Over in the U.S. there has been a rally invasion over the last few years, from the Global Rallycross races traveling around the country, to the extreme sports sponsors like Monster and RedBull, the sport has gained quite a following. The sport now has big American names in it as well such as Brian Deegan, Tanner Foust, the mad man X-Games dirt bike hero Travis Pastrana, and of course Ken Block. The majority of these guys not only run the Rallycross circuit in America, but participate in real rally stage events as well. But these guys are more than just racing drivers, and most have got their start in sports through motocross. But it takes some serious money to even get started in rally racing, so beyond the large *kahunas* it takes to do this sport, these guys have some serious business savvy as well. Ken Block for instance is the co-founder of DC Shoes. His collaboration with DC and Monster Energy coupled with his serious driving skill propelled him to the top of his sport, and in turn gained major exposure, bringing in even more money! In short, he has a talent, funding from a huge drink company, and his own company that gets all that exposure. It is a win, win…win situation!
You may wonder what a guy like Ken does during his free time. Well, he trains by taking his AWD turbo beast of a purpose built rally car and screeches sideways around obstacles such as airplanes, theme parks, or the streets of San Fran to hone his skills. Then he puts those on YouTube and has over 40 million views. If you have not seen these videos, you might want to crawl out from under your rock and take a look at Ken Block’s Gymkhana videos.
So you might imagine he has some pretty serious toys. What in the world would his ideal daily driver be, for instance? Well he recently had a talk with Automoblog and told us all about his newest project.
This is something a little more attainable for the average person to get their hands on, compared to racing in Global Rallycross. It is a Gymkhana influenced street legal track car, and it’s a collaboration of work with the L.A. tuning company fifteen52, himself, and Ford Racing. It is the Ford Focus TrackSTer, based off of the stock Focus ST. This isn’t your happy little family hatchback though. Block told me “It is actually a Focus ST” so it is a street legal car, that still has 4-doors and plenty of leg room. “We’ve widened the stance, and we also lowered it with air bags to get the best handling.” Here is something rather awesome…are you ready? Block also told me “It has the same wheels that we use on the Gymkhana car.” Too…cool! Now I’m starting to get hot and bothered, I want this car! It doesn’t stop there, he also said “Besides that it has the same engine as a Focus, I mean obviously tuned and everything…” which Monotune boosted up to around 350hp!!! Way to downplay it Ken.
There are other additions as well, like a Sparco steering wheel, a short throw shifter, and bucket racing seats. The fender flares are actually from the Chinese Focus touring car, and it has a Ford performance tuned exhaust! Block said “This car is fun…it is fast on the track!” I was stoked up to this point, then he said “Yeah so besides all of the tuning, it’s still a FWD…” and I didn’t hear the rest of his sentence A FWD, really guys? You have fifteen52, and Ford racing at your disposal and you don’t give it AWD with a 50/50 diff?
I was stewing over that, but I figured I would ask the big question anyway. Will it be available to the public? “Well right now it is just a one-off car that I use for myself, but we are working with Ford to make the parts available for purchase.” say Block. Well I guess all we can do is hope that this leads to a project where they make an AWD turbo Focus… and then let the public buy it. Give the people what they want!