PARK CITY, UT: After losing his previous 1991 Ford Escort Cosworth Group A rallycar to a fire while racing in the summer of 2018, Ken Block knew exactly what he had to do for 2019: build an all-new Cossie! And for his “Cossie V2,” he’s taken all of the things both he and the fans loved about the original Ford Escort Cosworth and has enhanced them in a big way.
Working with digital creative Ash Thorp (a VFX-GCI master who’s worked on major feature films such as X-Men: First Class, Prometheus, Ghost in the Shell and more), Block and Thorp set out to design a modern interpretation of what a Ford Escort RS Cosworth rallycar would look like if the Escort came out today and the current Ford team that designs the World Rally Championship cars were to design it. The result? The Cossie V2. Arguably the most wild-looking Escort RS “Cossie" ever built.
Featuring fender arches and aero touches lifted straight from the current crop of Ford Fiesta WRC cars—as well as a track that’s wider than the original by 4.3 inches—the new car sits noticebly wider than a standard Escort Cosworth. In addition to the beefed-up stance, the aero enhancements also carry to the world-famous wing, with an additional Gurney style flap added to it. The new car also features options for both dual side-exit exhausts and a rear-mounted center-exit exhaust setup, with the options being interchangeable depending on regulations at specific events. Beyond that, the car still runs a Ford YB engine built and tuned by Julian Godfrey, making 371 horsepower with a 34mm restrictor in place. It also features updated and modern suspension and geometry, as well as an improved safety cage design lifted directly from the top-spec WRC Cossies back in the day.
The Cossie V2 also features a Sadev 6-speed sequential gearbox—a cog less than the original 7-speed, but a decision that was made for better reliability and durability by Block and his team. The design direction of the car was set by Block’s Hoonigan Racing Division, with the work being performed in partnership with MDV Engineering in the U.K. There’s also a fun tribute to Block’s original Cossie within the build of the Cossie V2: Death Spray Custom helped grind up some bits of the burnt car which were then used as metal flakes on the roll cage of the new one.
One of the most unique parts of updating this 25-year old racecar however: Thorp rendered the entire vehicle in CGI for Block and his team at Hoonigan to go through and adjust prior to having the final bodywork made in real life. In fact, Thorp’s renders were so good and complete, they have been used as the exclusive launch images—a first for Block and his team!
“I actually met Ash through a friend of mine,” said Block. “I was a fan of his work and it turns out that he was a fan of mine, so we connected and started talking about how it’d be great to work on a project together. I had this idea of doing the most crazy Ford Escort Cosworth to date as a vehicle to race in 2019 and explained to him how I wanted to incorporate current WRC aero into the build. Ash loved the concept and almost immediately had sent me some ideas and renders. The things he’s able to do within his programs are absolutely mind blowing, myself and my entire team have been floored with the process working with Ash. Now I just need to get him in the car for a ride!”
For Block’s 2019 livery, he chose to keep the theme of working with artists from the past few seasons alive by selecting his long-time friend, world-famous moto helmet painter and moto gear designer, Troy Lee (of Troy Lee Designs). Troy brought an old-school racecar livery feel to the look along with a modern moto feel to the Cossie 2.0 that falls in line with what he’s doing with his current line of motocross gear. Lee also painted Block’s 2019 helmet.
“I’ve been friends with Troy [Lee] for years,” said Block. “And he’s also done the majority of the helmets for me in my racing career, but this was the first time he and I have collaborated on the actual vehicle graphics, which is awesome. I’ve got strong roots to motocross in my past and to be able to bring some of that updated retro vibe through Troy to a car that is itself pretty retro yet updated was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I’m stoked with how the car, my race suit and my helmet all turned out. Thanks again, Troy!”
For Block’s Cossie World Tour, Block and Hoonigan have started a new, episodic YouTube series that will be living on the Ken Block YouTube channel (youtube.com/KenBlockHHIC). Presented by Sonax, the series will follow both Block, his co-driver Alex Gelsomino, the team and his Cossie V2 as they travel the world competing in different national-level stage rally events—as well as events like the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Gymkhana GRID.
See these Cossie World Tour episodes live now:
The Cossie World Tour schedule:
March 15/16 – Rally in the 100 Acre Wood, Salem, USA
May 3-5 – International Rally of Whangarei, Whangarei, NZ
June 21-23 – Donegal International Rally, Donegal, IRL
July 4-7 – Goodwood Festival of Speed, West Sussex, ENG
Sept 7-8 - Gymkhana GRID Poland, TBA, PL
Oct 11-13 – Rally Legend San Marino, San Marino SMR
Oct 18-20 – PENDING: Rallye International du Valais, Martigny, CH
Nov 5-8 – PENDING: SEMA, Las Vegas, USA
Additionally, Hoonigan will be launching all-new Ken Block and Cossie World Tour merchandise soon at Hoonigan.com.
Kicking off his 2019 year with Toyo Tires at the Tokyo Auto Salon, Ken Block ventured over to Japan in January with his 1977 Ford F-150 Hoonitruck to do three days of appearances, autographs and media interviews—while the Hoonitruck sat on display for the thousands of Japanese fans to drool over. The truck was originally built as an all-new build for Block’s latest Gymkhana video, Gymkhana TEN, with parts of the build being featured in Block’s documentary series “The Gymkhana Files,” which was about the making of Gymkhana TEN.
While attending the final day of the show, Block was handed an award for the Hoonitruck by the Tokyo Auto Salon organization. What for? Having the “best dressed” truck/SUV of the entire show!
“I was honored that the people at Tokyo Auto Salon awarded the Hoonitruck with their Best Dressed award,” said Block. “It feels good to receive recognition for this build. Myself and my team obviously love the truck, but it’s a great feeling to know that people across the world love it as well. Thanks, Tokyo Auto Salon!”
Block plans to take the Hoonitruck to additional venues in 2019, so stay tuned to see if it will be coming to an event near you.
PARK CITY, UT: To kick off 2019, Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block has teamed up with SVC Offroad on a new Ford F-150 Raptor project for 2019.
The vehicle Block and SVC have started with is a 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor in a striking Avalanche Grey color (a new model launch year exclusive from 2017). Building upon that, the team at SVC updated the exterior with their Gen2 Mojave front bumper with skid plate, their Gen2 Baja Rear Bumper, as well as their Gen2 Bypass Rack in the bed that features built-in storage for two full-size spares. In addition to the SVC exterior upgrades, the team also installed ADV Fiberglass front fenders, which add another 2 inches of width to each side of the truck.
Further exterior enhancements include the addition of Rigid Industries ADAPT LED series light bars (with a 50-inch unit up top and a 30-inch unit integrated into the front bumper), as well as a very slick black reflective Hoonigan all-over repeat pattern livery on the front and rear of the truck.
For off-road performance, the team at SVC outfitted Block’s Raptor with their bolt-on Mid Travel Kit in the front with Fox 3.5 bypass shocks, SVC traction bars in the rear with Deaver Suspension +3 leaf springs and Fox 4.0 5-tube bypass shocks in the rear. Wheels are 17-inch Fifteen52 Turbomac HD fitted with 37-inch Toyo Tires Open Country M/T tires.
In the power department, Block’s new Raptor features an SVC tune, SVC intercooler, SVC intake, SPD turbo adapters and a full Stainless Works exhaust system that dumps beneath the truck. Estimated power figures? 550 hp and 600 lb/ft of torque!
“I’m really excited with how this project turned out,” said Block. “I’ve worked with SVC in the past with my RaptorTRAX project, so they were my number one choice to partner with on a properly sorted, more desert fun-oriented Ford Raptor build. Obviously I wanted a bit more power, but I also wanted something that I knew I could push beyond the factory setup when I’m out ripping around in the desert of southern Utah. I think the team at SVC has delivered on that desire and more, now I just need to get south and open this thing up!
LONG BEACH, CA: Ken Block and Hoonigan are pleased to announce that Block’s latest and biggest to-date video project of his career, Gymkhana TEN: Ultimate Tire Slaying Tour, is now available on Hoonigan’s YouTube channel worldwide after a 10-day exclusivity window on Amazon Prime Video as part of Block and Hoonigan’s The Gymkhana Files documentary.
Building upon the award-winning viral video franchise of Gymkhana films—and directed and produced entirely in-house at Hoonigan—Gymkhana TEN takes viewers on an epic journey to 5 very unique and different locations with 5 very unique and different vehicles.
The journey starts in Luleå, Sweden, with Block piloting the current 2018 Ford Fiesta WRC on snow and ice—a first-ever for Block in one of his Gymkhana films. After that the action jumps to Detroit, Michigan, with Block in his 1965 Ford Mustang RTR Hoonicorn V2, decimating his tires with 1,400 horsepower on the streets of the Motor City. From there viewers are transported to Guanajuato, Mexico, where Block can be seen ripping through the colorful streets and tunnels of a picturesque mountain town in his 2017 Ford Focus RS RX rallycross car. After that, things go full-sketch with a jump to Los Angeles, California, with Block driving his beloved 199 Ford Escort Cosworth Group A car on a mixture of both tires and bare metal wheels, creating massive sprays of sparks. Finally, viewers are brought to historic Route 66 in Shamrock, Texas (the inspiration for the animated film Cars), for the world debut of Block’s all-new 1977 Ford F-150 Hoonitruck in action as he absolutely wreaks havoc upon the small Texas town.
“I can’t believe it has been ten years of making these Gymkhana videos,” said Block. “That’s wild! So, for number ten, we tried to make it the biggest and best. It was two years in the making — from initial ideation to the launch in The Gymkhana Files on Amazon Prime. It’s insane the effort that went into this one, and I couldn’t be happier with the end result."
Block continues; “It was rad making The Gymkhana Files and featuring the Gymkhana TEN there for the first time—but, I’m also really happy that we’re now able to make it publicly available on YouTube to everyone worldwide that may not have Amazon Prime. I think viewers across the globe are going to be stoked when they see all of the tire slaying action we’ve jammed into this one."
"Also, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of my partners on this project, it has been a massive undertaking and I couldn’t have done it without Ford, Forza, Toyo Tires, Pennzoil, Monster Energy, Can-Am and of course my team at Hoonigan. Thank you, everyone!”
LONG BEACH, CA: Ken Block and his team at Hoonigan Media Machine are pleased to announce that Block’s latest and biggest to-date video project of his career, Gymkhana TEN: Ultimate Tire Slaying Tour, is now streaming as a 10-day early access exclusive during the final portion of the 8th episode of his Amazon Prime Video original series, The Gymkhana Files.
Building upon the award-winning viral video franchise of Gymkhana films, Gymkhana TEN takes viewers on an epic journey to 5 very unique and different locations with 5 very unique and different cars.
The journey starts in Luleå, Sweden, with Block piloting the current 2018 Ford Fiesta WRC on snow and ice—a first-ever for Block in one of his Gymkhana films. After that the action jumps to Detroit, Michigan, with Block in his Ford Mustang RTR Hoonicorn V2, decimating his tires with 1,400 horsepower on the streets of the Motor City. From there viewers are transported to Guanajuato, Mexico, where Block can be seen ripping through the colorful streets and tunnels of a picturesque mountain town in his Ford Focus RS RX rallycross car. After that, things go full-sketch with a jump to Los Angeles, California, with Block driving his beloved Ford Escort Cosworth Group A car on a mixture of both tires and bare metal wheels, sliding dangerously out of control while creating massive sprays of sparks. Finally, viewers are brought to historic Route 66 in Shamrock, Texas, for the world debut of Block’s all-new 1977 Ford F-150 Hoonitruck in action as he absolutely wreaks havoc upon the small Texas town.
“This project has been over 2 years in the making,” said Block. “I’m so excited to finally have it streaming live on Amazon Prime, especially for all of the fans and viewers who have been following along on the process of creating this video through The Gymkhana Files. I think they’ll really enjoy the payoff today by being able to see Gymkhana TEN finally! I’d also like to take a moment to thank all of my partners on this project, it has been a massive undertaking and I couldn’t have done it without Ford, Forza, Toyo Tires, Pennzoil, Monster Energy, Can-Am and of course my team at Hoonigan. Thank you, everyone!”
For the next 10 days, Gymkhana TEN: Ultimate Tire Slaying Tour is streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime Video as the final portion of Block’s The Gymkhana Files documentary show. Starting on December 17th, Gymkhana TEN will then also be available on Hoonigan’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/thehoonigans) for those without Amazon Prime.
Recently, GoPro announced their all-new Hero 7 camera, a massive step up in their product offerings in terms of image quality, as well as image stabilization in-camera. To help kick off that launch, the GoPro team flew out to Ken Block’s home state of Utah to go and document Block doing what he does best when he’s home: having fun with some of his toys. In this case, it was his customized Can-Am Maverick X3 rs turbo and in two different locations. The first one was Sand Hollow State Park, a favorite Utah destination of Block and his family for the variety of outdoor activities they can do there. The other location was Swing Arm City, in Southern Utah. A location Block is intimately familiar with from previous Can-Am trips, as well as the filming of his epic Terrakhana video project, which also utilized the location.
To see Block in action, as well as the buttery smooth footage from the shoots, click the video below.
Both Ken Block and Hoonigan Media Machine are proud to share that as of today, The Gymkhana Files, an Amazon Original series featuring Block and his HMM team, produced in-house by HMM, is now available for streaming, exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. The eight-episode series is weekly, with two new episodes premiering each Friday. Friday, December 7 will mark the season finale of The Gymkhana Files, and the world premiere of Block’s GymkhanaTEN, the culmination of a more than year-long effort for the latest viral video in his award-winning franchise.
The Gymkhana Files takes viewers deep behind the scenes with exclusive access to one of the world’s wildest, most successful viral video franchises of all time, with over half a billion views and counting. The series follows Block and his team as they attempt to create their greatest automotive video to-date, GymkhanaTEN, while simultaneously dealing with the challenging ups and downs of Block racing in the World Rallycross Championship.
Block’s Gymkhana films are an extremely successful franchise at the forefront of motorsports, which have won numerous accolades for branded content. After almost a decade of making viral videos, Block and the HMM team decided to up the stakes and create the biggest, most exciting Gymkhana—ever. Traveling to five different locations across two continents, with five different racecars—including a completely unique, custom build never seen before—the goal is to for GymkhanaTEN to be the best video they’ve made to-date.
Block himself is a professional rally and rallycross driver with Hoonigan Racing Division, is one of the co-founders of Hoonigan and Hoonigan Media Machine, as well as one of the co-founders of DC Shoes back in the day. His Gymkhana series of videos has amassed over half-a-billion views, was named as one of the “Top 10 Viral Video Advertisements of All Time” by AdAge and has won numerous awards, including One Show Interactive Gold Pencils, Streamys and Webbys.
The Gymkhana Files is created and executive produced by Block, Brian Scotto, Gil Marsden and Steve Astephen and produced by Hoonigan Media Machine. Marsden is the showrunner.
Prime members can now stream the series exclusively via the Amazon Prime Video app for TVs, connected devices including Fire TV, mobile devices and online. Members can also download the series to mobile devices for offline viewing at no additional cost to their membership. The series will be a global release and available on PrimeVideo.com for Prime Video members in more than 240 countries and territories.
LONG BEACH, CA: Ken Block and Hoonigan are excited to announce a wild new program for his 2019 race season: the Cossie World Tour! It will be a multi-stop race and content program, spanning the globe in a newly built 90s era Group A Rally Ford Escort RS Cosworth. Block will take a step back in time on this tour, which kicks off in early 2019. It will include this legendary machine, while targeting a series of iconic stage rally events from Europe, the Americas and Oceana.
“I grew up watching late 80s and early 90s rally racing,” says Ken Block. “There is just something special to me about tearing through stages in these legendary machines. Sadly, last year’s American Rally Association campaign in my Ford Escort RS Cosworth Group A racecar ended in a crash that resulted in the car burning to the ground. While myself and my co-driver luckily escaped from it, the car left the stage as a burnt carcass. Before it was even fully extinguished though, I knew we were going to have to build another one, possibly with a bit more flare. And power. I wont give too much away, I’ll just say the new Cossie is going to be rad.”
To document Block and his world tour with the new Cossie, Hoonigan is developing a new episodic video series. It will follow the efforts from start to finish: the new racecar build, the racing, and the fun in-between adventures of Ken and his team. But in addition to telling the story of just the Tour, the series will also look to educate an audience on all things rally, new and old. It will blend the modern day narrative with a unique documentary-style format that will reach well beyond just the racing that Ken will be competing in.
“Nothing compares to rally,” says Hoonigan Chief Creative Officer Brian Scotto. “It’s all the things that make motorsport great. It’s fast, it’s dangerous, and the stories that are spawned from it are legendary, which is why I have always been attracted to it from a storytelling perspective. I’m excited for the Tour and the show we are building around it, because it will give us a chance to explain the amazing world of rally in a very different way than it has been before.”
Cossie World Tour locations and series release schedule to be announced in early 2019.
LONG BEACH, CA: Ahead of his upcoming GYMKHANA TEN, Ken Block, in association with Toyo Tires, is pleased to present to the world his latest, mind-blowing custom Gymkhana vehicle build: The Hoonitruck!
Created partially out of Block’s general love for trucks (a man who has daily-driven a Ford Raptor since 2010 and in general thinks trucks are rad) and partially as a bit of a tribute to his late father due to the fact that he grew up cutting his teeth with this era of Ford F-150—Block’s father had the exact same base truck back in the day, which Block learned how to drive on when he was 15 years old and then used when he’d go racing dirt bikes as a teen.
Based on a 1977 Ford F-150, Block’s Hoonitruck is powered by a custom-tuned Ford Performance V6 EcoBoost engine lifted directly out of the Ford Racing Ford GT Le Mans development program. Making 914hp at 7,400rpm and 702 ft-lbs at 6,450 rpm, the engine is a snarling, billet-aluminum menace, sounding like nothing you’ve ever heard in a Gymkhana video before.
The power is routed to all four wheels via a Sadev 6-speed all wheel-drive gearbox (similar to the one used in Block’s Hoonicorn). Chassis, bodywork and fabrication was all handled by Detroit Speed, in Mooresville, NC, with the overall design and styling of the project dictated by Block and his team at Hoonigan.
In addition to the above, the Hoonitruck also features some direct tie-ins to current Ford F-150 products. The vehicle features hand-shaped aluminum bodywork (identical to the military-grade aluminum that Ford uses currently) Ford Pass remote start integration and even a functional backup camera/tow hitch setup.
“This project has been in the works for about 2 years,” said Block. “I’m beyond pleased with how it turned out, it’s simply one of the most badass and unique vehicles I’ve seen in a long time and I think it compliments my Hoonicorn perfectly. It’s also crazy to be throwing something around that’s this size when doing Gymkhana-style driving. But, it looks absolutely wild on camera, and that was our goal from the start. I can’t wait for the fans to be able to see it in action, I think they’re gonna love it!”
For those that want to be among the first to see the Hoonitruck in person, it will be on static display at the Toyo Tires booth #62122 at SEMA in Las Vegas in a few short weeks. It will also be shown in more detail during Block’s upcoming Amazon Prime Video series, The Gymkhana Files where there will be some behind-the-scenes action of the fabrication process, testing and ultimately, filming in GYMKHANA TEN. Block’s GYMKHANA TEN drops as an early exclusive on Amazon Prime Video on December 7th, followed by a global release on Hoonigan’s YouTube channel December 17th.
STATS: • 1977 Ford F-150 • 3.5 liter Ford Performance/Roush Yates EcoBoost V6 • 914 horsepower, 702 lb-ft of torque • Chassis design, engineering and bodywork by Detroit Speed Engineering • Hand-hammered military-grade aluminum bodywork • Styling by Block and his team at Hoonigan • Custom 20-inch fifteen52 Turbomac HD wheels • Toyo Tires Proxes ST III
BARCELONA, SPAIN: After a four-year hiatus, Ken Block is returning to the World Rally Championship in a one-off appearance for WRC Spain. Competing in the latest Ford Performance/M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC, Block recently completed two days of testing (one day of gravel and one day of tarmac) in the Spanish countryside outside of Barcelona in preparation for the event.
Block’s overall impression of the current WRC offering from Ford (now featuring aero more aggressive than anything Block has driven before on a rally stage)? Beyond impressed.
“I’m obviously really happy to be back and participating in the WRC,” said Block. “Especially here in Spain. It’s been 4 years since I’ve done a WRC round, which seems wild to me that it’s been so long, but obviously I’ve been very focused on rallycross the past few years.”
Block continues, “Alex [Gelsomino] and myself logged two solid days of testing last week, and it was our first time in the current car together on a rally stage. It’s really quick and incredible to drive! And when I say that, I mean that it has a lot of capability that I’m not able to exploit simply due to lack seat time. I drove it in the snow for part of Gymkhana TEN, but that is nothing like racing it at full speed down a rally stage.”
However, when pressed for an answer as to how he thinks he’ll do during the event, Block was bluntly honest. “I’m being extremely realistic about the race weekend and I’m also being very upfront about my personal expectations,” said Block. “The goal is to get out there, drive as fast as I can, but to bring it home clean and just have a great time. The rest of the top teams have almost two full years racing this car and can fully exploit all of the aero work that these new cars now feature, but I simply don’t have that comfort level to lean into it on the high-speed corners and blindly trust it yet. And that’s ok! I’m just thrilled I have this awesome opportunity to come out and drive the best car in the field amongst the best rally drivers on the planet on some of—what I feel at least—are some of the best roads in the championship as well. So yeah, I’m stoked to get onto the stages here in Spain!”
WRC Spain takes place October 25th through the 28th, in the hills of Spain outside of Barcelona. Follow along across all of Block’s social channels (@KBlock43 on Instagram and Twitter and at Facebook.com/KenBlockRacing).
Also, for more of Block piloting the current Ford Fiesta WRC, be sure to tune in for the behind-the-scenes of Block driving the same vehicle in Gymkhana TEN, as part of the Amazon Prime Video series The Gymkhana Files which launches on November 16.
In the meantime, check out this video of Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino testing: