Rally fans and followers of chief Hoonigan Ken Block vividly recall last year’s crash and fiery demise of his vintage Escort Cosworth. The wreck occurred at the New England Forest Rally, where Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino were competing and running a respectable third position despite gearbox issues with the Cossie. Those issues caused Block to clip rocks on the inside of a corner, sending the Escort rolling before landing in a ditch and bursting into flames. Block and Gelsomino were fine, but the car was a complete loss.
Block vowed to rebuild, but with literally nothing left of the old car an all-new build took place. The latest car is still an Escort Cosworth, though it has more than just a cool modern/retro livery applied to the outside. It’s been reimagined as a present-day WRC machine and boasts several aero tweaks including widebody fenders and a honking big diffuser at the back. Beneath the hood is a proper period-correct Cosworth four-pot, but it’s tuned to make 371 horsepower. Shifting is handled by a six-speed sequential box as opposed to the seven-speed used in the previous car. The livery is thoroughly modern, though ‘80’s rally connoisseurs will easily recognize the blue stripes from the iconic Group A Sierra Cosworth.
Gallery: Ken Block's New Escort Cosworth
To further show off the colors, Block has a world tour planned with stops at rally events in New Zealand, Ireland, Poland, San Marino, and Switzerland. He also will have Cossie V2 at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed, and there are a few other potential stops that are still being worked out.
The first stop, however, is in the United States at the 100 Acre Wood Rally in Missouri next month. It’s the second round of the American Rally Association season, and with seven prior victories under his belt, it’s an event Block knows well. Here’s hoping the first rally in the new car goes better than his last one in the old ride.