The world’s favourite tyre-shredder is back, but this time Ken has left the block behind and is heading for higher ground.
In a new teaser trailer that's hit the internet, Ken Block unleashes his new Hoonicorn V2 upon the twisting tarmac of the iconic Pikes Peak hill climb in Colorado. Billed as a “man vs mountain” clash, the clip makes it clear the only real loser will be Block’s tortured tyres.
The “Climbkhana” video won’t be released in full until 2017, but the teaser reveals enough to know we can expect smoke, and lots of it, as Block’s tyres spin themselves into oblivion on each of Pikes Peak’s 156 corners. Good news, then, that the project is sponsored by Toyo Tyres.
The Hoonicorn V2 – which was developed specifically for this Pikes Peak assault – boosts the power from Block’s 1965 Ford Mustang RTR by strapping two turbochargers to its 6.7-litre V8, upping its output from an already-impressive 845hp to a ludicrous 1,400hp (1,044kW).
The motor revs and spins my Toyo tyres to destruction so quickly that I can’t change the gears fast enough.
“We got approval for a new video concept using the Hoonicorn, but I needed more power for what I needed it to do,” said Block.
“So I developed the concept for the general idea of what I wanted — two turbos sticking out the hood — and handed that over to my team. They came back with a functional way to make that happen and added methanol to get the setup to produce the power that I wanted. We ended up with 1,400 horsepower! Ha, so they may have over-delivered a bit, and I’m happy about that!”
If trying to contain that much power sounds a little terrifying, that’s because it absolutely is. Block himself says he can’t even change gears quickly enough to keep up with his engine.
“When I say that this is the absolute most frightening thing I’ve ever driven, I’m not exaggerating. At all,” he says.
“The motor revs and spins my Toyo tyres to destruction so quickly that I can’t change the gears fast enough. It’s genuinely a mind-numbing, crazy experience to try to drive this thing. It’s amazing.”
Not one to set the bar low, Block intends for his Pikes Peak climb to be a modern interpretation of one of the most iconic driving films of all time, Climb Dance, in which Finnish steerer Ari Vatanen wrestled his Peugeot 405 Turbo to the summit in record time.
“Climbkhana is the next generation of the Gymkhana series. I’ve long wanted to extend Gymkhana beyond the backdrops it has been living in. As a rally-driver, I have always wanted to mix what I do in the films with stage roads,” Block says.
“And what better roads than hill climbs, which are essentially uphill stages. And what better hill climb to start with than the famous Pikes Peak, which also happens to be the setting for one of my favourite automotive films, Climb Dance with Ari Vatanen.”
What should Ken Block climb next? Tell us what you think in the comments below.