Ken Block’s Ford Fiesta HFHV is an incredible rally car that was built off of the M-Sport WRC Ford Fiesta and designed from the start to be the ultimate “Hybrid Function Hoon Vehicle.” That means it can do stage rally, it can do rallycross and it can also do Gymkhana. However, it’s a design that’s a few years old and a car that has a fair bit of stage miles on the chassis. Despite these factors though, it’s still one of the top Open Class cars in the Rally America series.
M-Sport’s all-new Ford Fiesta R5 2ltr is related to Block’s HFHV in the sense that both were originally derived from M-Sport’s WRC Ford Fiesta chassis. However, it’s been designed to fit within the Open Class racing regulations of most national championships (such as Rally America or the New Zealand national championship). The goal of the R5 2ltr is to offer a rally car that can compete at the top level of a national championship, as well as make that top level performance accessible to drivers with a product that’s turnkey, versus racers having to “home brew” their own solutions to the Open Class regulations. The car is also more affordable to race by the utilization of off-the-shelf factory parts for a reduced operating cost (for an example, the alternator on Block’s HFHV is a $5,000 USD part, and the alternator on the R5 2ltr is a mere $500 since it’s an off-the-shelf Ford part).
During his pre-Rally America New England Forest Rally testing, Block was able to take both his HFHV and the new R5 2ltr out on the stage roads of the Team O’Neil rally school in New Hampshire and benchmark them back to back. Curious to see the results? (they’re closer than you’d think) Check out the video of the test below.