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Nutson's Nuggets: Last Week's Automotive Factoids - In Case You Weren't Paying Attention

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Each week Larry Nutson, The Auto Channel Chicago Bureau Chief will give you some automotive news you may have missed.

2012 Nissan Versa
The 2012 Nissan Versa is priced $240 less than the 2011. More features have been made standard. A better deal for U.S. buyers.

2012 Nissan Leaf
The 2012 Nissan Leaf has a base price $2420 higher than 2011. More features have been made 2012 standard. Although the cost of the batteries should be coming down, it is not uncommon to raise prices with a new model year.

2012 Toyota Prius
Toyota will begin offering in Japan Prius vehicles with AC electric outlets. You can park your Prius and brew a pot of coffee! U.S availability has not yet been announced.

AAA is launching a pilot-program in 6 metro areas with Roadside Assistance trucks to charge stranded EVs. Range anxiety continues to be a major concern with EV shoppers.

2012 Toyota RAV4 EV
The Toyota RAV4 EV will be offered to the general public for sale. Previously, it was thought that only fleets and car-sharing programs could buy the RAV4 EV. More choices for the EV crowd.

National Safe Driver Act of 2011
The National Safe Driver Act of 2011 is supported by Ford and Chrysler. The new legislation would prohibit throughout the U. S. the use of hand-held cell phones in vehicles except in an emergency.

Fiat Buys U.S. Chrysler Ownership At $1.3 Billion Discount
The U.S. government is now out of Chrysler. Fiat, now a 53% owner of Chrysler, purchased remaining stock that remained in government hands. Sergio Marchionne, CEO of both Fiat and Chrysler will now begin merging their operations.

Ford Fiesta 1.0-liter Engine
Ford confirmed this week they will build a new high tech, 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder engine with the power of a 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder to power the Fiesta. With all of Ford's EcoBoost technology it will make about 120 horsepower. Fewer cylinders with the same performance and higher fuel economy continues to be the industry direction.(Continuing the gasoline monopoly and Making Oil Companies VERY HAPPY)

Shelby SuperCars
Shelby SuperCars will produce a new Bugatti Veyron fighter called Tuatara (pronounced twu-tar-ah), essentially a fresh iteration of the Ultimate Aero which, along with Veyron, shared honors as fastest production car in the world.

Mercedes-Benz 5 Cylinder is Really 4
Mercedes-Benz has developed a new 5.5-liter V8 engine with cylinder deactivation allowing it to run on 4 cylinders when appropriate making about a 30% fuel economy advantage over the existing AMG V8.

That's All Folks, More Next Week
Larry Nutson
Senior Editor
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel