We’re not in the habit of posting a bunch of Ford stuff up here (although that may change given the impending release of the 350hp AWD Focus), but this here was too good to resist. Say hello to Ken Block and Hoonigan Industries’ 1978 Ford Escort Mk2 RS, apparently Block’s first-ever rear wheel-drive gymkhana machine.
Back in the day the Mark 2 enjoyed success as a rally-racing platform in Europe, but Hoonigan Racing Division and Quick Motorsport in the UK built this updated version to stay off the gravel and stick to tarmac. Under hood is a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter, Millington four banger that makes 333 horsepower and spins to 9,000 rpm. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox, and the chassis rides on a specialized suspension setup.
As far as styling, Block and Hoonigan turned to Kei Miura to have him give the Escort the Rocket Bunny treatment, most obvious in the extended fenders. The car sits on custom two-piece fifteen52 wheels wrapped in Pirelli rubber. The “Stars and Stripes” pattern featured on the hood is from Block’s livery and available as part of Hoonigan’s 2015 Holiday collection, available at hoonigan.com, Zumiez, Tillys, and other retailers.
Hoonigan says the Escort will be featured in future videos besides the one embedded here, and it sounds like other drivers will be invited to flog the car on camera. The first public appearance of the Ford compact will be at Monster Energy’s Gymkhana GRID Finale in the UK, which leads us to believe the car might not be out at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas in less than two weeks, but you never know. This is Ken Block we’re talking about, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed.