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BMW will add a five-door GT hatchback to the 1-Series lineup.

It still seems like sacrilege to some enthusiast drivers, but BMW's plans to introduce its first front-wheel drive model will be formalized with the debut at the Paris motor show this fall of a new version of BMW's entry-level 1-Series, which reportedly will share engines and drivetrains with Mini.

Britain's Autocar magazine reports that the car will likely be called the 1-Series GT, with production of the taller and roomier five-door hatch set to start in late 2014. Currently, Canada only receives two-door versions of the 1-Series, including coupe, convertible and the one-year only 1 Series M Coupe in 2011. But in Europe, BMW has debuted the next-generation 1-Series as low-slung three- and five-door hatchbacks as its entry-level model, with BMW widely expected to bring at least the five-door to North America, though this is not yet confirmed.

BMW executives insist that their internal survey results suggest that the vast majority of their 1-Series buyers already assume that the car is front-wheel-drive. And because FWD vehicles are more space-efficient and cheaper to build, it seems as if a hatchback rival to the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benzs B-Class may finally make it to North America.

A survey of recent Canadian new-car buyers found that more than two-thirds of women had a man accompany them when it came time to talk numbers and finalize their deal, even though it found that women were the primary decision makers on what car to buy in three-quarters of all purchases.

Canadian car pricing site surveyed 987 customers in May and found that, in 75 per cent of households, women are the primary decision makers on what car brand to buy, what model within that brand, and what colour. Yet despite this, 69 per cent of women buyers had a man accompany them to "help with negotiations," and receive a better deal, the survey found.

The anti-haggling website cites U.S. economics professor Linda C. Babcock's book, Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide, which suggests that women in general don't like to negotiate the price on a car. It's not fun for many men either, but Dr. Babcock found that men are more likely to liken the process of negotiations to a competition ("winning a ball game," or a "wrestling match"), while women suggest a process more like "going to the dentist."

Her research finds that women are willing to pay as much as $1,353 to avoid negotiating the price of a car, or to end negotiations quickly.

On the website, consumers can get the invoice price – what the dealer paid for the car – for free, which allows consumers to negotiate up from the invoice price versus down from MSRP. Or for a $47 fee, the site will match up the car and options you'd like with local dealers, and have them e-mail potential buyers quotes through the site. No personal information is exchanged, so the dealer won't call or e-mail you to follow up. But it allows buyers to either head straight for the dealer that offered the best price, or to their local dealer to see if they can match or beat that price.

Although ownership of Saab is still up in the air – a Swedish-Chinese company has made a bid for the bankrupt car maker – Saab owners in North America will be heartened to hear that they can still get replacement parts for their cars.

A new company will oversee the production and sales of replacement parts and body panels, as a wholly owned subsidiary of Saab Automobile Parts AB. This parts division remains outside the bankruptcy proceedings involving Saab's manufacturing unit, although it uses the factory's press and body shop to pump out body panels, as well as acquiring a large number of components already produced.

The latest bid for Saab comes from a company called National Electric Vehicle Sweden, a consortium of the Chinese energy corporation National Modern Energy Holdings and the Japanese risk capital firm Sun Investment, according to a report from English-language Swedish news service The Swedish Wire.

Two free car shows will be staged in downtown Toronto this weekend, but at opposite ends of the performance spectrum: one showcasing green cars, the other exotics.

The 2012 Eco-Wheels show will feature pure electric cars and hybrids from Nissan, Toyota, and Mitsubishi, all of whom will offer test drives in various enviro-friendly vehicles. There will also be displays on scooters, motorcycles and bicycles, both pedal-powered and electrically boosted, as well as displays on the charging infrastructure behind EVs that can answer questions on costs and installation.

Located in the Distillery District along Toronto's eastern waterfront, the two-day show runs June 16 and 17. See for details.

A short ride from there will see the busy Bloor Street stretch between Avenue Road and Bay Street taken over on Father's Day for the Yorkville Exotic Car Show (

Confirmed vehicles include a tasty smorgasbord of modern and classic Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches and Aston Martins, with some hot Audi R8s and Mercedes-Benz SLS, SLR McLaren and classic SL models as well. Organizers say more than 160 vehicles will be on hand, from noon to 5 p.m. on June 17.