Here’s How Ford Performance 3D-Printed the Intake Manifold for Ken Block’s Hoonitruck
Custom goodness for the Hoon Master General’s latest and greatestby Jonathan Lopez, on
Just one glance will confirm - Ken Block’s Hoonitruck is a combination of creativity, performance engineering, and unbridled insanity. In fact, it’s a bit like Mr. Block himself in that respect. We love picking apart all the cool little bits and pieces Ford added to this one-off smoke machine, and now we’re getting an inside look at the Hoonitruck’s unique 3D-printed intake manifold.
Taking Deep Breaths
When Block went about creating a successor to the Hoonicorn, nothing less than “over the top” would do. For inspiration, he went to his roots, and ended with a 1977 Ford F-150 pickup as the basis for creating something truly special. This particular model year of the Ford F-150 holds a place of importance for Block, as it’s the same model that he learned to drive in. However, while the Hoonitruck might carry a fascia that’s reminiscent of the original Blue Oval workhorse, the final result is above and beyond in every single way.
First on the list of upgrades is the requisite prodigious engine output, which meant Ford was tasked with creating some unique parts for the build. One of the most interesting bits is the custom intake manifold you see poking out of the hood, which was designed to accommodate the huge amount of air rushing from the twin-turbo forced induction setup.
Built using Ford’s 3D printer in Germany, the intake manifold was created “layer by layer” over a time period of five days.
We think it looks pretty awesome, but its merit is much more than skin-deep.
The original computer-aided design called for an intricate web-like structure that meant traditional manufacturing techniques wouldn’t work. Unlike fabrication methods that cut down a piece of material to a specific shape or cast it within a mold, 3D printing (also known as “additive manufacturing”) creates parts by solidifying or joining the material in a specific shape, thus reducing overall weight, reducing waste material, and speeding up the prototyping process. It also means you can create some very complicated designs.
All told, the Hoonitruck intake manifold is the largest 3D-printed metal car part ever produced and implemented in a running vehicle. It’s also Ken Block’s favorite piece on the Hoonitruck.
The rest of the build is just as impressive. The custom manifold is attached to an all-aluminum 3.5-liter V-6, which offers similar specs to the engine that powered Ford’s Le Mans race car. Output is rated at 914 horsepower and 702 pound-feet of torque. Putting the power to the ground is a rally-spec AWD drivetrain, which is fed by a Sadev sequential race-spec transmission.
There’s also a tube frame structure under the skin, while Toyo Proxes rubber make the smoke.
Meanwhile, the cabin gets oodles of carbon everywhere, plus digital instrumentation and a pair of race-ready bucket seats.
And of course, don’t forget the way this thing looks, with a black and grey livery festooned with sponsor stickers, thus recalling the aesthetic first seen on the original Hoonicorn. And we like that. Military-grade aluminum wheels occupy the corners, while custom aero pieces and a NASCAR-style rear wing keep it pinned to the pavement.
What do you think of the Hoonitruck? Do you want a 3D-printed intake manifold for your ride? Let us know in the comments section below.
Read our full review on Ken Block’s 2019 F-150 Hoonitruck.
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