With 99 unforgiving corners and sheer cliff drops, Climbkhana 2 has to be Ken Block's toughest challenge yet.
Featuring five locations and five different cars, Gymkhana 10 was Ken Block's most ambitious video to date celebrating ten years of torturing tires in the online viral video series. But don't think Ken Block is done burning rubber for our entertainment, because he's back with the second installment of the spin-off Climbkhana series.
Whereas the first Climbkhana featured Block taking on the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in a modified Ford Mustang, Climbkhana Two takes place on one of the world's most dangerous roads: Tianmen Mountain in China, also known as Heavens Gate. This is the same location where the electric Volkswagen ID.R recently set a lap record. But Block didn't go there to chase lap records.
"About five years ago, I found a photo on the internet of this crazy road made of multiple switchbacks that actually crossed over itself," said Ken Block. "Before I even discovered where in the world it was, I knew we had to go film there. As we did more research, I realized we may have found the greatest road ever. It's like a European tarmac rally stage - but turned up to 11 - and, it's set in a wild scene that looks stolen right out of the movie Avatar."
Located in Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province, China, the Tianmen Mountain Highway climbs 6.7 miles and features 99 unforgiving corners and dangerous sheer cliff drops. It's so dangerous, the public isn't allowed to drive on it. If you thought Pikes Peak was dangerous, Heaven's Gate is almost half as wide in places. There's zeromargin for error, and yet Block somehow makes it look easy. It's insane to watch.
"Over the past couple years, a few other projects have been filmed in the region, but we really wanted to bring our unique style of filmmaking and Ken Block's wild driving to this road to show it in a way it hasn't been seen before," said Climbkhana Two's Director Brian Scotto. "This road is amazing, but also very unforgiving, which ironically is its best attribute."
To make things even more challenging, Block used his 914-hp Ford F-150 Hoonitruck to tackle the incredibly dangerous and narrow road. It's both impressive and terrifying to watch, as Block expertly drifts around tight corners, performs tire-smoking donuts around obstacles, and narrowly misses barriers with inches to spare. "The juxtaposition of this massive American pickup truck and that tiny road was just too perfect, even if it made it way harder and sketchier to for me to drive," said Block. Question is, what will Ken Block do next to set the stakes even higher? We can't wait to find out.