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Much like the cobbled together final episode of Series 22, Clarkson's final lap did little to capture the spirit of the show we loved so dearly. But how can a single lap encapsulate what made Top Gear so great? It's all in the choice of car.

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Motorweek's decades of history on television make it the perfect medium to look back into the automotive past and see how things are different now. It recently added old road test videos to its YouTube channel of the Acura NSX and Toyota Supra, as well as the Ferrari F40. For one of its newest flashback clips, Motorweek has exhumed an affordable five-car challenge of 1986's premiere hot hatches.

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While American fans of Ford performance cars in the '80s and early '90s were loving the 5.0 Mustang, Taurus SHO and, for those who wanted to be a little different, the Merkur XR4Ti, British fans of the Blue Oval were getting their own unique take on speed. The Sierra RS Cosworth (which was similar but not identical to the aforementioned Merkur) and later Escort RS Cosworth were the stuff of dreams with huge wings, hood vents and big power for their time and class. XCar Films aims to find out whe

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Ford officially revived the Escort name in China, showing of the new, four-door compact at the Beijing Motor Show. Painted in a stylish brown-bronze, the new sedan wears a number of global Ford styling cues while sharing its platform with the Ford Focus.

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Ford is set to give the burgeoning Chinese market its very own C-segment model, while also reviving one of the brand's more notable nameplates. The new Escort, which will make its world debut at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show will be built in the People's Republic at the Changan Ford joint venture facility.

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Ford's long-dormant Escort nameplate returned affixed to a sedan concept at last year's Shanghai Motor Show. While not exactly a beauty, it showed a clean, straightforward take on Ford's current styling. The Blue Oval said at the time that it wanted to create a model that was stylish "but not one that is arrogant or pretentious." Job done. A year later, it looks like the minimalist vehicle might make its production debut at the Beijing Motor Show.

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There has been little news about Ford's China-focused Escort concept since debuting at last year's Shanghai Motor Show, but the no-frills sedan has shown its camouflaged face again during cold weather testing in Northern Sweden. While far from a guarantee, the test location might hint that the Blue Oval plans to market the car outside of Asia.

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Marine in Houston had found racial slurs spray-painted on his car by vandals

A repair shop in Houston has stepped up to help a disabled Marine veteran after his car was vandalized last month.

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Ford is kickin' it old school at the Shanghai Motor Show for 2013 with a new Escort Concept – "a name that stirs up thoughts of basic, affordable transportation rather than great driving dynamics or bold design" as we said in our initial preview of the small C-segment sedan. Or, as Ford puts it, "Customers in China described seeking a vehicle that is stylish – but not one that is arrogant or pretentious." Potato, potahto...

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Here's the thing about China: The folks buying cars there have a very different set of standards than shoppers in many other markets around the globe. While we all drool over hot metal with bold designs, and while we appreciate automakers going an extra step to inject even their cheapest offerings with aggressive and interesting cues, that sort of sheetmetal sex appeal doesn't always sell in the People's Republic. Case in point is Jaguar, which may be designing a more traditional-looking version

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This month's giveaway is a Passport 9500 ix radar and laser detector courtesy of Escort. Not that you would ever break the law by going a few miles per hour over the speed limit, but if you did (by accident, of course), the Passport 9500 ix detector is your best bet for avoiding a ticket.

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Now we're not suggesting that you're a lawbreaker, but if you're a social networker and you'd like to know where speedtraps are – for no reason at all – then Escort might be able to help. Makers of the Passport line of detectors, Escort has started a mobile app-supported network called Escort Live that features Bluetooth notifications.

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Ken Block gets dirty with a Mk2 Ford Escort – Click above to watch video after the jump

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Escort PASSPORT iQ – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Rubbing is Racing - click above to watch the video

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