Ken Block's Newest Donut Machine Is One of the Coolest Rally Cars Ever

The Escort Cosworth is a four-wheel drive drift machine that came from the WRC's golden age in the 1990s.

The Hoonigans

Now that the Hoonigan Racing Team is quitting the World Rallycross Championship, Mr. Block decided it was time to pick a new toy from Ford. Or at least one that's new to him. And while a Group A-spec Escort Cosworth may be about a thousand horsepower down compared to the Chief Hoonigan's methanol-fed twin-turbo "Mustang," it has the benefit of being a road-legal race car, wearing Block's home state plates with the suggestion of some winter fun.

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Ford Escort Cosworth exterior clay model by Ian Callum, 1989.
Ford

As a Group A car that was later developed into a WRC machine, the Escort Cosworth is in fact a Ford Sierra chassis wrapped in the newer, but front-wheel drive, Escort's body panels. In race trim, it features a 2.0 with a huge turbo, connected to a seven-speed sequential gearbox.

Ford Sierra RS Cosworth workshop manual, 1992. Note how the car is "scheduled for homologation into Group A and N on January 1st, 1993.
Ford
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Starting in February, 1992, Ford built 2500 road-going homologation specials in Germany at Karmann, with a rear wing designed by Frank Stephenson in Essex, England.

A facelift in 1995 brought a new grille, bumpers, wheels and dashboard, with a spoiler delete becoming an option as well due to Cossies getting stolen in the UK all the time. Production ended in 1996 after 7145 units had been built. Meanwhile, tuners weren't shy to bring both the racing cars and their road-intended cousins up to a thousand horsepower, using turbos the size of Jeremy Clarkson's head.

If Block's white wonder is indeed an early Group A car, it's quite likely it's actually a 1993 model, since that's when the Escort entered the championship. But that doesn't make it any less cool.

In case you plan on building your own, the complete Cosworth workshop manual is .

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