Can Ken Block’s Hoonicorn Take Down a Ford GT Carbon Series?
When it comes to beefed-up Mustangs, no pony compares to Ken Block’s Hoonicorn. Sure, he uses the heavily modified 1965 Mustang for a lot of drifting, but it’s insanely powerful and, as a result, insanely fast too. How fast? Well, it can put a Ford GT Carbon Edition supercar to shame.
Ken Block Turns an Industrial Park into a Playground in Gymkhana NINE
So, Ken Block has just released Gymkhana NINE, the latest installment in a series that has given auto heads a lot of joy over the years. Unlike the seventh and eighth versions of Gymkhana, NINE was filmed in what is essentially a closed-off abandoned industrial estate. It’s not exactly Los Angeles or Dubai, but the more private setting does make a callback to the roots of Gymkhana, right down to the ridiculous stunts and preposterous amount of tire smoke.
I don’t want to be a prisoner-of-the-moment here and call NINE the best Gymkhana episode yet, but there is a visceral joy in watching the CEO of burnouts perform one insane stunt after another, including jumping directly in the face of an incoming train and touching those rear tires on the literal edge of a pier in the middle of performing those patented burnouts.
To be clear, Block wasn’t the only star of Gymkhana NINE. Sharing co-star honors is his all new 600-horsepower Ford Focus RS RX, the same car that he’ll be kicking some dirt in at the World Rallycross Championship. Together, man and machine give us a Gymkhana episode of a lifetime, one that we’re unlikely to forget anytime soon and foolish to even attempt on our own.
Gymkhana 8 "Ultimate Exotic Playground" Dubai: Video
Ken Block and the Hoonigan team have successfully transformed “gymkhana” from obscure Japanese autocross-style motorsport, to stunt-filled insanity ride for mass indulgence and branding glorification. Not that I mind – I’ll take Block’s version every single time, thank you. The latest evolution is Gymkhana Eight, which sends the oversteer glory to Dubai. Complementing the new locale is a new car from the blue oval – the 650-horsepower Fiesta ST RX43, complete with an ultra-reflective livery on a matte black finish, a roof-mounted stars-n-stripes air scoop, and an enormous gold-plated Hoonigan-branded handbrake.
There’s really not much else to say, and I won’t spoil anything if you haven’t already seen it. All told, it’s nine minutes of sand, speed, super cars, and lots of Toyo tire smoke. Make sure to stick around until the end, which gives a sneak peek at what to expect for Gymkhana Nine (I’ll give you a hint – it comes with the letters R and S and it’s got a button called “Drift Mode,” although on Block’s ride, I’m sure they just taped it down).
‘Tis the season, folks, and while the stress of the holidays can turn just about anyone into a big pile of figgy pudding, it’s the little things that remind us that it’s all going to be just fine. Take this short video from Ford. Playing off the monstrously popular Gymkhana series coming out of Jedi Master Ken Block, also known as Hoon Skywalker, Snowkhana mimics the crazy stunts that attracted millions of YouTube views by miniaturizing them down to stop motion animation with toys. Cheeky, eh?
Featuring the antics of a little white Fiesta rally car driven by none other than “Mental Block," this third installment of the series is an epic tale that leads the viewer through paper and cardboard towns filled with plastic figurines from yesteryear. Keep your eyes peeled for an all-Ford drift-off, a storm trooper rocking a low rider on hydraulics, jingle bell soccer, a self-conscious Santa Claus, and Buzz Lightyear Van Damme. Oh yeah, and plenty of cotton ball smoke from all four corners.
Just like the Gymkhana series, each new installment of Snowkhana gets more and more detailed. The settings, the plot, the emotion - it’s all just a bit more complex. We also like the fact that Ford is paying someone to make these videos. Hey Pixar, eat your heart out!
If you’re feeling a little run down, take a few minutes to relax and hit play.
Check out the latest Gymkhana video after the jump.
If you haven’t already watched Ken Block’s Gymkhana 7 video — stop, watch it here. For those who’ve seen the ridiculous awesomeness that is the all-wheel-drive, 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn, here is another video that dives deep into the inner workings of this tire-shredding beast as Chris Harris takes us on a grand tour of the car.
Christened the Hoonicorn RTR, the tube-frame Mustang is powered by a naturally aspirated, 6.7-liter V-8 from Roush Yates making a ridiculous 845 horsepower. It is mated to a six-speed gearbox that then powers an all-wheel-drive setup. A hydraulically operated handbrake gives Block his drifting abilities while the 295/30R-18 Pirelli Trofeo R tires do the “gripping.” Those are similar to the tires found on the Camaro Z/28, but these are specially formulated for the Hoonicorn. Harder rubber means a touch less grip for all the sideways action, plus they come from Pirelli with Ken Block’s name stamped on them.
The engine is mounted behind the front axle, giving it a front mid-engine design that translates into a wonderfully balanced machine. The suspension is comprised of fully independent control arms at each corner. The tough bits are machined from billet aluminum to give the car added lightness and strength.
Things inside the Hoonicorn are purpose-built. It has a hand-made carbon-fiber dashboard with Hoonigan-branded gauges, a large display screen that shows gear selection, and of course that massive handbrake lever.
All told, Block’s ridiculous Mustang is a work of modern motoring art that showcases just how wild horsepower and AWD can be.
Block is back, baby, and he’s crazier than ever, so prepare your eyeballs and your ear holes for the best energy drink advertisement you’ve ever witnessed. Earlier this month, we got a taste of the madness in store when the Ford rally driver brought his “Hoonicorn” 1965 Mustang all-wheel-drive smoke maker to SEMA. Our minds were instantly scrambled, and now we’re in full-tilt brain soufflé as we watch the beast lay rubber on the streets of Los Angeles in Block’s seventh gymkhana video.
The video is masterfully choreographed and edited, with a real sense of drama beyond what one would normally expect from a set of wild stunts. All the major Southland hotspots receive a cameo, like the LA River, Randy’s Donuts, and the Hollywood sign, plus there are copious rips up and down the spaghetti-like freeway system. When it comes to the right city for a video like this, it doesn’t get much righter than Los Angeles.
Regarding the Hoonicorn: underneath foot-tall velocity stacks, you’ll find an 845-horsepower Roush Yates V-8 that makes all four 10.5-inch-wide Pirelli Trofeo R tires burn via a Sadev 6-speed sequential transmission. There’s also the requisite hydraulic handbrake for instant rear wheel lock-up. The crazy-wide bodywork and aero are carbon fiber, and underneath, the suspension has seen a custom geometry redesign to maximize controllability whist mid-hoon.
Plug in your headphones, and set the video to HD. Please remain seated, as the cabin may experience some turbulence in flight. Oh boy, this gunn’ be good.
We love Ken Block’s Gymkhana series like everybody else, but we have to admit, this new video may have topped them all. Yup. All six of them. This new video, which we assume is being prepared as its own series, is called Boobkhana. The name pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?
In it, Block finds himself in Nagoya, Japan to perform a unique take of his famous Gymkhana stunts. But there is something different about this particular tire-screeching, smoke-creating run. Actually, there are two things different about it, or maybe even four depending on what you’re actually counting.
A lot of elements of Gymkhana are there, but as an added treat, Block invited a pair of, shall we say, "well-endowed" Japanese models to join him on his run. The two beautiful ladies are Rui Kiriyama and Yukie Kawamura and yes, they’re the obvious reasons why this video was coined “Boobkhana!”
The video pretty much shows you what it’s all about. Block performs his trademark stunts, spinning and screeching his Ford Fiesta through the course. But you can’t help but be a little distracted by his beautiful passengers and their "assets." Trust us when we tell you: it gets really, really distracting.
In the end, everybody got what they came for. Block stoked his adrenaline juices. Kiriyama and Kawamura were shrieking and screaming as they should. And we got what was offered to us, and then some.