Ladies and gentlemen, it looks like we have a new contender for the title of ‘Car and Driver we’d most like to see at next year’s Festival of Speed‘ and this is it.
Ken Block, who treated us (and Lord March) to the insanity of his four-wheel-drive, 845bhp Hoonicorn Mustang tearing up the hill at FoS last year, has answered the fervent prayers of his fans and finally had built a rear-wheel-drive machine in which to display his talents. And what a rear-wheel-drive car it is …
In what might have been a shock to his fans in the States, he’s gone for a British-designed MkII Escort modified to the hilt. He told Top Gear ‘[the] First time I ever drove one was in the Colin McRae Memorial Rally. That was my first time ever trying to drive a rear-wheel car in a rally. And I just sucked at it. I couldn’t believe how difficult it was. Ever since then I wanted to get better at it and wanted to own one myself. So I bought a light tarmac build a couple years ago and I broke it in the two [gravel] rallies I tried to race it in. So we decided to make it into an all-tarmac car, and for me, that meant making it a Gymkhana car.’
The Escort features a screaming, atmospheric, Millington motor capable of over 9,000 rpm. Can you imagine it being piloted up the hillclimb course doing its best to tear up the blacktop, rear tyres approaching meltdown?
Having brought the great man over to West Sussex this year as part of the incredible Monster Energy line-up, our fingers are firmly crossed that Ford will bring him again, this time with the rallying icon. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this clip of Mr Block gently giving his rear tyres a bit of a ‘scrub …’