Weekend Roundup: Super Bowl Commercials, Cleaner Cars, Impressive Sales Numbers

Been away from your computer all week and missed the automotive news? We've pulled this week's hottest stories into one place--right here--for your enjoyment.

Super Bowl XLVI Automotive Ads: You'd Better Like Dogs

It must have been a banner year for dogs in car ads, because this year's Super Bowl automotive ads are piling on the canines. There's plenty of other hi jinks, like aliens, jet packs, and gigantic sandwiches, too, for your enjoyment between the downs. We've rounded up all of the automotive ones in one spot, so you can cue up the hilarity no matter where you are in relation to a television.

January 2011 Sales Were Largely Impressive, But General Motors Stumbles

If you're selling the Toyota Camry or any Chrysler product, you probably had an excellent January 2012: sales of the Camry continue to top all other mid-size sedans, and the Chrysler Group posted banner profits and the best post-2008 bankruptcy month of January yet. Things might not be so keen for brands like Honda, however, which still haven't fully recovered from a disaster-filled 2011, or GM, which was the only of the American big three to post a decline. The once-mighty Accord now trails the Camry by thousands upon thousands of units.

Fiat's 500L MPV is Ready for (Some) Hauling

Fiat's newest creation is some 23.4 inches longer than the Cinquecento it's based on, which should spell some excellent increases in storage capacity, as well as passenger volume. The 500L (L standing for "large") brings together the running gear from the 500 hatchback in a package reminiscent of the E.U.-market Panda. It will go on sale in the U.S. in 2013.

Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition Headed for Chicago Debut

Mazda has readied a Special Edition Miata to send to the Chicago Auto Show, some 23 years after the NA-generation model debuted in the Windy City. The new model has a run of just 500 cars and promises to bring in some design tweaks (a non-body color power retractable hardtop) and some performance mods (a limited-slip differential and the suspension package) into one snazzy model.

Ferrari, McLaren, and Caterham Look to This Year's F1 Races with New Cars

It's that time of year, when racecar manufacturers ready their new Formula 1 cars, so Ferrari and Caterham took to the internet to show off their new products. Both the Ferrari F2012, the McLaren MP4-27, and the Caterham CT01 feature new or enhanced aerodynamics, as well as screaming 2.4-liter V-8 engines.

California Air Resources Board Approves New, Stricter Car Guidelines

The Chevrolet Volt and Honda FCX Clarity aren't going anywhere any time soon: both were lauded as important cars as the California Air Resources board approved new regulations designed to drastically decrease the state's carbon dioxide emissions and refine the definition of clean cars. The board looked to improvements in TZEVs, or Transitional Zero Emissions Vehicles, like the Volt, or alternative clean fuel cars like the FCX, to satisfy the goals.

Volkswagen's MQB Architecture Bows, Like Legos for Building Cars

The long-awaited MQB architecture from Volkswagen is here, which means that an onslaught of transverse-engined cars from Volkswagen, Audi, and others is coming. The architecture vastly simplifies how VW will make its smaller cars, including the Golf, Jetta, Audi A3, and TT. We'll see this new underpinning--which follows the new-wave of modular, not platform-based architecture--first in the upcoming Audi A3.

Feature Flick: Nissan Juke-R Battles the Established Supercars

What happens when you combine a crop of established supercars with one of the hottest sportscar projects in recent history? You get a duel, of course, and one hell of a video. Naturally, this high-octane shootout happened in Dubai, one of the international capitals of exotic cars. The result is rather amusing to watch...

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