If you’ve been following Ken Block over the years, you’ll know that he has a habit of roasting rubber with some of the coolest and most tricked-out World Rally Championship (WRC) cars of today. But now, he’s stepping into something a little different. Something a little more legendary.
On the latest episode of The Hoonigans’ Daily Transmission series, drifting king Ken Block stops by the Donut Garage to show off his latest hoon project — an “OG” 1993 Ford Escort Cosworth. Because of its incredibly storied WRC history, it’s easy to see why Ken Block chose one to be his latest hoon-mobile.
If you’ve heard the name Cosworth before, that’s because it’s the famous engine tuning firm based out of London. It’s most noted for producing high-performance engines for racing applications and is often associated with the WRC. More specifically, the 1993 Ford Escort Cosworth is a downright legend. Like the equally iconic Sierra Cosworth it succeeds, the Escort “Cossie” was purpose built to try and take the WRC Group A title in the mid-1990s.
It participated in the WRC between 1993 and 1998, and although it never took any championship titles, it still won eight times in Group A through 1996. Then in 1997 and 1998, it won twice as a WRC competitor before being replaced by the Focus WRC version. But in order to compete, 2,500 road going versions had to be made to meet homologation requirements.
The Escort Cosworth is told apart from its iconic “whale tail” rear spoiler. Under the hood, as you guessed, sits a Cosworth-tuned turbocharged inline-four, known for its tunable flexibility. Its base output is 227 horsepower, but its reputation for being able to produce 1,000 horses at the hands of other tuning firms is well known. Add in incredible handling and it’s easy to see why this car is revered the way it is. Ken Block said his Escort Cosworth currently produces around 400 horses, mated to a custom-fitted seven-speed sequential manual gearbox.
Sure, it sounds a bit modest if the Cosworth turbo-four is capable of over 1,000 horses. But with the car weighing in at just 2,811 pounds, the power-to-weight ratio is what really matters in this specific case. Enjoy the video in all its smoky glory.