• Ken Block Is Building Another Escort Cosworth for His 2019 Cossie World Tour

A fire that took out his last Cossie won’t stop Ken Block from building another one

Ken Block made headlines earlier this year when he unveiled a stunning Ford Escort Cosworth RS fully prepped for rallying. The American promptly rolled the Escort RS during the New England Forest Rally and, following the crash, the Ford burnt to a crisp. Now, Hoonigan Racing announced that a new Escort will carry Block and Gelsomino in 2019.

We all know that besides making those crazy Gymkhana videos, Ken Block is an out-and-out fan of proper rallying. That’s why the American never misses out on a chance to try his hand around some special stages, be it tarmac or gravel, or even snow. He’s participated in a number of WRC events over the years in top-of-the-line Ford and Subaru machinery, as well as competing in the Rally America championship.

Brock’s latest project was turning a classic Ford Escort Cosworth RS into a full-blown rally car as a tribute to the Group A-spec rally cars of the mid-to-late-’90s. His original Cossie was crashed during the New England Forest Rally, and it erupted in flames almost immediately. The car was destroyed, but Block and Gelsomino weren’t hurt. Now, they’re aiming to bounce back stronger than ever!

New Cosworth and fresh hopes for Block in 2019

The horrifying burning inferno in which Block’s immaculate ’90s Escort Cosworth RS perished back in July did not deter the owner of Hoonigan Racing. Ken announced on social media that he’ll be back on the rally stages in 2019 with a new Escort to tackle the ’Cossie World Tour 2019’.

"I’m pleased to announce ’The Cossie World Tour’ in 2019! Yes, this means that I’m resurrecting my beloved Ford Escort Cosworth Group A rally car, aka ’The Cossie,’ said Block on social media on Thursday. "It’s going to be an all-new build, with some very key improvements being made. And, as you may have guessed by the name, I’m going to be taking it on a world tour in 2019, racing at some of my favorite stage rallies around the globe, possibly doing some Gymkhana demos, and more," added the rally driver.

From the silhouette image released with the statement, we can just about tell that the new car will indeed follow the same line of the Group A rally car, so we think that whatever changes have been done, they're under the skin.

No specifications are known as of yet, but we do know the old car’s numbers. The first Cossie put out 397 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque. All that power came from a 1997-specification Ford Escort WRC 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder unit. The engine block was lightened, and many of the internal parts were replaced along the way.

Ken Block and His 1993 Ford Escort Cosworth Are Officially Returning to American Stage Rally
- image 777521

The Cossie in its original specification could tackle both tarmac rallies and gravel rallies thanks to its fully-adjustable suspension. We expect much the same from the new car.

We also hope that the new car won’t end up barbecued like the original did. As mentioned, it all took place back in July during a round of the Rally America championship. "We were running in third overall in the New England Forest Rally (with a gearbox problem), pressing on to finish Stage 4 when I turned into a tighter left corner and downshifted," stated Block at the time when asked to describe what led to the crash.

"The box didn’t shift when I wanted it to, because of the mechanical issue, and when it finally did, it threw me into the inside of a corner and into a big rock.

That rock sent us rolling over twice. We landed on our wheels, and I was ready to get going again because we were shiny side up," Block added, looking back at the events.

However, the oil line must’ve been ruptured in the roll-over crash since the car caught fire merely moments later giving the driver and co-driver just enough time to extract themselves from the car in one piece. The lesson we learn from all of this is that you can’t script motorsport the same way you can a Gymkhana video or other productions like it.

Ken Block's Ford Escort Cosworth Crashes During Rally, Turns Into Car-B-Q
- image 788236

However, there will be some video production involved around the 2019 tour that Block will undertake aboard his new Cosworth. Hoonigan will film his exploits and release the material as part of a new multi-episode series on their YouTube channel. We’re waiting with our eyes - and ears - peeled.

Further reading

Ken Block and His 1993 Ford Escort Cosworth Are Officially Returning to American Stage Rally
- image 777520

Ken Block and His 1993 Ford Escort Cosworth Are Officially Returning to American Stage Rally

Ken Block's Ford Escort Cosworth Crashes During Rally, Turns Into Car-B-Q
- image 788235

Ken Block’s Ford Escort Cosworth Crashes During Rally, Turns Into Car-B-Q

Source: Auto Blog

Michael Fira
Michael Fira
Associate Editor and Motorsport Expert - fira@topspeed.com
Mihai Fira started out writing about long-distance racing like the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the years went by, his area of interest grew wider and wider and he ever branched beyond the usual confines of an automotive writer. However, his heart is still close to anything car-related and he's most at home retelling the story of some long-since-forgotten moment from the history of auto racing. He'll also take time to explain why the cars of the '60s and '70s are more fascinating than anything on the road today.  Read full bio
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