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Avanti Motors, which just a year ago was a light summer breeze from collapse, is aiming for a big comeback in 2006. The company says it will introduce new Avanti models as well as the Hummer-sized Studebaker XUV it unveiled at the Chicago auto show in 2004. That the market for Snuffy-sized SUVs is deader than a ham on rye doesn't seem to be bogging the company's enthusiasm any. Avanti, which recently announced a new relationship with Ford Motor, is also firming up a new prototype of its iconic coupe (handed down from Studebaker via a 40-year chain of ownership) it plans to release sometime this month. No word on exactly when, but we're keeping an eye out. Interesting fact: The company's Web site has a dead-link listing for something called "SVO division." That could mean the company plans to offer cars powered by straight vegetable oil, or some kind of performance tie-in with Ford's former performance division. (Actually, it's a new V8-powered roadster.)


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