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We propose a new power control algorithm capable of managing the topology of a vehicular ad hoc network by adjusting transmission power dynamically. Our algorithm is simple to implement, as it is based only on local information and no exchange of power-related signaling among nodes is required. The algorithm has the objective of making the network operate with both a very low and a very high user density, while maintaining its performance unaltered. This target is obtained by controlling transmission power, so that the number of neighbors of each node is always within a minimum and maximum threshold. In this way, it is possible to cope concurrently with the problems of node isolation and clustering at low load and of excessive competition for radio resources at high load. Finally, the algorithm provides high channel availability for connected users. The algorithm is robust, as performance does not depend on user speed, which has a large variance in a vehicular scenario.