Entries Tagged as 'American Cars'

Hype: The New Ford Focus RS Finally Comes To America With AWD!

Posted on 02.03.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Ford Focus RS

The Ford Focus RS has been something of a mythical creature among enthusiasts for the last several years.  Aimed squarely at the Rally crowd, for some reason Ford thought that American consumers wouldn’t much be interested in their turbo-charged hot hatch.  They were completely wrong!  We wanted it and we wanted it bad.  Sure, we critiqued the Focus RS for not being AWD but review after review still proved that even in FWD trim the Focus RS was one of the best hatchbacks ever made.  This just made the American audience want it even more.  Yet, ironically an American company didn’t want to release one of their best cars in their home country.

How strange is it to say that “I wish Ford would release that car in America”.  Odd is it not?  Well, those days of wanting and wishing are finally over as Ford just revealed the new Ford Focus RS and announced it will be sold worldwide (that includes ‘Merica) and that the Focus RS will finally be offered in AWD!  Rumor has it that reason why Ford finally decided to go AWD with the Focus RS is because Ken Block himself continuously suggested it (AKA annoyed them on our behalf) until they finally conceded.  If that’s true then good work Mr. Block!

So, what kind of meat and potatoes will the new Ford Focus RS serve up?  Try a 315 horsepower 2.3 liter ecoboost engine which will likely also bring a healthy amount of torque to the party.  While the torque numbers weren’t given I think its safe to expect the amount to be significant.  Speaking of torque, the Focus RS’ all wheel drive system will be capable of sending up to 70% of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels.  Once there, 100% of the available power can be split evenly between the two rear wheels.  The all wheel drive system will be equipped with a torque vectoring system as well as a separate torque vectoring system based on brake sensors.  Expect the Focus RS to also include electronic stability control (also expect many owners to turn that off right away) and a power-assisted steering system.  To match its aggressive looks the Focus RS will come standard with 19 inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.  As an option, Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires will be available.

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There are a ton of other cool features here and there but it would take a lot of words to go over them all.  Thankfully Ford has provided a lengthy press release that does the job nicely; so if you really want to nerd out over all the new features I invite you to check out the official press release below and for pictures click the thumbnails.  Expect price and release date for the new Focus RS to be released at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

Press Release:

  • Third-generation Ford Focus RS will be available in major markets around the world and for the first time in the United States; Focus RS follows the reveal last month of the new Ford GT supercar – a new era of Ford performance that will deliver 12 new vehicles by 2020

  • All-new Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control paired with a powerful 2.3-liter EcoBoost® four-cylinder engine will provide impressive performance

  • Aggressive, functional design inside and out makes Focus RS the most powerful production Focus ever, with highly capable performance on both road and track

  • Professional rally driver and star of Gymkhana films Ken Block teamed with Ford as a consultant on development of Focus RS

 

Feb 3, 2015 | Cologne, Germany – Ford today revealed the all-new Focus RS, a high-performance road car that debuts Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control, which contributes to performance never before seen in a Focus RS. The all-new Focus RS is equipped with a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine producing well in excess of 315 horsepower.

Focus RS is the latest unveiling in a new era of Ford performance that will bring more than 12 performance vehicles to global customers by 2020.

In addition to pleasing enthusiasts, these vehicles help deliver the company’s One Ford plan for profitable growth, product excellence and innovation in every part of its business.

“The all-new Focus RS is a serious machine with high-performance technology and innovative engineering that sets a new benchmark for driving exhilaration on the road and track,” said Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development, Ford Motor Company. “The RS line has a proud history of technical breakthroughs that have migrated to mainstream Ford vehicles to benefit all of our customers, and the new Focus RS is no exception. It’s a great example of our passion for innovation through performance, and creating vehicles that make people’s hearts pound.”

Developed by a small team of global Ford Performance engineers, the new Focus RS is the third generation in the line, following models launched in 2002 and 2009. It will be the 30th car to wear the legendary RS badge, following such technology trendsetters as the 1970 Escort RS1600 with 16 valves, 1985 Sierra RS Cosworth with turbocharging and radical aerodynamics and 1992 Escort RS Cosworth with four-wheel drive.

Sporting a dramatic exterior design that delivers enhanced aerodynamics and cooling, the new Focus RS offers technologies new to the RS line including Ford SYNC® connectivity system.

The all-new Focus RS is the first-ever RS model that will be sold around the world, including the United States, and produced for all markets at Ford’s Saarlouis, Germany, manufacturing plant beginning late this year.

“We are acutely aware of the benchmarks we have set ourselves with RS performance models through the years, and rest assured this new car raises the game to a new level,” said Jim Farley, president, Ford of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“Just as important is the fact that with technologies such as EcoBoost, we are able to demonstrate how an innovation that powers almost every car in our range can also be the heartbeat of our finest performance cars,” added Farley.

Gymkhana and World Rallycross star Ken Block was brought on as a consultant on the all-new Focus RS, and joined the Ford Performance team at the preview event in Cologne, Germany –where the RS legend was born with the Ford 15M RS in 1968.

Innovative Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive offers a new level of handling
The all-new Focus RS exploits innovative new Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring to deliver a new level of handling capability and driver enjoyment, combining outstanding traction and grip with exciting agility and cornering speed.

The Ford Performance All-Wheel-Drive system is based on twin electronically controlled clutch packs on each side of the rear drive unit. These manage the car’s front/rear torque split, and can control the side-to-side torque distribution on the rear axle – delivering the “torque vectoring” capability that has a dramatic impact on handling and cornering stability.

The control unit in the rear drive unit continuously varies the front/rear and side-to-side torque distribution to suit the current driving situation, monitoring inputs from multiple vehicle sensors 100 times per second. A maximum of 70 percent of the drive torque can be diverted to the rear axle. Up to 100 percent of available torque at the rear axle can be sent to each rear wheel.

During cornering, the rear drive unit pre-emptively diverts torque to the outer rear wheel immediately based on inputs such as steering wheel angle, lateral acceleration, yaw and speed. This torque transfer has the effect of “driving” the car into the bend, achieving improved turn-in and stability, and virtually eliminating understeer.

The AWD system has been tuned to deliver exceptional grip – with lateral acceleration exceeding 1 g – and great cornering speed and acceleration out of a bend. With neutral and adjustable limit handling, and the ability to achieve controlled oversteer drifts at the track, Focus RS delivers an exceptional fun-to-drive experience.

To deliver optimum driving dynamics, the Ford Performance All-Wheel-Drive system was calibrated alongside the car’s advanced Electronic Stability Control, in particular the brake-based Torque Vectoring Control system that works in parallel with the torque-vectoring AWD. Other exclusive chassis features include sports suspension with spring rates, bushings and antiroll bars – all of which are stiffer than those found in Focus ST, and two-mode switchable dampers, which offer a firmer setting for track driving. A carefully tuned electric power-assisted steering system working in combination with a more rigid front suspension knuckle design and shorter-link arms delivers connected and responsive steering with outstanding feel.

“The Focus ST and Fiesta ST showed that we can achieve sporty steering feel with an electric power-assisted steering system, and the RS raises the bar,” said Dave Pericak, director, Global Ford Performance. “We set out to provide drivers with steering that is very direct, precise and well balanced – and the RS delivers.”

Ford engineers worked closely with Michelin to develop a choice of high-performance 235/35 R19 tires to complement the driving dynamics of the Focus RS: a standard Pilot Super Sport tire for every-day use, and – for the first time on an RS – an optional Pilot Sport Cup 2 tire for enhanced vehicle dynamics on the track.

The vehicle’s exterior design has also been developed to support the dynamic objectives. Careful aerodynamic optimization of the front splitter, rear spoiler and underbody features eliminates lift forces, and the final design delivers balanced performance with zero lift front and rear for optimum high-speed handling and stability.

Unique powertrain for increased output
Ford’s EcoBoost technology powers Focus RS and nearly every new Ford vehicle. The specially engineered 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine has levels of power and torque that translate into impressive acceleration when combined with the exceptional all-wheel-drive traction.

Projected to produce well in excess of 315 horsepower, the custom unit shares its fundamental structure with the all-aluminum 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine in the all-new Mustang, but has been significantly upgraded through a comprehensive package of design changes.

Increased output is generated by a new low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger with larger compressor that delivers significantly greater airflow, along with a much bigger intercooler to maximize charge density. Engine breathing is enhanced through a less restrictive intake design, and a large-bore high-performance exhaust system with an electronically controlled valve in the tailpipe that helps optimize the balance of back pressure and noise output.

The cylinder head is produced from an upgraded alloy material capable of withstanding higher temperatures, and is mounted on a more robust head gasket with improved thermal capability. The cylinder block employs stronger high-tensile cast iron liners.

Engine cooling also has been given the highest priority, with engineers creating additional space within the front of the vehicle to house a significantly larger radiator pack that provides the level of cooling demanded for hard circuit use.

Meticulous calibration work ensures that the power unit delivers excellent low-end responsiveness with a powerful mid-range pull, climbing to a free-revving top end up to a maximum rev limit of 6,800 rpm.

The six-speed manual transmission has been optimized for the enthusiast driver with a shorter gear lever to deliver faster and more accurate shifts. Both the transmission and the clutch have been upgraded with stronger components to cope with the engine’s increased torque output.

With its high-efficiency EcoBoost design featuring direct fuel injection, twin independent variable camshaft timing, advanced turbocharging and Auto Start-Stop as standard, the engine also delivers significantly improved fuel consumption.

High-performance design for stunning looks with optimum function
Focus RS exterior design is both dramatic and functional, with a more powerful and muscular character. Designers worked closely with Ford Performance to ensure that the necessary functional attributes were achieved, focusing on the aerodynamic downforce and balance delivered by the design, as well as the cooling demands of the powertrain and brakes.

RS features a powerful new front end appearance with a bold upper trapezoidal grille above the deep splitter, incorporating the largest possible apertures for engine cooling. A wide, muscular stance is emphasized by the lower wings and large outboard openings on each side of the car, which feed the brake cooling ducts and house vertically mounted lamps.

At the rear, the fascia panel is dominated by the exceptionally large diffuser, which optimizes airflow from under the vehicle and contains the twin round high-performance exhaust outlets. Focus RS for Europe and Asia markets will also get a clear central fog lamp. The distinctive rear roof spoiler is carefully integrated with the car’s silhouette through body-colored side panels featuring a subtle embossed RS logo.

The dynamic side profile is emphasized by sculptured rocker panels, and the bold wheel lips that house a choice of multi-spoke 19-inch RS alloy wheels – including a high-performance lightweight forged design finished in low-gloss black, which offers enhanced strength and impact resistance.

The high-performance character of Focus RS is reflected inside the car, where heavily bolstered partial-leather Recaro sports seats serve as the centerpiece of the cockpit.

The interior features the reworked Focus control layout with its simpler, more intuitive design. SYNC connectivity provides access to audio, navigation, climate control and mobile phones via voice control, and via a high-definition, 8-inch color touch screen. SYNC can be specified with rear view camera with park distance control, as well as a Sony premium sound system with 10-speakers including a subwoofer.

The RS driving experience is reinforced by a new flat-bottomed steering wheel with a soft-feel leather-covered rim, alloy pedals and unique instrument graphics within the main cluster. An additional bank of gauges above the center console displays turbocharger boost pressure, oil temperature and oil pressure.

Four striking exterior colors include Nitrous Blue, a vibrant four-coat metallic finish exclusive to RS, as well as Stealth Gray, Absolute Black and Frozen White. The car revealed in Cologne features the same special Liquid Blue color scheme first seen on the all-new Ford GT revealed last month at the North American International Auto Show.

Rich heritage of innovation and performance
Since the first Ford RS models took to the road, the line has been an essential element of Ford’s DNA, delivering technical innovation and performance on road and track. Dating back to the early days of Ford’s success in Rallye Sport, the first RS models established a reputation for advanced technology and driving exhilaration that continues to this day.

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Gaming Hype: Forza Motorsport 6 Goes Behind The Scenes Of The New Ford GT’s Development

Posted on 01.26.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) just ended and by now I think it is safe to say that the new Ford GT easily stole the show with its striking looks and the debut of its new “Ecoboost” V6 engine.  Further increasing its momentum was the announcement that Forza Motorsport 6 was coming and that the new Ford GT would be the cover car.  Today, thanks to Forza, we get to see a behind the scenes look at how the new Ford GT was created and some insight into the design choices made by the Ford team.  Its a pretty awesome way to spend five and a half minutes!  Check it out below.

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12 Days Of Hype: Exotics Racing Is The Only Way To Drive An Exotic Car Like You Stole It…Without Stealing It..

Posted on 12.17.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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In the last “12 Days Of Hype” post I talked about Skip Barber racing school as a great gift for the hardcore motorsports fan in your life.  However, if you want to just gift someone a day on a race track with crazy exotic cars like Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and the like, then Exotics Racing is a good choice as well.  With Facilities at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway in California they are within relatively easy reach for anyone on the west coast.  Exotics Racing offers different packages that allow participants to take hot laps in one of up to 15 cars that cover the gamut.  Want to drive a Lamborghini Huracan? They have one.  What about a Ferrari 458 Italia? They have a few of those too.  McLaren MP4-12C? Yessir!  They even have Nissan GT-R’s available.

Since all of their experiences are one day they are much easier on the wallet than say a full racing school such as Skip Barber.  Driving packages at Exotics Racing start at around $199 and go up from there.  If someone just wants to ride shot gun then there are high-speed ride alongs offered for $99.  I have personally checked out the facility at Auto Club Speedway and I can tell you that the staff really goes the distance to make sure participants have a good experience.  If you are trying to think of a good gift then I would recommend considering a day at Exotics Racing.  Hit the source link below for more info.

[Source: ExoticsRacing.com]

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2014 LA Auto Show: New Cadillac ATS-V GT3 Is A Muscular Evil Looking Race Car With Lots Of Letters In Its Name

Posted on 11.20.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Cadillac ATS-V Coupe Racecar

The new Cadillac ATS-V coupe made its debut at the LA Auto Show.  Its wider, lighter, evil twin, the ATS-V GT3 also made its debut at the LA Auto Show.  It has 600 horsepower, wide arches made from carbon fiber, massive brakes, and I am afraid of it.  Let’s take a closer look and hope that it doesn’t try to kill us.

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Video: Ken Block Hoons Los Angeles In Every Imaginable Way in GymkhanaSEVEN

Posted on 11.17.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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I will let you guys in on a little secret.  I actually got to watch Gymkhana SEVEN early at an event over the weekend.  Then again, I posted about it on instagram and twitter so I guess its not so secret.  If you follow us (follow us! @motorworldhype on twitter and instagram!) then  you already know how I feel about the latest Gymkhana flick.  If you don’t then I will give you a quick summary so you can go ahead and start watching below.  This video is easily the best Gymkhana video yet!  The production value is through the roof!  They filmed at places in LA that most would have thought to be impossible!

One of my favorite things about Gymkhana SEVEN besides the production value is the nods and in-jokes about Los Angeles.  Ken visits famous locations, recreates moments in recent LA pop culture, and has some fun with another Los Angeles staple: Lowriders.  Its all really funny and entertaining to watch.  I think many people forget that Ken Block actually “writes” these videos himself.  That might sound weird that he “writes” for videos that have no dialogue but all the nods and jokes I mentioned were straight from his head!  Personally I don’t think the guy gets enough credit for his creative side (speaking of, keep an eye out for a few easter eggs!).  Anyhow, in summary Gymkhana SEVEN is a marvelous, obnoxious, maniacal, beautiful, love letter to Los Angeles.  You owe yourself to watch it below!

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SEMA 2014: The Ringbrothers “Recoil” Chevelle Is Everything We Love About Custom Cars

Posted on 11.07.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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I have seen a lot of modified cars in my time.  There are builders out there who do pretty crazy, unique things.  However, I have never seen anyone transform a car the way that the Ringbrothers do.  They pretty much invented the “resto-mod” style which is essentially restoring classic cars but adding modern twists.  Typically when you see a rest0-mod car it may just be a nicely restored older car with a modern engine and a few modern tweaks to the dashboard but the Ringbrothers take it several steps further than that.

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To these guys the word “custom” is taken as literal as possible.  They will go as far as to design unique one of a kind parts in 3D make plugs of them and have custom plastic and or metal parts made from those designs to incorporate into their builds.  If you want to see a great example of that check out their famous “Afterburner” build.

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Their newest build “Recoil” has just made its debut at the SEMA show and it is looking like this could be their new marquee creation.  Starting off as a 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle, Mike and Jim Ring took it completely apart and rebuilt it piece by piece replacing much of it with custom parts designed in their minds and made real through fabrication.  “Recoil” is the end result: a super clean muscle car with amazing lines and carbon fiber hiding everywhere.  Oh, and if anyone thinks that this car is all show all they need to do is look under the hood to find a 980HP supercharged 427 cubic inch V8 mated to a custom 6-speed transmission.  Recoil really is the whole package and I am officially in love with it.  Hopefully, someday I can commission the Ringbrothers to build something for me!  In the meantime I am just going to go ahead and drool over these pictures.  I invite you to do the same!

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SEMA 2014: Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s Drift Truck Is The “Ultimate Fun Haver”

Posted on 11.05.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Vaughn Gittin Jr. is a lot of things.  He is a Formula Drift Champion, a lover of seafood, a friend to Ken Block, a Ford Mustang advocate, but above all he’s just a dude who knows how to have a good time.  That was the exact theme he wanted to go for when Ford handed him a 2015 F-150 Super Crew truck.  After Ford gave him the truck they basically told him to make it his own.  You can certainly say that is exactly what he did.  The first thing that is easy to notice is that he took styling cues from his Formula Drift Nitto Tire mustang by re-creating the color scheme and adding the custom fender flares from auto explosion.

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He also had a set of custom RTR wheels made for the truck and anodized them in neon green which matches his competition car.  The green continues in custom neon lights embedded into the headlight enclosure and grill.  Next Vaughn added a big ol’ hydraulic e-brake because at some point before SEMA is over he will drift this massive truck and its going to look pretty damn awesome doing it!  In the meantime check out some pictures of the drift truck by clicking any of the thumbnails.

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Hype Event: Mainstream Productions x Stance Nation Nisei Showoff 2014 (Gallery)

Posted on 08.18.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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I have been personally attending “import” AKA “tuner” car shows ever since the very first Hot Import Nights that was held right in my hometown of Long Beach.  A lot of things have changed since then.  Car shows got bigger, more publicized, and well far away from their humble beginnings.  Car shows started to become less “a show of cars” and more of an all out “entertainment event” with concerts, video game tournaments, dance crew battles, DJ battles, bikini contests, “fashion” shows, pretty much anything that was eye and ear candy was thrown into the mix to try and add value to the growing prices of admission to offset the growing venues.

At first it was cool.  Each car show was like going to a rave.  There were thumping beats, crazy lights, and increasingly elaborate displays for cars and vendor booths.  Things just got bigger, brighter, and louder.  However, like most bubbles the scene eventually popped.  Blame the economy, the over commercialization, judging controversies, or maybe a combination of several things but at some point the car show scene fell off dramatically, mostly.

Now “mostly” is an important word because despite what was happening with all other car show series, there was one that stayed consistent through the ups and downs and never really lost the respect of enthusiasts.  I am referring to Import Showoff by Mainstream Productions helmed by Ken Miyoshi.  You may not know his name if you are younger than 25 but he has been an important figure in our culture for the last 20 years.  He pretty much created the concept of the “import car show” as we know it and exposed America to drifting far before D1 came to Irwindale so many years ago.  He is a humble guy but incredibly driven and cares deeply for the car culture and putting together a quality show.  When things got big bright and loud he didn’t really buy into it even though those big shows started to take away from Import Showoff’s attendance.

He stuck to his roots and kept things all about the cars and the culture and never strayed too far beyond that.  It may have hurt his series for a while but eventually things changed.  One day we all kind of figured out that we wanted more substance than flash, more culture than commercial, more sunny days hanging out with our friends than flashing neon lights in a dark convention hall.  Then we remembered that there was a show that had been providing those things all along: Import Showoff.

These days Showoff is mostly condensed to a few shows a year: Chinatown Showoff and Nisei Week showoff and to this day many veterans of the scene will tell you that Nisei Week Showoff is the best show of the year.  Its small, and typically held during one of the hottest times of the year but the quality of cars on deck makes it all worth it.  Also with the recent team up of Mainstream Productions and StanceNation, the quality of cars has only grown exponentially.  That is why I urge you, if you have the chance to come out to the Nisei Week Showoff next year.  Make a trip out of it, trust me when I tell you that if you love import cars it will be worth it.

Anyhow, that’s enough of my lecturing about how awesome things used to be.  I went to the Nisei Showoff over the weekend and put together a pretty killer gallery of over 300 pictures!  Check out our Facebook gallery below!  Thanks again to Ken Miyoshi for inviting us to the show and for keeping it real all these years!

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Hype Video: Awesome CEO Ralph Gilles Does Awesome Burn Out In Dodge Hell Cat Because Awesome

Posted on 07.16.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Usually when we think of a “CEO” we think of some stuffy old person in a suit who most likely doesn’t use or much less enjoy the products or services they hock on the rest of the population.  Sure, Bill Gates uses Windows on his home computer but do you think hes on Xbox Live once a week yelling profanities as he gets aggro on newbs in Halo?  Probably not!  This is why a guy like Ralph Gilles is refreshing.  Sure he ran the business end of SRT and has to do all the boring stuff but at heart he is a car nut like the rest of us.  He is every bit of the enthusiast and he is not afraid to show it one bit!  Hence the video below in which Mr Gilles peels off one heck of a monster burn out in the upcoming 707HP Dodge Challenger “Hellcat” in front of a roaring crowd.  Seriously, can we just make this guy the next President already?  I’d totally vote for him!

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MotorworldHype Wishes Everyone A Happy Independence Day Because ‘Murica!

Posted on 07.04.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Happy Birthday America!  For over 200 years you have given us awesome things like Freedom, Justice, and big smoky burnouts from unnecessarily powerful muscle cars!  Let us all celebrate our independence today by honoring our country and those who serve it in the interest of our freedom.  We should also grill copious amounts of meat and blow stuff up (if its legal in your town)!

[Image source: CorvetteBlogger.com]

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