After last year's announcement by Ken Block that he would no longer participate in the World RX rally series full-time, he's surprised us all with his latest news.
This year, Block will compete in four stage rally events, including the World Rally Championship (WRC) Spain rally in October, his first WRC stage since 2014. In Spain, he'll be driving a 2017 Fiesta RS WRC, which is great, but it’s his 1993 Ford Escort RS Cosworth that he'll be piloting in all the other races that have us foaming at the mouth.
This Cosworth was originally built as a homologation special for qualification in Group A of the WRC. It sported a 227-hp 2.0-litre turbo-four with a five-speed manual that put its power through to all four wheels. In the mid-90s, it won eight events in Group A and two as a WRC-spec car.
Block’s Escort, however, has a modified 2.0-litre turbo-four that’s pushing around 350 hp through a seven-speed sequential gearbox. It's completely road-legal but the side-mounted exhaust had to be moved to the back because of it missing a muffler and catalytic converter. In a nod to Escort Cosworth's heyday, it receives special wheels based on the production models originals from the ’90s. Rounding things off, the dudes at Death Spray Custom created its unique livery.
Block intends to compete with the Escort in three U.S. stage rallies, namely the Oregon Trail Rally, the New England Forest Rally, and the Idaho Rally International. Block says that he’s "competing against modern vehicles and the experience is more important than actually winning", he’s more interested in seeing how the classic Escort does against modern vehicles in stage rallying.
We're pretty sure we're not the only ones who want to see just how Block and his vintage Ford Escort RS Cosworth does. In fact, we bet there might just be quite a few extra eyeballs paying attention this season.
Check out the video from Hoonigan below.