Kenny From The Block takes his Kill All Tires motto seriously.
Ken Block is a strangely divisive figure in car enthusiast circles. His videos are stylistic masterpieces in car control but criticism comes in the form of his results in stage rally and rallycross racing. Well, his lack of results really.
Block started out at a professional level in 2005 with a strong start in Rally America driving a Subaru WRX STi prepared by Vermont SportsCar. He placed well and got Rookie of the year, then as a result of that went on to get a sponsorship deal with Subaru. Block carried on rallying and also competed in the first XGames rallycross event in 2006. Since then he’s been consistently racing with his best finishes being 2nd overall in the Global Rallycross Championship and 2nd overall in Rally America in 2006, 2008, and 2013. On the world stage though, he was found lacking in the World Rally Championship with no stage wins in seven entries.
That paints an inaccurate picture of Block though, as he is a world class driver on any surface. What separates him from the rest of the pack is his entrepreneurial spirit and his finely honed skills as a precision driver. He started building his first gymkhana car, a modified Impreza WRX STi, for a gymkhana-style series that was put together in California. However, that shut down before he had a chance to compete.
Instead, he ended up making the first of his videos and called it "Gymkhana Practice.” That short video of Block monstering his way around an airport now has over 14 million views and kicked off a series of tire-wrecking precision driving videos that has taken him and his team across 5 countries in 10 videos now.
Block's cars are also of huge interest as he has grown into building almost cartoonishly amazing vehicles. Block is clearly a fan of big horsepower and iconic rally cars, and these are the best of his still growing collection.
Before we get into his more well known and faster cars, let’s take a moment to appreciate the monstrous beauty of the RaptorTRAX. The wheels have been replaced by snow trax, and its 6.2-liter Whipple supercharged V8 produces 650 horsepower. The snow Raptor debuted in a video for Monster Energy that was shot at Baldface in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada.
This is the car that made Block's name by exploding across Youtube in Gymkhana 1. It’s built by Vermont SportsCar and powered by the Subaru flat-four engine, but making 564 horsepower while while the car weighs just 2,775 pounds. Part of that weight saving you’ll actually notice in the video. If you look carefully you can see it didn’t actually have a roll cage installed.
The first two gymkhana videos set Block on a new course. For the third installment, his team introduced a retro-styled Ford Fiesta making 600 horsepower and 660 lb-ft of torque from an Olsbergs 2.0-liter Duratec engine. It also features a six-speed sequential gearbox with an all-wheel-drive system and generates serious amounts of tire smoke in Gymkhana 3.
You’ve not seen this laying down big drifts in a Gymkhana video, but this is what a present for his wife looks like. It was built by the Florida company NSB Performance and its 5.0-liter V8 engine lays down a far from stock 435 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque through a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Block picked up his Can-Am Maverick X3 knowing he could make it street legal for his home town in Utah. It’s a four-seater with the ability to go anywhere and at high speed, so perfect for both the school run and hurtling through the local scenery. It has a turbocharged Rotax ACE 900 cc triple-cylinder engine and rides on Fox 2.5 Podium QS3 Shocks. If the colors look familiar, the livery is inspired by Block's 2017 race car livery art and his V1 Hoonicorn Mustang graphics.
M-Sport built this rallycross car for Block to campaign in 2013. It’s a healthy reminder that rallycross cars nowadays are insane pieces of machinery that can keep up with Formula 1 cars to 60 mph. Block’s ST gets there in just 2 seconds and wears a wrap inspired by the first Ford Fiesta rally car from 2011. It made its debut in Gymkhana 6 and showed just how finely balanced it is in the hands of Block and how well it attacks its mission to kill all tires.
This is the first of Blocks old-school crowd pleasers on the list. It’s a true showpiece that makes 333 horsepower from its naturally aspirated Millington Diamond built 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Although its really for show, Block did race it at Rally New York in 2009.
Not Block’s most well-known car, but it’s one good looking hatchback and a rallycross demon. It was built by Hoonigan Racing in collaboration with Ford Performance and M-Sport, and under the hood is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine laying down 600 horsepower and capable of going from 0-60 mph in 2 seconds exactly.
When word got out Block’s Hoonigan team were going to build a truck, we knew it was going to be badass. We just didn’t know how badass until it landed. This slab of power with a cab debuted with an astonishing 941 horsepower generated by a turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine and laid that power to all four tires by a custom all-wheel-drive system.
Unfortunately, we had to pour one out for Block’s street legal and high-strung ode to old school European rally cars. Block built his 350 turbocharged horsepower RS Cosworth with a sequential racing transmission and electronic center differential to go toe-to-toe with modern day racers. However, he fell off the road during the New England Forest Rally and the car was burned to a crisp. The good news is that Block has another one lined up.
At this point, the Hoonicorn is probably Block’s most well know car after appearing in two Gymkhana videos and making a TV appearance in a video shot for Top Gear where Block thrashes it around with Matt LeBlanc in the passenger seat. Hoonicorn debuted in 2016 powered by a Roush Yates racing supercharged V8 engine making 845 horsepower and 720 lb-ft of torque while it hurtled around Southern California. A few months later though, the Hoonicorn got a big upgrade.
The second version showed up with a twin-turbocharged Roush Yates V8 mashing down 1,400 horsepower and 1,250 lb-ft of torque and taking everyone’s breath away in the Climbkhana: Pikes Peak video. For anyone that doubts Block's talent, commitment, and level of courage, this is the video for them.
Connoisseurs of rallying will instantly recognize the Ford RS200 as a true unicorn. Block’s RS200 is one of only 200 road legal examples that left the Ford factory in 1986 to meet the homologation standards for Group B rallying. It gets even rarer though, as this is one of just 24 original Evolution models which range, depending on the source, from 580 to 815 horsepower. Block's is reported to push 700 horsepower.