Of course Ken Block can get an all-wheel drive car to do some tire-shredding donuts.
After announcing that the Hoonigan Racing Team is leaving the World Rallycross, it seemed appropriate that Ken Block’s new toy would be a 1991 Ford Escort RS Cosworth rally car. It was originally built to Group A specification featuring a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that’s been upgraded to deliver 400 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque. While it’s nowhere near Block’s obscenely powerful 1,400-hp Hoonigan Mustang, it has the advantage of being a road-legal race car.
Block’s new rally car will be making its racing debut next year, but in the meantime he wasted no time torturing its tires, performing a series of dizzying donuts for the camera in the latest Hoonigan video, which is no small feat in an all-wheel drive car. Mechanically, Block’s new toy is actually a Ford Sierra RS Cosworth. When Ford decided to build the Escort into a Group A rally car, it had to overcome the small matter of the Escort only being available in front-wheel drive as an all-wheel drive platform wasn’t available. So Ford built the car using the Sierra Cosworth RS’s chassis using Escort body panels, which is why it’s several inches longer than a standard Escort.
You also can’t ignore the enormous rear wing, which was a staple feature of Ford RS Cosworth cars at the time and the biggest wing to be fitted to a rally car in the 1991 WRC. Step inside, and you’re greeted with an overwhelming array of switches that would now be replaced by a single computer screen in a modern rally car.
Race cars often have switches, but what’s unusual here is that none of them are labelled in the Escort RS Cosworth. Even important things like the anti-lag and electronic differential aren’t labelled. Skip towards the end of the video to watch Block burn some serious rubber in the first ever all-wheel drive donuts at the Hoonigan Donut Garage.