Ken Block rolls out Ford Fiesta hybrid race carTue, 26 Jul 2011 00:00:00 -0700
Driver and rally racer Ken Block introduced his latest vehicular weapon on Monday. The Hybrid Function Hoon Vehicle (HFHV) is not a hybrid in the traditional gas/electric sense, but instead is able to transform itself to compete in various race disciplines.
The HFHV Fiesta will compete in three distinct disciplines--stage rally, rallycross and gymkhana events.
"Many people may not realize this, but despite the fundamental similarities between stage rally, rallycross and gymkhana, in order to be the best at each you must have specific-built vehicles," Block says. "My WRC Fiesta just can't do what my Gymkhana Fiesta can, and vice versa. But having to campaign three separate cars is a nightmare, so we built one car that can be transformed to suit each form of racing I do on the highest level."
The Fiesta's transformation from one discipline to the other can take as little as a few hours.
Each version requires different gear ratios, suspension setups and engine-management maps, as well as different wheel and tire combinations.
Based off the 2011 Ford Fiesta WRC car, under the hood is a 600-hp, 655 lb-ft 2.0-liter engine from the WRC Rally Ford Focus for rallycross and gymkhana events. For the stage rally events, the entire cooling system is repositioned and the car gets smaller brakes, a smaller turbo, a co-driver's seat and functional headlights.
"The HFHV is the best of all worlds for me," says Block. "The current WRC Fiesta is the greatest handling car I have driven, but it lacks the sheer grunt that the 2.0-liter engine in the WRC Focus created. The HFHV brings those two things together, and the result is a manic beast that is just too much fun to drive."
The HFHV will make its competition debut at the Summer X Games in Los Angeles on July 30.
By David Arnouts