in 4.9 seconds and tops out at 175. Buyers get to choose between a traditional 6-speed manual or Aston Martin's paddle-operated Sportshift transmission. Want one? You've got to wait until Q2 2007, and be prepared to pay a substantial premium over the coupe's $110,000 starting price.
Beauty, competent performance, and the cachet that comes with the Aston Martin name align once again in the form of the V8 Vantage Roadster, an object of desire that will quickly find its way into the sun-drenched fantasies of dreamers ... and the garages of the ones with the means to make them come true.
(Press release, technical specifications, photo gallery all after the jump)
Click images to enlarge
Aston Martin Launches the V8 Vantage Roadster
Los Angeles - Aston Martin will unveil one of the most eagerly anticipated convertibles of the year when the V8 Vantage Roadster is revealed at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday 29th November.
Aston Martin Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ulrich Bez said: "The V8 Vantage Roadster is a pure sports car, a car that heightens the senses and provides a dynamically thrilling driving experience.
"The Vantage Roadster adds to the unbeatable thrill of open air motoring and by combining engineering excellence, technological innovation and physical perfection, will ensure every journey is one to remember."
Perfectly proportioned, with a low purposeful stance, the Vantage Roadster is uncompromisingly modern yet also incorporates classic Aston Martin design cues. The elegant lines are fused with traditional craftsmanship and striking 21st century style, with an interior hand-trimmed and finished in the finest quality genuine materials.
The Vantage Roadster will be built at Aston Martin's global headquarters at Gaydon, near Warwickshire in the UK, joining the current Aston Martin line-up. This now comprises the flagship Vanquish S, the elegant DB9 and the agile V8 Vantage Coupe.
The design of the Vantage Roadster is elegant and uncompromising, a single fluid form with characteristic attention to detail, both inside and out, representing the open sports car in its purest form.
The Vantage Roadster represents the latest evolution of Aston Martin's synthesis of craft and technology. From the beautifully hand stitched leather seats to the hand-finished bodies, to the ultra-modern Aston Martin V8 engine, hand-assembled at a dedicated, high-technology facility in Cologne, Germany, the Vantage Roadster is an exclusive, advanced and uniquely desirable sports car.
The three-layer fabric hood gives a taut, aggressive appearance when closed and when folded, the flow from front to rear is smooth and elegant, enhanced by the leather speed humps that create a unique transition between interior and exterior. Even in convertible form the Roadster retains the critically acclaimed design of the Vantage Coupe. The hood is stowed neatly beneath the rear tonneau cover and is either opened or closed at the press of a button located on the centre console, in just 18 seconds, and at speeds of up to 30mph (50km/h) with no manual intervention required.
Offered with an imaginative combination of different leathers, contemporary fabrics and aluminium, Vantage Roadster customers will have an extensive choice of body and trim colours from which to choose.
Developed from the outset alongside the V8 Vantage Coupe which was launched in 2005, the Roadster shares the unique-to-Aston Martin bonded aluminium VH (Vertical Horizontal) architecture - the backbone to all modern Aston Martins. Adding to this structure, sophisticated materials such as lightweight alloys, magnesium and advanced composites are used for the body, further contributing to the car's low weight and high rigidity.
Driver and passenger sit low, close to the car's centre of gravity, where they can feel the car reacting to the input of the driver - a special sensation, usually only experienced in racing cars - providing a direct and sporting connection between car and driver.
Despite the additional mechanism associated with the Vantage Roadster's convertible roof and the additional body stiffness, Aston Martin's engineering team have ensured only a minimal weight increase to preserve the agile and sporting characteristics of the V8 Vantage Coupe. At just 4.38 metres (172.5 in) long, Vantage Roadster remains not only the smallest model in the Aston Martin range but also one of the leanest cars in its class.
The Vantage Roadster delivers exceptional performance with careful development and engineering ensuring that the Roadster equals the achievements of its Coupe sibling, with 0-100km/h (62mph) achieved in 5.0 seconds (0-60mph in 4.9 seconds) and a potential maximum speed of 280km/h (175mph).
Vantage Roadster will be available with two transmission alternatives from launch. Offered as standard is the fast-shifting, six-speed Graziano conventional stick-shift manual gearbox, with ratios perfectly matched to the performance of the V8 engine. This is joined by Aston Martin's new Sportshift automated manual transmission - an ultra-quick system that provides the driver with heightened precision via fingertip control of gear changes using paddles to progress smoothly and swiftly through the ratios.
Deliveries of the V8 Vantage Roadster are expected to commence during quarter two 2007, with prices to be confirmed at a later date.
Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster Specification
Two-seat, two-door body with soft cover convertible top and heated glass rear screen. Bonded aluminium structure. Aluminium alloy, steel, composite, and magnesium alloy body. Extruded aluminium side impact bars and integral rollover bars. Halogen projector headlamps. LED rear lamps.
Aston Martin all-alloy quad overhead camshaft 32 valve, 4.3 litre V8. Variable inlet camshaft timing. Dry sump lubrication system. Fully catalysed stainless steel exhaust system with active bypass valves. Front mid-mounted engine. Rear-wheel drive.
Rear mid-mounted six-speed manual with optional Sportshift automated manual transmission. Alloy torque tube with carbon-fibre propeller shaft. Limited slip differential. Final drive ratio 3.909:1.
Rack and pinion power-assisted steering, 3.0 turns lock to lock. Column reach and tilt adjust.
Wheels and Tyres
Standard: 18 inch alloy wheels - 10-spoke design - Front: 8.5J x 18 inch / Rear: 9.5J x 18 inch. Bridgestone Potenza tyres - Front: 235/45 ZR18. Rear: 275/40 ZR18.
Optional: 19 inch alloy wheels - seven-spoke design - Front: 8.5J x 19 inch / Rear: 9.5J x 19 inch. Bridgestone Potenza tyres - Front: 235/40 ZR19. Rear: 275/35 ZR19.
Optional: Pirelli P-Zero Corsa sports tyres - Front: 245/40 ZR19. Rear: 285/35 ZR19
Front: Independent double aluminium wishbones incorporating anti-dive geometry, coil over aluminium monotube dampers and anti-roll bar.
Rear: Independent double aluminium wishbones incorporating longitudinal control arms, coil over aluminium monotube dampers and anti-roll bar.
Radial-mounted four-piston monobloc callipers. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). Traction Control. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). Emergency Brake Assist (EBA). Positive Torque Control.
Front: Ventilated and grooved steel discs - 355mm diameter
Rear: Ventilated and grooved steel discs - 330mm diameter
Full grain leather interior. Gunmetal facia. Graphite interior fittings. Electrically adjustable seats. Automatic temperature control. Heated rear screen. Reversing sensors. Battery Disconnect Switch (BDS). Trip computer. Dual stage driver and passenger airbags. Side airbags. Alarm and immobiliser. Tyre pressure monitoring.
160W Aston Martin Audio System with six CD autochanger.
Sportshift automated manual transmission. Xenon (HID) headlamps including power wash. Bright finish grille. Piano Black facia trim. Alternative brake calliper finish (black, red, silver). Heated seats. Cruise control. Passenger seat height adjustment*1. Memory seats (3 positions). Battery conditioner. Powerfold exterior mirrors. Auto dimming interior rear view mirror*1. Auto dimming interior rear view mirror with garage door opener*1. Voice activated Bluetooth telephone preparation*1. Integrated GSM telephone*1. Satellite navigation system with optional Traffic Messaging Channel (TMC)*1. Tracking device*1/2. Alarm upgrade (volumetric & tilt sensors). Smokers pack. Sports tyres. 19 inch alloy wheels - seven-spoke design, with silver finish. 19 inch alloy wheels - seven-spoke design, with anthracite finish. Front wheel stone guards. Personalised sill plaques. First aid kit*1. Umbrella & holder. 700W Aston Martin Premium Audio System with Dolby Pro Logic II. Wind deflector.
1865mm (exc. Mirrors)
2025mm (inc. Mirrors)
Fuel tank capacity
283kW (380 bhp) @ 7000 rpm
410 Nm (302 lb.ft) @ 5000 rpm
0-60mph - 4.9 seconds
0-100km/h - 5.0 seconds
175mph (280 km/h)
06/24/2006 [Original: IGN via Autoblog]
Category: Motorsports, Sedans/Saloons, Dodge
Amidst the hoopla surrounding the release of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Universal Studios held a Drift Party in its parking lot where Dodge quietly parked its Mopar-powered Charger drift car that will eventually be driven in the Formula D professional drift series by Samuel Hubinette.
Dodge unveiled a version of its drifting Charger at last year's SEMA show in Las Vegas, but it wasn't race ready and featured many bits and pieces that were tacked on for show. The car that will actually compete gets a much smaller hood scoop, less pronounced fenders and ditches the carbon fiber rear wing out back. A more realistic set of 19-inch Racing Hart wheels and Brembo brakes also replaces the show setup on the SEMA vehicle.
Tire-shredding power will be provided by a Mopar 392 crate engine capable of producing 650 horsepower on 104 octane fuel. Considering this Charger weighs 900 lbs. less than a consumer Charger R/T, we're pretty sure Hubinette will be able to dominate the field like he's been doing in his Viper drift car.
More pics follow after the jump...
[Vote for this post on Netscape]
2005 Dodge Charger / Mopar drift show car - SEMA 2005
06/29/2006 [Original: TailgateofaLifetime via The Car Connection via Autoblog]
Category: Contests, Etc.
Are you ready to put your tailgating skills to the test? The Lifetime television network and official NASCAR chef Mario Batali (now that's an odd pairing if ever there was one) are currently looking for the ultimate tailgate party for their "Tailgate of a Lifetime Tailgating Championship" contest. Entrants are required to submit a 250-word submission that details their top five tailgating tips and favorite, original tailgating receipe. Entrants are also encouraged to submit visual media such as photos or videos demonstrating tailgating expertise. (Partying, that is, not drive-wise.)
The contest is running now through July 26. Finalists will be requested to cook their submitted receipe as well as two others. The prize is $10,000 and a prize package. Additional information can be found at the link.
08/18/2006 [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Contests, Etc., Volvo
Early this year we posted on three exemplary human beings that make us question what we're doing with our lives. (Writing about cars? Cars, really?) Well, after we had long forgotten about our lack of contributions to the greater good, we discovered that Dr. Ingida Asfaw, an Ethiopian-born doctor, has won the Volvo for Life Award.
The doctor, who is responsible for organizing over 500 medical professionals to provide support to an ailing health infrastructure in his home country, was award $50,000 to send to the charity of his choice and the grand prize of a brand new Volvo every three years for the rest of his life. He drove off this past Wednesday in a new V8 XC90. Good call doc, although we may have went with the V60R, but to each their own.
Dr. Asfaw was one of over 4,000 nominees who were selected by a panel of leaders in their respective fields and a grouping of globally conscious celebrities (the list of celebs can be found in the press release after the jump).
The background on Dr. Asfaw is a worthwhile read, but some highlights include his departure for the U.S. at 16 to study medicine, his return to Ethiopia to form ENAHPA, perform surgeries, train other medical professionals and provide assistance to Ethiopian children afflicted with AIDS.
Our wholehearted congratulations to Dr. Asfaw and all the nominees.
Aug 16, 2006 10:00 America/Los_Angeles
Heroic Detroit Doctor Receives a Volvo for Life ... Literally
Volvo Honors Local Hero Dr. Ingida Asfaw With a New Car Every Three Years for Life
Visit www.volvoforlifeawards.com to View Hundreds of Incredible Hero Stories
DETROIT, Aug. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- A local hero from the Detroit area today is receiving a "thank you" to last a lifetime: a complimentary new Volvo car every three years for the rest of his life.
Earlier this year, celebrity judges named Dr. Ingida Asfaw, "America's Greatest Hometown Hero" in the fourth annual Volvo for life Awards, the nation's largest search for and celebration of everyday heroes, with Volvo providing $1 million in contributions in honor of local heroes. Dr. Asfaw is an Ethiopian-born heart surgeon who kept a half-century promise to himself by creating an international coalition called the Ethiopian North American Health Professionals Association (ENAHPA) to address his homeland's medical crises.
Launched in 2002, the Volvo for life Awards calls for people nationwide to nominate a local hero they know doing the extraordinary in the areas of safety, quality of life or environment at www.volvoforlifeawards.com. Since June 2005, Volvo has received more than 4,341 nominations, including Dr. Asfaw's and 49 others from Michigan, for the 4th Annual Volvo for life Awards. In February, Volvo selected three winning heroes in each category.
Judges Hank Aaron, Sen. Bill Bradley, Caroline Kennedy, Sir Richard Branson, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Val Kilmer, Maya Lin, Paul Newman, Dr. Sally Ride and Hope Bevilhymer (3rd Annual Volvo for life Awards winner) then selected the overall category winners, who received a $50,000 charitable contribution. At a gala ceremony in New York this past April, judges announced Dr. Asfaw as the winner in the quality of life category and also unveiled him as the overall grand winner and a recipient of a Volvo car every three years for life.
For his first car choice, Dr. Asfaw selected the 2007 Volvo XC90 V8. Today at a lunchtime ceremony at Suburban Volvo in Troy, Mich. attended by Dr. Asfaw's friends, family and associates, the retailer and executives from Volvo Cars of North America presented Dr. Asfaw with the keys to his new car.
"Every year I am touched by the amazing stories and thousands of nominations we receive through the Volvo for life Awards," said Anne Belec, president of Volvo Cars of North America. "Dr. Asfaw stands tall as a man who has devoted his energy and skills to addressing a devastating crisis in his homeland. It's an honor for Volvo to help him advance his cause."
The 5th Annual Volvo for life Awards already is underway. Volvo has named 250 extraordinary heroes nationwide -- five per state -- as semi-finalists. Now, for the first time, individuals can vote for their favorite heroes at www.volvoforlifeawards.com through Feb. 4, 2007. In March, Dr. Asfaw will join celebrity judges in selecting next year's winning heroes, to be honored April in New York.
About Dr. Asfaw
At the young age of 16, Asfaw departed from his hometown in Ethiopia determined to study medicine in the United States and in return put an end to the lack of a national healthcare program. Now, at 68 years of age, he has kept his promise of someday returning to Ethiopia with helping hands.
In 1999 Dr. Asfaw started ENAHPA and encouraged others to join him in treating the people of Ethiopia. In a country where the ratio of physicians to population is 1 per 100,000, the idea of a healthcare system was nonexistent and Dr. Asfaw's dream was to change just that. With support from over 500 medical and non-medical professionals and volunteers from the United States, Canada, China and South America, a sense of hope has been returned to the people of Ethiopia. ENAHPA has led the volunteers through mission trips and other social initiatives to address the healthcare crisis by donating their time and service.
This renowned surgeon along with his team of ENAHPA volunteers has performed nearly 100 surgical procedures; conducted advanced training for 250 Ethiopian healthcare professionals and donated 32,400 books; provided lifesaving medical equipment; instruments and supplies to several specialized hospitals, three universities and a leprosy research training center. Now over 500 AIDS orphans are being cared for by a newly created program by Dr. Asfaw, which supports a grassroots Ethiopian organization to provide the patients with the medical care they need.
Now residing in Metro Detroit, working as cardiovascular surgeon at; Sinai-Grace Hospital, St. Joseph POH North Oakland Medical Center, Huron Valley Hospital, Harper Hospital and Crittenton Hospital Dr. Asfaw has taken on another challenge working as a clinical professor of surgery at Wayne State University. Dr. Asfaw is also the chairman of cardiothoracic surgery at Trinity Heath-St. Joseph Mercy Oakland and chief executive officer of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons of Michigan.
About Volvo for life Awards
The Volvo for life Awards was launched in 2002 to recognize and celebrate local hero's nationwide. For more information or to vote for the fifth annual Volvo for life recipient please visit our website at www.volvoforlifeawards.com. Who would you give a Volvo to? Join us in the search for the 2007 Volvo for life recipient by simply submitting a nomination and voting for your local hero.
For photos and more information on the Volvo for life Awards: www.volvocars-pr.com
Source: Volvo Cars of North America
08/21/2006 [Original: Detroit News via Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Spy Photos, Contests, Crossovers/CUVs, Volkswagen
The Detroit News obtained another shot of the upcoming Volkswagen mid-sized crossover, the Tiguan. Based on the Concept A, the vehicle's unique name is based on the words "tiger" and "leguan", the latter German for iguana. The Tiguan concept will debut at the second Los Angeles autoshow later this year with the production version to be displayed next year at the 2007 Frankfurt show.
Spy Shots: 2008 Volkswagan Tiguan
VW Tiguan begins to take shape
Volkswagen christens the Concept A with an, er, interesting name
POLL RESULTS: Name that Volkswagen
09/05/2006 [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Etc., Bentley, Chrysler, DaimlerChrysler, Dodge, Ford, Jaguar, Lexus, Maybach, Rolls Royce, Saab, Saturn
We still haven't finished going through our pics from Monterey's week-long carfest. Here is a quick wallpaper gallery of concepts, coachbuilds and new production models displayed on the putting green outside The Lodge at the Pebble Beach Golf Links. The Glickenhaus commissioned P4/5, the stubby Dodge Hornet, the Phantom look-alike Chrysler Imperial, the "Darth Vader GT" Maybach Exelero... all there, along with a handful of other concepts and a few near-production-ready models. Follow the jump for the full clickable gallery.
2006 Ford Reflex Concept
2007 Jaguar XKRs
2007 Lexus SC Pebble Beach Edition
2007 Bentley Continental GTC Convertible
2007 Saturn Sky Red Line
2006 Ferrari 612 P4/5
2007 Spyker D12 SSUV
2005 Maybach Exelero Show Car
2006 Dodge Challenger Concept
2006 Saab Aero-X Concept
2006 Chrysler Imperial Concept
2006 Dodge Hornet Concept and 2006 Rolls-Royce 101 EX Concept
- Autoblog at the 2006 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
- Pebble Beach: Gooding Auction VIP Preview and Ferrari 612 P4/5 Unveiling
- Pebble Beach: VW debuts EOS 'Highway 1' design study
- Jaguar announces U.S. pricing for XKR coupe, convertible
- That time of year, again: Lexus SC430 Pebble Beach Edition
- Wow! Maybach Exelero
- Autoblog Q&A: James Glickenhaus, owner of the Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina
09/09/2006 [Original: Autoblog]
Category: RR of the Day
Our first week of RR of the Day posts has come to an end and it has been without doubt a success. After four days our Flickr pool has 90 members and 145 photos of incredible and interesting readers rides. As promised, however, you're going to choose the finest reader ride among those featured throughout the week. So let the voting begin.
For reference we've included links to each RR of the Day from the past week.
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