A simple test of traction and acceleration.
Ken Block is one of the world's most recognizable characters, known for extreme stunts, awesome gymkhana videos, and real-life rally competitions. This year, his collection of cars that will be used for the abovementioned activities includes a Subaru WRX STI, a Ford Escort Cosworth, and an insane trophy truck packing 1,100 horsepower. His wife is also keen on motorsport and has an R2 (or grassroots/entry-level) Fiesta rally car, and now Block and his team have decided to assemble all four for a video that sees each compete against each other.
The test is simple: start at a set point, accelerate in a straight line, make a 180-degree turn, and come to a stop in a braking box. With the challenge taking place on dirt, weight and traction are just as important as power.
Let's start with the Subaru. With gravel tires, a 2.0-liter turbo boxer engine developing around 330 hp, and all-wheel drive, this true rally-spec racer is built for slippery surfaces and weighs just 3,400 pounds. The Cosworth Escort also sends its power to all four corners and weighs the same as the STI, but this car produces around 375 hp.
As we mentioned, the trophy truck develops an insane 1,100 hp from its big clock V8, but this monster sends its power to the rear wheels alone and weighs a lardy 6,450 lbs. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Fiesta R2's 1.0-liter three-pot turbo produces 197 hp and sends its power to the front axle, but it's also the lightest here at 2,270 lbs, so does it have a chance in this simple test?
You can see from the driving style and the lines taken that Block's wife Lucy is still new to rallying and managing traction on slippery surfaces. Furthermore, the constant drizzle causes the track to deteriorate quickly, making it nearly impossible to find grip. Thus, the Fiesta performs the test in 19 seconds, while the absurdly heavy and overpowered trophy truck takes 15.7 seconds.
The old Cossie comes in on the second step, achieving a time of 14.9 seconds, but the full-blown rally car is predictably best suited to this sort of environment and smashes the timesheets with a 13.7-second result. Interestingly, the trophy truck has more power than all the other cars combined yet still barely scrapes in on the last podium position, proving that power is nothing without control.