Ken Block Has Been a Good Boy, Gets a New Toy: a 333 HP 9,000 RPM Ford Escort Mk2

Hoonigan Ford Escort Mk2 1 photo
Photo: Hoonigan
We’re pretty sure Ken Block isn’t bored with his Hoonicorn just yet - you know, that car that loosely resembles a Ford Mustang - but if you thought he was exclusive to that mad machine, you were kidding yourself.
In fact, you could say he’s had this Ford Escort Mk2 hidden under this black evilness all along. Well, since 2008, to be more precise, as it was Ken Block’s first Gymkhana machine and the first Ford rally car he ever bought. Even though it's more difficult to tell now, originally, this was a 1978 Ford Escort Mk2 RS, a car famous over in Europe for its rallying pedigree.

In case you missed it, the Escort looks considerably different now. It’s been subjected to the usual Rocket Bunny treatment, as Block felt the car’s looks had to be more in line with the rest of his fleet. That made Block’s Escort the first such car to receive a widebody kit from the Japanese master.

“This Escort Mk2 is special to me, it’s actually my first Ford rally car,” says Block. “I purchased it in 2008. It was designed to compete in tarmac events, but, unfortunately, those are quite lacking now stateside, so instead of converting it into a gravel machine, I had my team at Hoonigan Racing Division extend on its tarmac capabilities and develop it into the ultimate rear-wheel-drive Gymkhana car.”

Under that stars and stripes hood, there’s a 2.5-liter four-cylinder naturally aspirated Millington engine that churns out 333 hp. The fun part, however, is that the engine can rev all the way to 9,000 rpm, and all those 333 horses are delivered to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox. Not that we would have expected anything else from Ken Block.

With the kind of treatment applied by Ken Block and his team at Hoonigan, no car could ever turn up looking bad. A lower stance, wider body, matte black paint and taped headlights will make even a van look like it means business, but Ford Escort’s motorsport legacy gives this new Gymkhana toy even more credibility. We can’t wait to see more of it, but for now, we’re going to have to make do with these two little clips below.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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