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.