1978 Ford Escort Mk2 RS Is Ken Block’s New Gymkhana Machine [w/Video]

Ken Block is presenting his first-ever rear-wheel drive Gymkhana machine, a 1978 Ford Escort Mk2 RS that has undergone extensive mechanical tweaks.

Based on the Ford Escort platform, Block’s car is quite unlike the Escort Mk2s that made history in European rallying. The Gymkhana car was built with one specific goal in mind: to kill tires while quickly navigating obstacles on a challenging Gymkhana course.

From a mechanical point of view, Block’s Escort shares all the best parts of a top-level WRC-spec tarmac build, yet coupled with a specialized suspension setup designed for Gymkhana tricks. The car is powered by a 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder Millington engine that generates 333 horses and has an impressive 9,000 rpm redline. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox.

The car’s styling was updated as well, as Block wanted the Escort to be in line with his current fleet of racecars. As a result, the classic Escort got a wider stance and wider arches all around from Japanese widebody designers Rocket Bunny. Borrowing inspiration from Hoonigan Racing’s current RX43 and HFHV Fiestas, the notorious Hoonicorn RTR and other well-known Rocket Bunny designs, the Escort Mk2 features a unique widebody kit, complete with custom two-piece fifteen52 wheels wrapped in Pirelli rubber and a flat black and star-spangled paint scheme.

“This Escort Mk2 is special to me, it’s actually my first Ford rally car. I purchased it in 2008. It was designed to compete in tarmac events, but unfortunately those are quite lacking now stateside, so instead of converting it into a gravel machine, I had my team at Hoonigan Racing Division extend on its tarmac capabilities and develop it into the ultimate rear wheel-drive Gymkhana car,” Block said.

The custom Escort Mk2 will be featured in a video project for 2016, most likely Gymkhana 8. If you want to know what you should expect from that video, check out the following shakedown footage of the Gymkhana Escort at the Hoonigan Donut Garage.

PHOTO GALLERY

VIDEO

Frankencar Alert: Chrysler 300 Tries To Become The World’s First Four-Door Challenger

While this Chrysler 300 / Challenger mishmash may not look good, the execution isn’t bad at all.

Bask In The Glory Of The Colorful McLaren 600LT Spider

The McLaren 600LT Spider might very well be the cherry pick in Woking’s current line of supercars.

Bugatti Divo Speedster Could Be $16 Million Worth Of Unobtainium

In the midst of the ultra expensive Bugatti hypercar rumors, the Divo has been imagined as a Speedster.

Mercedes Confirms SLC / SLK’s Death And We Bid Our Farewells

There’s no successor planned to the SLC, Mercedes-Benz tells Carscoops..

Lamborghini Trono Is A Cross Between Terzo Millennio And Huracan

Although it’s way out-there, it cannot be mistaken for anything other than a Lamborghini.

1989 Land Rover Defender Restomod Looks Cool, But Is It $145,000 Of Cool?

Land Rover Defender 110 finds new lease of life courtesy of extensive exterior and interior upgrades.

1,600 PS Porsche 997 Turbo By 9ff Gets Cooled By Ice Cubes Before Runs

Such a highly stressed engine generates lots of heat, but that’s an unorthodox way to cool it down.

Next Lexus IS Might Get Supra’s BMW-Sourced Straight Six

BMW’s B58 engine is already used by three models – will the IS be the fourth?.

Overfinch Claims Its Range Rover Body Kit Is “Minimalist”, We Beg To Differ

The parts are also available individually, but the technical composites are too expensive – and the carbon even more so.

Chevy’s ‘Vehicle Locate’ App Will Send Automated Texts When You Arrive, Leave Destination

Vehicle Locate can help you keep tabs on your car and let people know where you are.