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Ford Wishes You Merry Christmas With Snowkhana 4: Video

Ford Wishes You Merry Christmas With Snowkhana 4: Video

Starting with 2012, Ford Europe has released a fun little Snowkhana video around Christmas time each year. Over the years, certain characters like the Abominable Snow Monster and even Buzz Lightyear have made appearances in the video – at some points, being terrorized by Mental Block in the 2012 Ford Fiesta. This year, you’ll see the cameo appearances of the monster again, and Buzz apparently likes riding the Coke trucks like skates because he’s back again, but there is a little more to it.

The coolest part about the video this year, however, is that Santa himself takes to the winter wonderland with his blue Ford Focus RS. The jolly old man even has a run-in with the boys as he drifts around his snowy, Wonderland track. So, why not have a little holiday spirit and check out Snowkhana 4? It’s certainly fun to watch.

I won’t ruin the video for you, there are so many characters, that you have to watch it for yourself. It sure does remind me of my younger years, though. There was nothing better than taking to the streets and drifting in the first big snowfall each year. It takes a lot of delicate maneuvering to drift in the snow without bouncing off of anything, but that is what makes it so fun – plus it’s a lot better than burning off a set of tires every weekend. That said, hit play and watch Santa cause some turmoil in preparation for his big trip around the world. Ho Ho Hokhana!

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Nick Offerman Welcomes Us to a New Season of NASCAR: Video

Nick Offerman Welcomes Us to a New Season of NASCAR: Video

The best commercial in this year’s Super Bowl won’t even take place during the game, but don’t worry, it will most certainly have cars. NBC Sports has released its advertisement ushering in the 2015 NASCAR season, and it does so with the unwavering Americanism of Nick Offerman – meat connoisseur, wood craftsman extraordinaire and Ron Swanson.

In “America, It’s Time For A Gut Check,” Offerman brings his usual comedy and machismo with one-liners like “Sure everybody at NASCAR gets a trophy/As long as they win the f***ing race” and “Where men and women compete together/Just like they did back in the 18-nevers.” AdWeek says that a 60-second version of the commercial will air immediately after the game, but you can see the full-length version right now. Trust me, it will be the best two minutes you’ll spend today, and you don’t have to be a NASCAR fan to get a kick out of it.

The true point of the ad, of course, is as a promotion for NBC Sports, which picks up coverage of the 2015 season starting on July 5.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

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Zombie Special: Five Cars That Should Stay Dead

Zombie Special: Five Cars That Should Stay Dead

Well, it’s that time of year where scary things happen; when the supposed dead rise and walk among us; when spooky things lurk just beyond the shadows; watching and waiting. Yes, it’s Halloween and there are plenty of frightening relics oxidizing away in your neighborhood junkyard just waiting for a chance to come back from the dead.

The TopSpeed staffers have put together our five worst nightmares of automotive resurrection in the list below. It contains vehicles that should have never been made and whose rightful place is deep inside the bowels of the crusher.

These are vehicles that are both terrible in their mere existence and terrible in the negative ramifications that would befall their respective makers for constructing such fiends. These are vehicles that, if they were people turned zombies, Rick Grimes of The Walking Dead wouldn’t hesitate to exterminate with his .357 Colt Python.

So hold on tight, grab a weapon, and fight your way through our list of cars we’d hate to see become the undead.

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April Fools 2014: TopSpeed's Favorite April Fool's Articles

April Fools 2014: TopSpeed’s Favorite April Fool’s Articles

Ah, April 1st is upon us, and the tom foolery of April Fools day seems to have come to an end. We shared with you our own little April Fool with the "teasing" of the new Barracuda, which was obviously a dolled-up and re-badged Dodge Dart. A few of our colleagues seemed to enjoy our little joke, and we saw a bunch that we loved too.

We saw a Ford SVT Bronco, news that the GT-R Hybrid would debut at the 2014 NYIAS, a new BMW "technology," a sportbrake SRT Viper and many more. Some were great and others were pretty crappy. I may be wrong, but my opinion of a good April Fool is an unbelievable story that you can somehow believe. Things like a four-door Ferrari are overdone and completely obvious, but a story like the Ford SVT Bronco is just believable enough to get you going.

We have queried a few of the TopSpeed editors to find out which piece they enjoyed the most.

Click past the jump to see each of our favorites.

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Video: Mental Block Returns on Snowkhana Two

Video: Mental Block Returns on Snowkhana Two

Looks like Gymkhana isn’t the only viral phenomena we can expect from Ford these days.

This time a year ago, Ford of Europe released its own version of Ken Block’s now famous Gymkhana race-stunt series. Only that time, the role of Block was played by his inanimate cousin, Mental Block, and the Ford Fiesta rally car used in the stunts measured about four inches long.

So with Christmas once again upon us, the Blue Oval is back at it again with the second installment of Snowkhana, appropriately titled "Snowkhana Two." This time around, the Mental Block and his trusty steed find themselves in the always treacherous jungle called "under and around the Christmas tree."

Like a true savant drifter, Block and the Fiesta navigate around a pile of presents, other toy cars, a dinosaur, and even an excavator truck. And he did it all that while trying not to get too distracted by the cameo appearances of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Darth Vader, and Miley Cyrus riding on a wrecking ball...err...a Christmas ornament.

It’s all in good fun and a reminder to all of us that the holiday season still has the power to bring out the kids in all of us.

Click past the jump to watch Snowkhana One

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Video: Gymkhana parody is all sorts of hilarious

Video: Gymkhana parody is all sorts of hilarious

This probably isn’t what Ken Block had in mind when he released his now world-famous Gymkhana video series.

Brought to us by Leaking Duck Productions - the name says it all - this Gymkhana parody stars Etienne Guerra reprising the role of Block and a Ford Fiesta Ghia playing the part of Block’s trusty Fiesta HMHV.

Suffice to say, hilarity ensues.

To be fair to Guerra, he did pull off some pretty sweet drifts given the steed he was driving. But it certainly wasn’t Ken Block and it didn’t have all the kind of theatrics and insane stunts that is normally reserved for Block and his own series of Gymkhana videos.

Nevertheless, it makes for great entertainment. And as if to close it out with a guest appearance, a Travis Pastrana copycat was also present at the end of the video. We’re not sure who it is, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it was Guerra too.

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Ford SVT Raptor vs Mars Rover Curiosity: A Cheeky Infographic From Ford

Ford SVT Raptor vs Mars Rover Curiosity: A Cheeky Infographic From Ford

We love infographics, as they are a quick and fun way to educate your customers or readers. We also love how Ford has let its automotive hair down in recent years and become a little more cheeky, for lack of a better word, with its commercials and other advertisements. Combine the two together and you have some really good stuff.

Ford did just that combination, as it pits its SVT Raptor, which has a $43,970 MSRP, against the Mars Rover Curiosity, which is costing the tax payers a total of $2.5 billion. Really, there is no comparison between the two in a literal sense, but Ford has used its recently discovered sense of humor to compare the two in a sharp iconographic.

Things like the 35-gallon fuel capacity of the Raptor against the 10.6 pounds of plutonium-dioxide fuel aboard the Curiosity Rover are the types of goofy comparisons made. Or how about Ford’s punchy 6.2-liter V-8 pitted up against the nuclear radioscope thermoelectric power generator strapped to the Rover? Simply no competition, but Ford definitely gives us a good chuckle with this one.

We have provided the full infographic after the jump, so you can see exactly what we’re talking about.

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Holy Ugly, Batman: The worst Batmobile replicas you'll ever see

Holy Ugly, Batman: The worst Batmobile replicas you’ll ever see

The Dark Knight Rises has been heating up cinemas for the past few days, so it seems only fitting that with the last part of the trilogy in cinemas today, we take a look at one of the most enduring stars of the famed DC super hero movie franchise. No, we’re not talking about Alicia Silverstone’s Batgirl character from Batman and Robin. What we’re referring to is the Batmobile, the Dark Knight’s very own ride-of-choice.

In this section though, we’re going to pay tribute - we use that word loosely - to the five worst Batmobile replicas we’ve ever seen. Some are more eye-cringing than the others, but rest assured, none of them would pass the standards of Bruce Wayne.

Heck, we don’t even think the Joker would be caught dead riding in one of these so-called Batmobiles.

So here it is, folks. Prepare to cringe, laugh, or whatever emotion these pictures will do to you.

Find out TopSpeed’s five worst Batmobile replicas after the jump

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2013 Mustang GT500 vs 2013 Camaro ZL1 - Florida Heat Beats the ZL1

2013 Mustang GT500 vs 2013 Camaro ZL1 - Florida Heat Beats the ZL1

We have seen the competition between the 2013 Mustang GT500 and the Camaro ZL1 get exhausted in the last few weeks, so seeing yet another comparison doesn’t really interest us much. Then again, if that competition is happening live on a public track and it is between two competitors that have been jawing at each other via forum flame posts, well, we suddenly become extremely interested.

So the story begins with us taking a short trip from the TopSpeed offices down to the Miami Homestead racetrack for a day full of watching various cars tackle the track. We stumbled upon this situation of a stock 2013 GT500 with under 1,000 miles on its clock and 650 ponies under the hood, and a Camaro ZL1, which was modified by Torq and is touted as a true racecar, ready to go head-to-head to settle their online feud of which is better.

The Camaro ZL1 admittedly had supercharger overheating issues in the past, so Torq installed a high capacity water pump to help aid in the cooling. Apparently, Torq overestimated the capacity of the new pump before heading to Miami and the blazing hot South Florida sun resulted in the engine overheating. Yeah, Torq forgot an important fact, if you install a high-capacity water pump, you need to raise the amount of coolant stored in the cooling system.

Ironically, Torq is quoted as saying that pitting the GT500 against this modified ZL1 is “like bringing a knife to a gun fight” and we agree, because the GT500 is better known as a drag-style car and the ZL1 truly is a better road handler. Let’s see if Torq can rectify this issue and get us a good race to see.

06/03/12 Update from Torq: Okay, so it appears as if our article ruffled some feathers in regards to the guys involved in the race and they made it clear that there were a few misunderstandings in our article. We will further clarify what we were intending to demonstrate, as well as include some of the other details that Torq has kindly provided us.

First and foremost the statement that the ZL1 is more of a true racecar than the GT500 was not intended to be taken as a statement by Torq. This is the common consensus of the automotive industry, as the ZL1 is a best suited on a road track, whereas the GT500 is better on the drag strip, though both perform well on either track style. This has nothing to deal with any modifications performed on either car, but rather a statement of the fact around each stock model.

According to a Torq rep, the GT500 is not as stock as we thought it was. Turns out the GT500 is boasting a cold air intake and a performance ECU tune. Torq claims that this puts the GT500 up to 740 to 750 horsepower. And, yes, we rounded the GT500 down to 650 horsepower, when it is in fact 662 ponies. Also according to Torq, the ZL1 is at a drastic horsepower disadvantage, which we, of course, expect, given the factory performance differences.

It also turns out that Torq actually did attempt to compensate for the addition coolant flow by adding in an aftermarket heat exchanger that adds about two additional gallons to the cooling capacity and experimenting with several auxiliary coolant reservoirs, without success. Unfortunately, Torq did not specify why the ZL1 was running hot.

In closing, we are not taking side with either car. We were excited to see this type of real-life comparison take place and unfortunately, it did not. So hopefully you guys can get this heating issue worked out and back onto the track.

On an aside, you can catch the ZL1 in an upcoming issue of GM High Tech, so it is very clear that these guys are no amateurs.

Update #3 from RevanRacing

The GT500 did not have a full blown aftermarket cold air intake but a "factory" ford racing part that is known as a resonator eliminator and makes the supercharger whine louder. The car did have a tune estimated at around 60+ horsepower.

No doubt we will here more about the Torq ZL1 fight against RevanRacing GT500 in the near future because if there is something we have learned, it is that loosing is not an option for any of them.

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Which car will get you the most girls? 2012 Lamborghini Aventador or 1930 Ford Model A Rat Rod?

Which car will get you the most girls? 2012 Lamborghini Aventador or 1930 Ford Model A Rat Rod?

We hate saying this but many people buy expensive supercars just to be seen in them. Rather than appreciating the engineering and hard work which is put into creating these exotics, the sad truth is people buys cars like the Lamborghini to find beautiful women who will be “wooed” by their expensive taste.

But does expensive always mean more girls will be attracted to you cruising in your car? Well, Motor Trend teamed up with HOT ROD Magazine’s David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan when they rented a Lamborghini Aventador for 24 hours, costing a cool $6000 dollars. They were also lucky enough to take an extremely unique and one-off 1930 Model A ‘Rat Rod’ which was only ever designed for automotive conventions and shows, rather than actual driving.

The goal of the test? Well, it was simply to find out which car attracts the most attention when cruising through Californian streets, and the result may surprise you.

Enjoy the video!

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Video: Miniature Police Chase

Every now and again we come across something of such creative genius that we just cannot get enough of it. The above video is one example of someone taking a new technology – pocket projector – and doing something so bad ass that it’ll be forever etched in our memory. In this example, the folks at The Theory have taken a pocket projector and fed it video of various movements of a police chase and projected that chase throughout a room.

It sounds simple and pretty stupid on paper, but once you watch it, you’ll see the creative genius that we are talking about. All of the motions of the characters are precisely timed and actually look realistic, even though they are happening in 2-D.

To make matters even better, the folks at The Theory pulled at our auto strings a little harder by including a Ford GT40 in the chase, which is something that none of us would ever see in a lifetime.

Have a look at the video above and get a few chuckles on us. While you’re at it, think about how much time this filmmaking duo must have put into this video. We can’t help but think how much technology has progressed in the last decade, considering that projectors that could put out images like in this video were the size of a small desk and cost over $1,000.

The technology behind the device is just as amazing as the ingenuity behind the video… Enjoy.

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"One-of-a-Kind" Willys Trike

"One-of-a-Kind" Willys Trike

Okay, I have worked in many repair shops in my day. During my tour as a service manager, I came across a fair share of “Mountain Man Mechanics,” which is the politically correct thing to call them. These guys love taking the strangest vehicles and creating monsters out of them.

There was one mechanic that took a 1980s Honda Civic hatchback and dropped a 1300 cc Hayabusa engine in it, thinking it would increase the Civic’s performance. He didn’t quite grasp the logic of torque-to-weight ratio and ended up with only a really cool sounding Civic.

Another monster that sticks out in my mind is when a mechanic tore apart his unwilling wife’s mid-1990s Mitsubishi Mirage and dropped its body on a self-shortened S-10 frame. He then dropped a 307 cubic-inch Oldsmobile engine in it and connected the Olds engine to the transmission and transfer case on the S-10 frame. It actually looked and sounded mean when he was done, but instead of re-welding the frame together, he used several bolts to secure it. Guess what happened...

What’s my point here? Well, a new monster has recently come to our attention, which is for sale on Craigslist. The owner has dubbed this machine a 2007 Willys Trike. This trike has a stretched Jeep CJ-2 body with a motorcycle wheel on the front. The body sits on a custom frame – hopefully it’s welded – and has the rear independent suspension from a T-bird.

Instead of having the old Jeep CJ-2 engine, this beast has a Chevy 4.3-liter Vortec engine, which is good for around 190 horsepower, if it is stock. Plus it has a four-speed transmission connecting the engine to the rear wheels.

The handle bars for the motorcycle wheel span all the way from the front of the vehicle through two slots under the windshield. We bet this thing is a scary animal to maneuver at high speeds. But anyways, this “Mountain Man” monster can be yours for “just” $11,000. We bet this thing sits on the market for a while.

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