Ford’s M-Sport Fiesta Rally Car Now Available in the LEGO Speed Champions Collection
LEGO’s Speed Champions line of brick cars is getting a new member with the introduction of the LEGO version of Ford’s M-Sport Fiesta WRC rally car, the same racer that won the 2017 World Rally Championship behind the efforts of co-drivers, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia. Though not as big as the actual rally car, the LEGO version of the M-Sport Fiesta WRC is a great addition to LEGO’s Speed of Champions range. It joins a list of fellow championship race cars, including the Mercedes-AMG Formula One racer, the Ford GT racer, and the Ford GT40 that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans back in 1966.
Ken Block And The Hoonigans Play With An Escort Cosworth Rally Racer: Video
Ken Block and his fellow Hoonigans certainly have no shortage of lust-worthy vehicles at their disposal. But the question is, with monsters like the Hoonicorn (both versions) lurking in the shadows, what’s a spin master like Block got for daily fun? Well, how about a badass 1991 Escort Cosworth, prepped for duty in Group A rally racing? Oh, and by the way, it’s also street legal. In this 12-minute, 47-second video, we get a walk around on the car, an in-depth look under the hood, and some interesting specs along the way, all delivered via the Hoonigans’ characteristic off-the-cuff banter. However, that isn’t all. Long story short, the Hoonigans feel like there aren’t enough AWD turbo cars ripping fat donuts and killing tires. You can see where this is going.
To fill that need, it’s time to let loose with around 400 horses at the Hoonigan HQ back lot. Just hearing this thing fire up is a treat, with the usual pops and bangs of a healthy race car shooting out the large side exhaust. Things get real serious when the head-hoonigan-in-charge slides into the hot seat and does what he does best. Adios rubber. Foot down, smoke up.
Ken Block Taunts Death Yet Again in Terrakhana: The Ultimate Dirt Playground
There’s no doubt about it – Ken Block is either outright crazy, has a death wish, or gets an insane high from beating the mother-loving hell out of his Fiesta while taunting death at the same time. I mean, the guy can push his car to the limit and a little further without it things going awry and he does it with class and style. If you look back at any of his Gymkhana videos, you’ll find yourself in amazement, even if you’ve seen them 100 times. Well, today we’re happy to report a new video has surfaced. This one comes straight out of Swing Arm City, Utah and officially goes by the name Terrakhana: The Ultimate Dirt Playground. And, when Ken Block uses the word “Ultimate” you know he’s not playing around.
Now, I know the best part about Ken Blocks work is watching it for yourself, so I’ll forgo the usual description and instead remind you that his Fiesta ST RX43 is, by far, the craziest Fiesta ever built and designed specifically for destroying pavement, sand, dirt, or anything else that is suitable for four-wheel travel. In the video, Ken Block makes his own sand and dirt storm with the 600 horsepower in powerful little Fiesta. Of course, we’re talking death-defying stunts and close calls that require balls of titanium to watch, let alone perform. For the record, this shoot was recorded at an elevation of 4,300 feet in an ambient temperature that was hovering right around 102 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’ve been in similar climates, you know it’s not exactly the most optimal conditions for a car to give its all.
So, with that said, go ahead and click play on the video below and then keep reading to learn more about Ken Block’s Fiesta and how it compares to some of the fastest production cars out there!
Ford RS200 Evolution has a Bad Day at Goodwood
I have to admit that it can be fun to watch cars crash, at least when nobody gets hurt, anyway. Every now and then, however, it’s actually painful to watch, especially when the car is rare and has an important history. And, such is the case with Pat Doran’s beast of a Ford RS200 EVO. If the RS200 name sounds familiar, that’s because Ford built it between 1984 and 1986. It was a homologation special that was produced in just 200 examples and was powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that was good for around 250 horsepower. It was built by Ford of Great Britain, but that’s not the car you’re about to see get literally ripped to pieces – no; this is an RS200 Evolution, a Group B rally car that was built in just 24 examples.
Unfortunately, this is one of those cars that you don’t want to see crash, but as Doran was attempting to negotiate a rather tight turn on the hill, he went off the road just a bit and ended up losing control. At first, it looked as if he was going to save it, but the momentum was just a little too much and his rear quarter nailed a bale of hay, practically ripping the rear end right apart. The car didn’t exactly fare well, be Doran survived the incident without injury and even took a bow before stepping away from what was left of his treasured RS200. Whether or not the car is repairable or not remains to be seen, but with any luck, it’s salvageable. Keep reading to see the crash and to learn a little more about the RS200 Evolution.
Ford’s "The Return" Documentary Is Now Up On Amazon Prime
For those of you who are looking for something good to watch this weekend, Ford and Amazon Prime are here for your viewing pleasure. The two companies have been working for quite some time on a documentary about Ford’s return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans last year and the good news is that the documentary, titled The Return, is now available on Amazon Prime.
We’ve heard a lot about the process behind the creation of this documentary, which focuses on the Blue Oval’s return to the race that still stands as the company’s crowning achievement in motor racing. Ford’s return to Le Mans in 2016 after years of absence also coincided with the 50th anniversary of the 1-2-3 finish in the world famous endurance race back in 1966. The whole documentary lasts a good 78 minutes (one hour and 18 minutes) and it goes on a deep dive behind Ford’s history in Le Mans and the preparations that went into its dramatic and ultimately successful return to the race. There’s plenty of behind-the-scenes action in the documentary, as well as interviews with some of the world’s most prominent racing experts. Members of the Ford family are also in the documentary and if there are any questions on why Le Mans was so important to Ford founder Henry Ford, his family provided a lot of interesting answers in the documentary. If you count yourself as a Ford or Le Mans fan, or even a fan of both, The Return is undoubtedly going to be must-see TV. Good thing that the weekend’s coming up then.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2017 Ford Fiesta WRC
Ford ushered in a new generation of the Fiesta for 2017, with a focus on new looks, lots of interior amenities, new drivetrain options, and a desire to be the absolute best hatchback out there. As is the usual case with sporty little hatchbacks that go through a generational change, the new model is also making its way into sporting events, and in this case, we’re talking about WRC. The model you see here is M-Sports fighter for the 2017 FIA WRC season, and it comes complete with all of the goodies afforded by new FIA regulations that allow more power, better performance, new technology, and a unique look for each car.
According to the accompanying press release, 95 percent of this WRC racer has been designed from scratch and, while it’s based on the road-going Fiesta, there is little about this car that is stock. It’s got 380 horsepower on tap, new fully adjustable suspension, and at least 35 liters or 1.23 cubic feet of energy-absorbing foam over the current model. M-Sport’s Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, Said, “Entering a new era in the FIA World Rally Championship, there is a real sense of excitement throughout the team, and rightly so as I believe we have created something extremely special in the new Ford Fiesta WRC. Having driven the car myself, I can honestly say that it is one of the most impressive we have ever produced. It’s exciting to drive; it sounds fantastic, and it looks absolutely sensational.”
With that said, M-Sport has clearly put a lot of work into its WRC racer for the 2017 season, so let’s dive on in a take a better look at it.
2017 Shelby Mustang FP350S
Unveiled for the 2015 model year, the sixth-generation Ford Mustang is the first of its kind to feature an independent rear suspension. It’s also the first ’Stang in more than two decades to feature a turbocharged four-cylinder engine after Ford added a 2.3-liter EcoBoost to the already familiar 3.7-liter V-6 and 5.0-liter V-8. Additionally, the sixth-gen pony is the first-ever global Mustang, being sold in dealerships in Europe and Asia, as well as certain countries in Africa and Oceania. Much like its predecessors, the current Mustang also spawned a number of higher performance Shelby versions and race-spec models.
The Shelby FP350S is the latest to join the Mustang stable of track-only cars. Developed by Ford Performance, it’s the third race-spec version of the sixth-generation Mustang, alongside the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship-winning Shelby GT350R-C and the recently unveiled GT4. The new race car is heavily based on the Shelby GT350R-C and will help the new Mustang expand in other racing series’, including the Trans Am (TA3 and TA4 classes), the NASA (National Auto Sorts Association), and SCCA club racing (T1 and T2 categories).
“Our goal has always been to provide those who want to race with equipment that enables them to compete and win,” said Dave Pericak, global director of Ford Performance. “Shelby FP350S is our latest example.”
The new Shelby FP350S will go on sale in 2017 and will be made available through Ford dealerships throughout the United States.
Continue reading to learn more about the Shelby Mustang FP350S.
2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Placed Third At Baja 1000 In Stock Full Class Competition
Ford can mark another completed race in its Baja 1000 history book thanks to the 2017 F-150 Raptor. The 49th running of the SCORE Baja 1000 concluded on November 20 after a grueling 854-mile race from Ensenada, Mexico down through the unforgiving deserts in the Baja peninsula and back again. The Raptor team scored a third place victory in the stock full class competition, crossing the finish line with only 52 seconds to spare. The official time was 35:59:08.151.
For those unfamiliar, the Baja 1000 is a race against the clock, navigating the terrain, and to simply finish. The time to beat is 36 hours. Though the Raptor barely squeezed by, it still finished the race. What’s more, the truck when drove some seven hours and another 400 miles east to Phoenix, Arizona – the home base for the team from Foutz Motorsports.
“That’s why the new Ford F-150 Raptor is bad-ass!” said Greg Foutz, the team leader of Foutz Motorsports. “It’s a race-proven off-road monster that can race off-road an entire weekend, then take you and your friends on a road trip the next day.
Two of the five competitors in the stock full class didn’t finish. Second place with to a Toyota Land Cruiser with a time of 32:28:37.068 and first place with to the legendary Rod Hall and his Hummer H1 with a time of 32:13:58.914.
It’s a good thing the 2017 F-150 Raptor finished the race since Ford has hinged the Raptor’s marketing on the truck’s ability to tacked desert terrain at high speeds. Don’t forget, the Raptor even has a Baja mode performance setting. It would have been hard to patch that public relations image hole.
Anyway, congratulations, Ford and the guys from Foutz Motorsports on the Baja 1000 finish.
Continue reading for more information.
2017 Ford Mustang GT4
Unveiled in late 2013, the sixth-generation Mustang arrived just in time for the nameplate’s 50th anniversary celebration. Redesigned inside and out, the new Mustang kept some of the retro cues of the previous model, but gained an overall sportier design and a more compact appearance. More importantly, it became the first ever Mustang to use an independent rear suspension and the first ’Stang in decades to have a turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
Not only a legendary pony car, the Mustang is also an iconic racer. The legacy began with the Shelby GT350R built for the SCCA in the late 1960s and continued with the Trans-Am Boss 302 in the 1970s. The previous-generation brought the FR500 and Boss 302R, which have won several races and championships, while the sixth-gen model spawned the GT350R-C, a championship-winning car after only a few months on the race track. At the 2016 SEMA Show, Ford unveiled the second race car based on the current Mustang. It’s dubbed GT4 and was specifically developed for the FIA GT4 class.
Based on the Shelby GT350R-C that won its class this year in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, the Mustang GT4 is eligible for the Grand Sport class of IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, the Pirelli World Challenge GTS, and European GT4, among other racing series’. The race car will be made available for the 2017 season and will compete against GT4-spec version sof the Aston Martin Vantage, BMW M4, Chevrolet Camaro, KTM X-Bow, Porsche Cayman, and McLaren 570S.
Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Mustang GT4.
2017 Ford Fusion Sport Ballistic Concept by Webasto Thermo and Comfort North America
The SEMA auto show traditionally attracts a who’s who list of aftermarket companies and, in some occasions, these tuners collaborate with automakers to build some nifty concepts that consumers would probably otherwise not see in any other auto show. Such is the case with this particular concept vehicle prepared by Webasto Thermo and Comfort North America for Ford’s resident four-door sedan for the masses, the 2017 Ford Fusion.
Known mostly for building roof air-conditioning and heating systems, Webasto stepped out of its element in designing and developing this particular program. There’s a full menu of upgrades to the Fusion, from the exterior, interior, powertrain, and right down to the sedan’s chassis. The result may not be evident based on the single rendering of the car so far, but the modifications are impressive enough to give the Fusion a sportier and more performance-oriented identity.
Like most SEMA offerings, Webasto’s Fusion Sport Ballistic concept is unlikely to translate into a production unit anytime soon. But it does provide unique possibilities for the Fusion that owners and prospective customers probably didn’t know it had. It may not have the status and appeal that other Blue Oval models have, but it is more capable than most people think. This concept proves that, and then some.
Continue after the jump to read the full review.
Ford GT Racer Blitzes To A VLN Record Lap Time At The Nürburgring
A previous-generation Ford GT race car driven by Belgian racer Nico Verdonck has set a new VLN record lap time at the Nürburgring when it blasted through a 15.2-mile version of the course in 7:58.558.
Before any confusion starts, this new lap record is different from other lap records that have been set around the world’s most famous race track. The Ford GT’s lap was accomplished during a Veranstaltergemeinschaft Langstreckenpokal Nürburgring (VLN) race over the weekend, beating out the previous record set by Jens Klingmann in 2014 when he clocked in a time of 7:59.045 while racing with a BMW Z4 GT3.
There are also a number of other classifications for record lap times depending on different conditions. The VLN qualifying lap record, for instance, is also a different animal from the VLN race record. That record was also broken over the weekend by Walkenhorst Motorsport and driver Christian Krognes, who piloted a BMW M6 GT3 to a blistering lap time of 7:53.375, beating out the record held by the Audi R8 LMS, which posted a lap time of 7:57.474 in 2014.
In any event, Verdonck’s breathtaking lap time with the V-8-powered Ford GT racer is just as impressive as all the other records considering that he set it seemingly from out of nowhere. At the very least, it’s a new 15.2-mile lap record that’s going to be difficult to beat in racing conditions.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Ken Block Teases Arrival Of Gymkhana NINE: Video
Ken Block is back, ladies and gentlemen. Okay, he never really left, but his famous video series “Gymkhana” is set to make its dramatic return on September 13, 2016. The confirmation came from Block’s very own Instagram account where posted a short teaser on what everyone can expect from Gymkhana NINE.
The video doesn’t show any particular scene-stealing details, but we do know that there will be a couple of changes to the new film, including the new Ford Focus RS RX that’s making its own debut in the Gymkhana series. Like its predecessors, the Focus RS RX is a rally-spec racer that Block will be using in the World Rallycross. For now though, it’s conquering the a rail yard in New York with some of the sickest drifting runs and stunts in the long history of the Gymkhana series.
Expect Gymkhana NINE to build off of the insanity of its predecessors and for Block to once again showcase his otherworldly racing and drifting skills. Mark the dates, everyone. Next Tuesday, September 13. Gymkhana NINE officially goes live!
But for now, treat yourselves to this teaser video from the man himself. Watching it should get your juices your pumping.
2016 Ford Focus RS RX By Hoonigan Racing
At the end of Ken Block’s last Gymkhana video, Gymkhana 8, we were left hanging with a teaser of “Ken Blocks Ford Focus RS RX.” It featured an outrageously wide body kit with blacked out headlights and vents all over the place. But it raised an interesting question: Just what the hell is a Focus RS RX? Was it the “hardcore version” of the RX we talked about back in November of 2015? Well, it kind of is, but don’t expect it to show up in dealerships anytime soon.
We would love to see Ford produce a production version of the RS RX (you’ll see why later on in this review,) but for now, it looks like the only people lucky enough to get their hands on one will be none less than Ken Block and Andreas Bakkerud – Block’s new teammate. As it turns out, Hoonigan Racing Division will have official factory support from Ford for the 2016 WRC racing season. And with such, comes the most extreme variants of the Focus we’ve seen to date.
As you would expect, the cars used by Block and Bakkerud won’t feature that boring gray livery we saw at the end of Gymkhana 8. Instead, the cars each feature a unique livery put together by international graffiti artist Felipe Pantone.
In a recent press release, Block was more than happy with what Ford Performance did with the RS, saying “I’m really happy to be expanding my relationship with Ford Performance. To have official factory support for my race season in 2016 and beyond as I enter the FIA World Rallycross Championship full-time is absolutely incredible. It opens up a ton of powerful resources that myself and my team will be able to benefit from in terms of engineering prowess, research, development and racing experience from different fields. Plus, have you seen the car that they’ve created for me to go race in? My mind was blown when they showed it to me in Dearborn a few months ago. I absolutely cannot wait to get behind the wheel and start testing.”
Of course, if Ford Performance dropped one of these babies in my lap, I’d be ecstatic too. So, let’s take a closer look at the most extreme Focus ever made. You won’t believe the kind of performance boasted by the Focus RS RX – it’s truly out of this world.
Updated 07/11/2016: Ford dropped a new video showing the new Focus RS RX scoring its second World Rallycross victory with Andreas Bakkerud behind the wheel. Hit "play" to watch the video!
Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Focus RX By Hoonigan Racing.
Ford GT Racing Program Extended Until 2019
After a hugely successful comeback at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ford announced plans to extend its commitment to motor racing through the 2019 season, opening the door for the company’s racing division to compete in the World Endurance Championships and the IMSA for the next three years. Ford initially revealed plans to race the Ford GT in the 2016 and 2017 racing seasons only.
Ford executive vice president and chief Raj Nair commented on the automaker’s decision by emphasizing Ford’s commitment to motor racing in the wake of its dominant 1-3-4 performance in the GTE Pro class at Le Mans. The result not only proved that Ford’s GT racing program was a huge success, but it also showed the automaker that it has the potential to be a major player in the racing scene for the next few years.
Ford is currently competing in GTE Pro in the WEC and GT Le Mans in IMSA with two separate teams, both running under the Chip Ganassi banner. The two teams came together at Le Mans to post one of the most impressive results of any Ford-backed racing outfit in recent history.
Outside of the glory of being attached to motor racing, Ford is also capitalizing on the competitive landscape of the racing scene and using it as a platform to develop technologies that can be applied to its production lineup. A lot of automakers who venture the route of racing admit to that being a big part of their commitment. Ford is only doing the same, especially now when the Blue Oval is gearing up for advancements in its EcoBoost engines, as well as improvements in aerodynamics and lightweight materials that can be directly translated into production vehicles in the future.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Lego Version Of Ford GT Race Car To Be Displayed At LeMans: Video
If any of you think that getting paid to build LEGOs is a fun job, I’m here to let you know that, well, yes, it’s an awesome gig. But it can also be tedious, especially when you’re tasked to build a LEGO version of the Ford GT race car that approximately has 30,000 to 40,000 LEGO bricks in it. Such is the job of Pascal, who was tasked to build a scaled version of the Ford GT race car that will spend the coming weekend on display at the Circuit de la Sarthe for the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race.
It’s not a coincidence that the LEGO version of the Ford GT race car will be on hand at Le Mans right around the same time that the American automaker celebrates the 50th anniversary of its unforgettable 1-2-3 finish at Le Mans back in 1966. The Blue Oval has made a concerted effort to remind everyone of that historic feat and now, it’s also brought in LEGO to take part in the festivities.
The final product isn’t shown until the end of the video but we do get a lot of Pascal explaining the process behind the creation of the LEGO Ford GT racer and as it turns out, it’s not as easy as it looks. For one, building something of this scale involves tedious amounts of planning just to make sure that the scale is done right. A 3D model was also created in the size of the LEGO version – one-third the size of the actual race car – to ensure that the builders like Pascal will have the scale down pat when the build starts.
It gets even more chaotic when the actual build starts. I’d like to be as descriptive as I can to do Pascal’s words justice, but I think it’ll be much better if we just heard it from the man himself.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.