Ken Block's Gymkhana 4 (Four) Video - Ford Fiesta

by Eric Hsu

Since you Moto IQ readers care more about the substance than the hype, here are some specs on the latest and greatest Ken Block Hybrid Function Hoon Ford Fiesta before we get into Gymkhana Four (below). I have no idea what a Hoon is BTW. This is a "hybrid" car not because it has batteries and a electric motor, but rather because the car is designed to be multifunctional and can be quickly adapted for rallycross, gymkhana, and stage rallies. I don't know if it has a Monster, DC, Mobil 1, or Ford title sponsorship, but they all have big stickers all over the car.

  • Ford Fiesta WRC chassis, built by M-Sport
  • Ford "Ecoboost" 2.0L engine, 600bhp/665 ft-lbs max, built by PIPO Moteurs
  • Garrett TR30R turbocharger with 45mm restrictor
  • Brembo Monobloc WRC brakes (changed for different events)
  • Sadev 6 speed sequential transmission, transfer case, and rear end
  • Reiger WRC suspension (different damper/spring combos changed for different events)
  • Cosworth Electronics Pectel MQ12 ECU
  • Cosworth Electronics Pectel Hyllus power control module
  • Cosworth Electronics Pectel DB1-RSHE card logger
  • Cosworth Electronics Pectel MK4 RS Driver's dash
  • Cosworth Electronics MFD I/O display
  • Speedline forged wheels w/ Pirelli tires
  • Recaro Ultima WRC carbon fiber seat
  • Vehicle weight: 2755 lbs.
  • Built by the Monster World Rally Team

While there are many that clown Ken Block as a WRC driver, you cannot deny he is a master of car control. The proof is in the past Gymkhana videos. The haters need to ease up and realize that KB is valuable to the sport of WRC. Who else in current day WRC will do random donuts and jumps in the middle of  a stage just to entertain the audience and attendees? Sure Carlos Sainz used to do it, but he's not in the sport anymore. And did Carlos Sainz ever draw the much needed yound new blood into WRC or highly modified street cars in general? No he didn't. KB does so all you haters need to CTFO. Remember that you won't have any cool cars to buy and play with in the future if younger people don't like cars. Ken Block not only entertains you, but he keeps manufacturers building fun cars that young people want.

Here's a cool video breaking down the H.F.H.V.

Having had a chance to check out this car up close, I have to say that this car is beautifully built. It's a proper unibody race car where no detail is overlooked. Look out for a feature soon on MotoIQ. Anyhow, the Monster World Rally Team is made up of a bunch of ex-Ford WRC and a couple of ex-SCCA Pro Rally guys. The car was built in the UK by MWRT and then brought over for some some testing. The schedule was tight because filming for Gymkhana Four would begin only days after the car's arrival. That would last a week and then there was some kind of demo jump thing at Dodger Stadium the following week. And then the next week there was the X-games at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Then after the X-games would be continuation of Gymkhana Four filming which I believe was only completed last week. The MWRT guys did a great job keeping the car running through some of the minor teething problems of a brand new car, repairs when needed, and with setup changes. Rally mechanics work FAST!

Cosworth Electronics Pectel MFD (multi-function display) as installed in Ken Block's Fiesta.

I was at Universal Studios for three days of filming with Roland from Cosworth Electronics. While the chassis and electronics are more or less carried over from the Ford Fiesta WRC program, the engine, drivetrain, and some details were different. Roland was out here putting the finishing touches on the Hyllus power control module and multi-function display config. Since the car was on a rushed schedule, I don't think he had the chance to finish back in the UK. I was basically helping Roland out as the secondary data guy and just another set of eyes studying data to ensure everything was working correctly with the car. We used the Pectel DB1-RSHE card logger that uses CF cards so all we had to do was pop a card out and put in a blank one. With the DB1 we get up to an 8000Hz logging rate with the memory limit of 2GB and 255 maximum channels. With all of the sensors on the Fiesta, there are almost 255 channels of data to analyze so its actually quite a bit of work. One thing that stood out most to me is how much boost this engine runs. Damn its a lot.

The DB1-RSHE connects to any modern Cosworth ECPro or Pectel ECU and allows you to log up to 255 parameters at up to 8000Hz of total logging bandwidth. With a 2GB CF card, that's A LOT of data.

The Pectel MK4 RS Dash can be found in all Pectel equipped WRC cars including Ken Block's gymkhana Fiesta. It will also directly connect to your Cosworth ECPro ECU if want a simple no frills dash that is all business. Surprisingly it is pretty affordable.

The ECU is a Pectel MQ12 that you'll find in WRC, LeMans, ALMS, and other high end open wheel race cars. Its pretty much the biggest brother of the Cosworth ECPro line of ECUs. The MQ12 and ECPros even use very similar software. The main differences are additional I/O, the ability to run 12 cylinder sequential injection with 12 coils, a bunch more outputs, high rpm capability (higher than 16,000rpm), the ability to run direct injection, etc. It's pretty much the ECU you want running in your car if you hit the lottery. Couple the MQ12 with a Cosworth dash, the Hyllus power control module, the multi-function display, Cosworth Pi datalogger, and a gazillion sensors and you've got an LMP1 electronics package ready to use in the 24 Hours of LeMans.

Roland in action.

Gymkhana Four!

How did they get those Matrix like shots? An array of GoPros of course. The camera guys have a giant harness with like 30 plugs on it and it all goes into one big box.

It was cool checking out the Universal Studios sets up close.

Anyhow, I think Gymkhana Four is pretty cool. I don't think it was so much that KB made it so big that he went all Hollywood on us. I think they were just having fun with it all. Wouldn't you if you could? It was definitely an experience watching how things are filmed. Plus checking out the data from a legit rallycross engine was pretty interesting too. Did I mention this car runs a lot of boost? It's surprising how much boost those engines run to make power through a restrictor. Oh and of course it was cool getting hooked up with some DC gear too.

Look out soon for a feature of the DC Monster Mobil 1 Hoonigan Dirt3 Ken Block Ford Fiesta on MotoIQ.

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Jeff Naeyaert
Jeff Naeyaertlink
Tuesday, August 16, 2011 5:37 PM
Ahhh! i was wondering what kind of rig they were using to pan those shots! what a pain in the ass :)
Tuesday, August 16, 2011 5:47 PM
I have a rig like that with 60 go pros on it. They are small stuff. Ballin.
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Tuesday, August 16, 2011 7:34 PM
I'd rock a Fiesta IF it at least started off AWD and turbo charged so that I could pump it up to half this horsepower!

Eric - I always thought a Hoon was British in origin but that would be a hoolegan. A Hoon is the same thing but its name is Australian in origin. I know these last couple BTDs have been work trips, but dang home boy, you got some SWEET work trips :) There is definitely some jealous!
Tuesday, August 16, 2011 10:41 PM
Sorry Eric, I am not with you on this one.
Call me a hater, or that I should STFU but Ken Block does not help Ford or WRC get any bigger.
Kids ain't stupid these days, nor am I ! I've been wating A LONG fucking time for Ford to release a AWD Ford Focus; I am still waiting ! The last sick Ford was the Escort Cosworth (never released to the States, OF COURSE !), but I had a pleasure to drive one briefly in Europe.

Ford is NOT listening to the audience (with, or without Ken Block doing those videos).
How many years do people have to wait for a AWD system from Ford? The current Focus RS comes with a FWD tranny and a Torsen LSD, great, NOT !

All these Gymkhana videos are a bunch of marketing strategy hoping that he can increase the sale for Ford and draw more attention to the WRC. The truth is, he sucks at WRC. That is because he JUST started driving. MANY rally drivers (especially the European ones) started karting since they were 5 years old. They hone their skill and moved up the latter (like a true racecar driver).

Some young-Ken Block wannabe are gonna go down to the local Ford dealer hoping to purchase a Ford Focus just like the one that Ken Block drives; I would love to see their reaction....

The 4th Gymkhana video is lamer than ever. Lots of special effect, camera angles and lots of destroying shit.

Give the car to Sebastian Loeb, 1 take, no practice, no monkey on the segway, no explosion, flames or going thru a fake-brick wall; just pure rally-skill and it would blow Ken Block's socks off.
The latest "Gymkhana" video is full of skid marks ALL over the road (proof that he tried the stunts over and over again). You can't do that in a Rally stage.

I WOULD love to see this guy going against Ken Block:
Tuesday, August 16, 2011 10:44 PM
BTW, thanks for sharing this insight with us, I can appreciate good engineering. Ken Block's Fiesta is sick !
Clint Boisdeau
Clint Boisdeaulink
Tuesday, August 16, 2011 11:42 PM
^ just wow...
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 12:41 AM
How much boost exactly? WRC cars run 5.5-6 bar if not even more, atleast back in the 2 liter days
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 3:28 AM
Ken is a great driver when he's got lots of time to practice and has a track that plays to his strengths. His car is quick and the videos are definitely intense and show some serious driving ability, but put him on a WRC stage or rallycross stage and his weaknesses show. Look at his own gymkhana event...he was beaten by Tanner Foust, AT HIS OWN TRACK. If you look at any of his other videos, you'll see dozens of practice skid marks.

I agree with Eric that because of Ken (and Travis Pastrana, Colin McRae, and the X-Games), rallying has become cool again. WRC is slowly coming back, after years of decline. Mini has already joined and in 2 years VW will be in too. HD theater has tripled its coverage of rallying and has shortened the filim-to-air time because of fan demand. The coverage is great, the announcer knows his stuff, and the filming is about as good as it gets (far better than the X-Games). Both Mini and VW saw the publicity Subaru and Ford got from KB's videos and they want to cash in on some of the same. With any luck some of the other OEMs will rejoin the party.

Speaking of X-Games, this year's Rally event was a joke, the track was awful, the commentators were borderline retarded, and the event rules were off the wall. That was not a super special stage, and it was so small you could barely pass (though better than last year when everybody got lost). The track favored the high powered Fords and nobody else. The coverage was terrible, always cutting away from the good action and always missing the important stuff until the replays (I think this is ABC's fault-their GRC coverage is almost as bad, at least Paul Page is more on the ball). If they keep putting on a show like that, people will tune out. X-Games, please do it right!

On the drivetrain of the rally Fiestas vs. the road car...Ford sells the Fusion, a car that is raced in NASCAR. The NASCAR version has nothing in common with the road car, except for a few stickers. And yet, racing the "Fusion" in NASCAR sells road cars and gains exposure for Ford. This works in the WRC where the car flying through the air at least started out as a road car. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see a turbo AWD Fiesta, but just because there isn't one doesn't mean it will hurt sales.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 4:48 AM
@ 8695Beaters

Yea I do miss race on Sunday sell on Monday mentality.

It saddens me you can't even get the RS in the USA.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 6:03 AM
Great installment. Great article. Love MotoIQ articles.

I disagree with this being a Ford campaign. Looks more like a DC campaign. Dont agree? Neither Ford or WRC's website even have a photo up covering Ken's doings. But go to the DC website and it is all over it like it exploded onto the page. If I owned a company like DC, and was a WRC pilot, I think I too would pay my main supporters to allow me use of a WRC car, mechanics, and the location of my choice to promote my companies huge product line that I will probably make millions with.

Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 6:28 AM
Bruce: This gig is pretty cool, but you don't really have time to concentrate on how cool it is. You have to perform 100% and concentrate on the task at hand. But the meals are off the hook. Hollywood kraft services are the bomb!

Alex: Chill out. It's coming. Really. Do you really think Ford isn't listening after 34,000,000 views on Youtube for GYM3 alone?

Motary: Something like that.

Beaters: I don't know why the Subarus couldn't keep up at X-games with the Fords considering the Subies had 2.7 liter engines. Well I know why, but still. They should have been right up there with the Fords.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 9:26 AM
would the car be legal for any time attack class? I'd be interested to see how some of the top TA cars stack up to this...
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 11:27 AM
I'd like to see how this car would do at Pike's Peak
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 2:11 PM
i agree with both of you above ^ seeing how this car does in time attack would really put in perspective how quick the car actually is when grip driving, pikes peak would just be plain cool to watch!
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 2:14 PM
very similar car at pikes peak driven by Marcus Gronholm

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 2:15 PM
and the MotoIQ feature on it

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 3:23 PM
Finally got to see the vid (was at work earlier). I think the Hollywood stuff was pretty damn cool, they have to keep it fresh with every video they do. I think next time KB should get a second car in and have the two race through whatever set they pick. I vote for Travis Pastrana, have him go from rally car to NASCAR to dirtbike.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 7:00 PM
If I was blinded by money I'd go all "Hollywood" as well, like a under ground artist going mainstream and doing what corporate tells them to do.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 7:28 PM
Can't hate Ken Block, if I was a successful business man like him and had money, I would have cool toys too and do cool things like WRC. Being a good businessman, I would try to promote myself as well and defer expenses by getting good sponsorships. Millions of video views prove people are interested.

He is a good driver too, much better than 99% of us. Sure Tanner beat him and so did Dai Yoshihara in a 2WD car but he was within less than a second and 1/2 of them and they are truly great drivers. I thought I was a good driver until I went missile car drifting with him. I sucked. It makes e have way more respect for Drifters and Ken.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 8:28 PM
How do thet trigger those GoPro arrays ?
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 9:19 PM
Warmmilk: in time attack the turbo inlet restricer could come off and then the engine's entire powerband would change. It would be capable of much more power but at higher engine speeds. Since this engine is probably designed specifically for rallycross type output, I would imagine there's a chance it wouldn't be able to handle the new found power. Running it restricted as it wouldn't be any fun, but it would be interesting just to see.

I thought I overheard some talk about Pike's Peak but don't quote me on that.

Beaters: I agree keeping it fresh is a necessity when trying to appeal to the masses. Screw the haters when you know you are doing cool stuff and enjoying it, right?

dforce: you got it all wrong. I saw KB telling the director what he wanted. Most of the concept was his from what I understand. I think the suits listen to him. He's the one with the popularity and a nation of flatbiller black sock dc shoe wearing followers.

Mako: I think once they start the go pros they just let them run. They keep companies like Kingston in business with the massive amount of SD cards they must have.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 10:17 PM
Eric, I am not upset, I am sadden by the fact that Ford (and many other car manufactories) have not been listening to potential customers about sales and what people really want.
Are Ken Block's gymkhana videos an incentive for Ford to built an AWD Focus?
Maybe, but I am not crossing my fingers.

I want to expand this thought to other car companies.

How about the VW Golf R? Is it coming to the US? Who knows? (the Golf R was released in Europe two years) We, here in the US always have to wait a long fucking time for cool cars to show up, and many times, we don't get any.

How about the Civic Type R (FG2)? I am sure it would never sell here in the US (a sarcastic joke).

How about Toyota, and its FT86/ FR-S? So much tease, the AE86 is a bit old, ain't it? How many drifters have to wreck their AE86 before Toyota takes note?

How about the Suzuki Swift Sport? A sweet little AWD toy.

How about Mitsubishi ? They finally bite the bullet and imported the EVO VIII on our shore, while the seven previous editions were a lust for us (I bet you after Mitsubishi saw how many EVO VIII and IX they sold on this side of the pond, they eat their fingers like nobody's business).

Same thing can be said about Subaru: the first generation we got here was the lame RS 2.5L, while the rest of the world was zipping around in the 2.0 turbo.

Let's no talk about the Nissan Skyline.....lol

How about the Audi RS2 or RS4 station wagon? The US is not a good market for those cars? Was Audi afraid that people would buy an SUV instead? lol

How about Renault? How cool would it be to drive around in a Clio V6 3.0? We are not cool enough? Or maybe is the emission?

How about the BMW M5 station wagon?

I can go on and on. My point here is: I HIGHLY doubt Ken Block is the "savior" of Ford. Making those gymkhana videos won't help Ford selling any Fiesta or Focus.
Now, if he won some races in the WRC, he would have more credibility, but after getting beat by Tanner Foust at his own game, how can you blame people for not liking Ken Block. The Gymkhana videos are getting old quickly.
The 5th one will have more smashing shit and more doughnuts, should I be excited?

Valentino Rossi helped Yamaha TREMENDOUSLY selling tons of R1 and R6, because he's always been a balls-to-wall rider, since he started racing. Have you seeing Valentino Rossi's stunt video? Me neither, yet he helps to sell.
Valentino, always on the podium, he won A TON (not so much with the Ducati unfortunately). He shows to the fans he has heart and passion, and let the facts and numbers speak for themselves. That's what people like

Now, if Ken Block was the same....

Again, I'm not upset at you or anything. I think this type of marketing is lame and very "deja-vu'". How many Ken Block do we need in order for us to get cool cars?
End of the rant.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 3:56 AM
Coming to Ford's defense, they're doing quite well. Better than Toyota or any of the other American companies (though I think VW is still kicking everyone's ass). And the world-wide economy is still shaky, the car companies are being cautious with their plans until things get better.

Unless you're Honda. They've already announced a new NSX for 2015, which is conveninetly around the same time F1 goes turbo, and also after Indy Car goes turbo. And with a 500 hp hybrid V6 as the engine, I think it's safe to say that a turbo will be in the cards. Hmm, a turbo V6 with a hybrid boost...what racing series is going to be using that in 2014?
Thursday, August 18, 2011 4:23 AM
@8695Beaters: I understand where you come from, yes the economy sucks (for everyone, all around the globe), but this "trend" (of not importing cool cars in the US) is been going on for decades. You can't tell me it's "the economy."

In the mid 90's Senna helped Honda develope the NSX, and thanks to him, quite a few Honda/ Acura were sold. People bought the car because they thought: "if Senna helped, it must be good, afterall, he's a F1 champion."
What can we say about Ken Block?

Anyway, I actually agree with Mike (Kojima), most likely Ken Block is better than 99% of us (me included) but it's not enough to compensate for the lack of skill in WRC, where lots of money is at stake.
I am not expecting Ken Block to go head to head with Mikko Hirvonen or the like; but it seems that every other race he either crashes or DNF.
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Thursday, August 18, 2011 4:23 AM
JDMized - I totally hear you on the lack of understanding by the manufacturers to supply us with the good stuff. Unfortunately, the aftermarket can only go so far with the FWD US versions, before we say, "We want more!". Like I indicated before, IF Ford had an AWD version of the Fiesta, turbocharged would be nice too, then Ken, Tanner and the bunch would've had me sold on wanting one! Even if I could only get half the 800 hp those guys are getting!

For the record and according to Autoblog, Ford is giving us the the Focus ST, a sort of detuned version of the RS, fairly soon. With it's ecoboost, I'm sure some tuners can get the suspension and motor sorted to RS status and I'm sure someone will add an R and call it the RST. I'd be interested to know if Clint is gonna sell his record setting Focus to upgrade/downgrade to this new one?

I think Ken, Travis and even Deegan are a little polarizing to many of us because despite their car control, they were kind of given, especially in the case of Travis and Deegan, or directed to these opportunities based on popularity. I'm not discounting their moto-x experience, just saying their names helped make their shift. Whereas a Tanner has been driving for years and yet when we all watched the X-games, we heard so much about the 'names' rather than the REAL drivers!

Eric - Loved how you slipped that, "Well I know why, but still" :) I think even if Cosworth had sorted out their engines, the track did seem to have relatively few to maybe one passing zone(s).
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Thursday, August 18, 2011 4:38 AM
Beaters - "any it the other American companies"? I think it was anounced in the last couple weeks that GM is the world's number one again. That Cruze just keeps selling. Has anyone seen their BTCC version of it? Sweet like most cars in that series :)

JDMized - Senna helped influence Honda/Acura to stiffen the NSX chassis after a test drive (3 or 4 years after it came out). I think Piniferrai (or however it's spelled) helped design the sexy!
Dusty Duster
Dusty Dusterlink
Thursday, August 18, 2011 4:45 AM
If there were an AWD Turbo Fiesta available, I would not have bought a Mustang 5.0.

That is all.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 7:06 AM
Ken is actually a very good rally driver. I don't think he honestly expects to be on the podium in a WRC event. The fact that he got involved with motorsports when he was close to 40 years old and now has set many top 10 stage times in top level rallying is very impressive. His direct competition (Matt Wilson, Henning Solberg, Kimi Raikkonen etc.) have all been driving since a very young age, one even an F1 champion. Ken is a business man.

Companies don't enter WRC to sell 4wd hot hatches. They want to improve the image of their World cars (Focus, Fiesta, DS3, C4 etc).

I love how people (especially people involved with motorsports) hate these videos. Think of the other car related videos on the internet. How could you not enjoy these videos?

Also, this car is completely different then the MSE/Olsbergs Fiesta that Tanner uses and Ken used to use.
The MSE car is built from the ground up as a D1 ERC car and was adapted to run in US rally.
The new car is essentially a 2011 WRC with larger displacement and a different turbo/restrictor.

2 Liter WRCs used to run in the region of 3.5 bar absolute, not 5.5-6 bar. I'm sure they can get a little bit more with the 1.6. Top level D1 ERC cars are close to 4.5 absolute but the motors barely last one event.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 7:13 AM
I do agree that Ford does need to produce a car to compete with the Evo, Sti etc. The demand is obviously there.
I had a chance to drive a Focus RS (the 5 cyl one) when working in sweden last year and it was hands down the best FWD car I have ever driven. For the amount of power it had, it was so controlled and the traction control was almost completely unnoticeable. Interior, handling and sound was just as impressive. Even if they had that car here I would be happy.
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Thursday, August 18, 2011 8:02 AM
Alex: Manufacturers don't sell the "cool" cars in America because there's really only three areas that these types of cars sell: LA, NY, SF, Seattle, Florida, and some parts of Texas. Everywhere else these types of special cars would barely sell. The biggest part of America, the middle, wants displacement, torque, and an American badge. Sometimes I can't blame them: $40k for a type R civic that makes 225hp normally aspirated? That's a fucking joke unless you're a Honda fanboi. Can you blame Honda for not bringing the FD2? I can't. Honda isn't stupid either.

The AE86 is another joke (I never really cared for this car). The 4AG is, was, and will always be a little pile of shit with its whopping 89hp at the wheels. The only reason why this POS ever sold in America was because it was when Toyotas were cheap. Any FR car needs to either have a turbo or a big engine for it to have a chance in our domestic marketplace.

Whether its an Audi, VW, Honda, Mitsu or whatever, the cars must sell for manufacturers to bring them over. And do they sell in America? Not really. That is why there is not going to be an EVO 11. That is why there are no more Type-Rs in the America. Where are the Supras? For the price of an Audi RSx, you can buy a Z06 or a CTS-V. The only truly successful previously unavailable "cool" car that we have today is the STi. Not even the GTR is selling to expectations today.

Even if you think back in the early 90's when a 3000GT was $65k, a 300ZX TT was $55k, and a FC RX7 was $44k, would you have paid $110k for a Nissan BNR32 or 33? Fuck no. You could have bought a Ferrari back then for that much change. Nissan isn't stupid either.

Clio V6 Renault? Renault fucked themselves over in the 80s when they tried the US market and failed miserably because of their ignorance and complacency from being a government owned manufacturer. They know their reputation sucks ass here. Plus V6 cars don't sell in America unless they have a turbo on them. See the disappointing sales of the 370Z.

Suzuki? No comment. They should stick to bikes. Think SAMURAI.

You should counter your passion with some business sense. Nothing can exist in today's world without profit these days. Companies are run by accountants and MBAs that make profit first and passion last. The sooner you realize it, the sooner you'll be more accepting and a happier person. And if you must have these types of cars, then I guess you'll just have to move to Europe or Japan (while they still exist).

Ken will sell Fords to the younger generation. Just like he sells them shoes, black socks, and flatbill caps that go over your ears with the sticker still on the bill. And Ford has listened. You'll see. They see KB as a phenomenon.

I'm not bitching you out or anything. I'm just explaining myself by countering your examples.

Bruce: no, I wasn't saying because the Subies did not have Cossie engines. It's because the Fords are factory backed and have a bunch of money in the Fiesta development program. Subaru is cheap (and conservatively run by Japanese). It's essentially privateer vs. corporate sponsored.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 9:51 AM
Eric: well don't be stupid about it, just cause you're taking off the restricter doesn't mean you have to push all the boost the turbo will put out... Just take it off to free up some power on the top end and see how it runs. I'd actually be just as happy to see in run a TA event or 2 even with the restricter... I just wanna see how it does... I mean its making 600 hp already, most TA cars don't make that much
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Thursday, August 18, 2011 10:32 AM
Yeah but that's like drag racing at low boost: gay.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 10:52 AM
$40K for a FD2 Type R? Didn't realize it was that high, nor did I care to look at the price.
I'm sure you can build your own from a 8th gen Si (mechanical wise) out of Honda's parts bin for a lot cheaper. Stuff like the LSD transmission, good aftermarket suspension, etc..

This reminds me of the time Spoon tried to sell their version of the NSX-R GT. That car was priced at least 125K! Only to have 290-300Hp and bolts on that quality US companies carry for a lot less.

Btw, and you say your job is not cool.... : ) Being surrounded by baller parts and all.
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Thursday, August 18, 2011 11:46 AM
Well to be exact, it is 4,777,500 yen and using today's exchange rate, that's roughly $61250. How's that for a rip off? Cool car? Maybe if you're into Hondas. Cool price? Not really.

I didn't say my job is not cool. I said that sometimes it is better to keep your hobby as your hobby.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 12:45 PM
Roughly $61,250, F*** that! Especially since its still FWD and NA.
That is stepping out of the affordable price range of most enthusiast's budget, fanboy or not.

This is the forum post on the NSX-R GT I stumbled upon:
For 125K, I'll pass...

I wonder what Gymkhana 5 will look like...
Thursday, August 18, 2011 2:04 PM
kinda, but not really. for example at WTAK, SSE was 40km faster than most other cars there on the front straight, and there were plenty of others really close to its time, and the Cyber Evo was faster (not trying to take away anything from the SSE team). power isn't everything for laptimes...

and if the rumors of how much boost his car runs are true, than its "low boost" is way higher than most other cars high boost... lol
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Thursday, August 18, 2011 4:07 PM
Yeah I know what you mean. I'd like to see this car at the edge of its limit though. That is why they call it Time Attack not Time Cruise haha. It'll probably smoke all four tires out of every turn though without traction control.

We'll see. I'll mention it to the team manager the next outing I'm there with them.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 4:12 PM
yeah, it'd be sweet to see it out there at the limit, but I'd still be entertained seeing it in normal trim...
Thursday, August 18, 2011 4:27 PM
@Eric, the reason I quit being a half-ass mechanic and went back to school is for that very same reason. Working on other people's cars sucked! Now if I was offered a job as a Pirelli tire changer for Formula 1...well that would be worth changing tires for the rest of my life.

@Der Bruce, I had not heard that, I was remembering back to the last quarter of 2010 when Ford was the only car company making profits. Still, Ford is the only American company without government debt and they are quickly paying back the debts they had during the economic slide. With the exception of VW, they have been the strongest throughout the downturn and it is because they build cars that everyone wants. There are a few hot performance cars, but plenty of cars for the everyman. I've owned mostly Hondas since I started driving, and if it weren't for the CR-Z, I'd be looking at a new Ford.
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Thursday, August 18, 2011 8:41 PM
Eric - You're so right about the shift in Subaru. I THINK they've pulled out of almost all their motorsports stuff. They've become so domesticated lately, Subarus have grown into this center point for the earthy, outdoors people. At least up here in the NW, where admittedly we've (as in the NW) got to be some of Subies best customers.

Beaters - Don't hide it from us if you're gonna do a CRZ build? :)

I'd love to see these rally Fiestas in time attack. Once they're tuned for grip, you might start seeing parts break. That's a lot of torque and horsepower to put to pavement!
Thursday, August 18, 2011 8:59 PM
Eric you're right about marketing demographic, but as a car enthusiast you're asking me a bit too much about how to run a corporate. I simply don't know how to steal money from customers. Like you said, money first, passion later.

As far as the Civic Type R (the FG2 chassis, not the FD2 chassis). The price balloned due to the shitty dollar. When the Type R (FG2 chassis) came out in Japan about 2 years ago, the dollar was much stronger, and THAT Civic was about $29,000. There's no way on Earth I would pay $60,000 for a Type R these days. Like I said, now it's not the right time to buy those cars, but back then, when the dollar was stronger; heck the Civic Type R proved to be very competitive against the S2000.

Anyway, back to the topic. I really got no beef with Ken Block's way of life. "He's good as selling those flatbill caps and black socks", much like was Travis Pastrana when he raced for Subaru. Speaking of which, you think Subaru's sales went up because of Pastrana?

I have to admit though, when I first saw Ken Block in Vegas about 5-6 years ago debuting with his new three different Subaru STi at the Gunball 3000, all painted pink, gold and blue, I thought that was gay, and the only thing that crossed my mind was: "another rich racecar driver wannabe blowing money left and right."

Then he started to race the Rally America, and after that the first gymkhana video. I actually thought it was pretty cool.....but after the sequel, it just went down hill. You knew where he was going. Ever since, he's been trying too hard to appeal to the masses.

There are TONS of very talented drivers that do not have the means of Ken Block, but with a little help (financial help) they could get big. Those people have been racing since they were in elementary school, SO....for the motorsport fans (like Bill stated), yes, we get pissed, and say WTF? This clown shows up and steal the show with his non-sense videos.
Or maybe it's just me, I'm so narrow minded that I fucking like simplicity and enjoy someone go balls-to-the-wall. No gimmicks, no tricks, no CGI, no stunts, just pure motorsport, and Ken Block (in my eyes) does not represent that.
Friday, August 19, 2011 3:59 AM
@ Der-Bruce, I think I worded that wrong. I don't have a CR-Z, and probably won't for a while because I'm still in college and have no money. If I was in the market for a new car, I'd buy one in a heartbeat. A fun car that still gets good mileage? Sign me up. I used to have a CRX and while it was slow, it was way fun and I wish I had kept it. If they're still for sale when I can afford a new car, I'll definitely buy one and I'd love to build it up here.

Since there's a lot of talk about whether or not KB is helping sell Fords, I guess nobody saw the Power Academy ads that Ford was running throughout the X-Games (anyone else find it ironic that they showed nothing but driving shots and then told you NOT to film yourself driving?).
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Friday, August 19, 2011 5:27 AM
Alex: yeah I think you might be narrow minded much like I am with domestic engines in drift cars. You think money shouldn't buy the ability to race and and I think LSes are for people who don't know how to build an import engine. But the reality is this world isn't fair: he who makes the money can race whether you like it or not. Just like an LS7 offers better bang for the buck than any import engine out there out of the box. What does it all mean? Life isn't fair and tough shit for us (or the poor drivers and drifters).

And yes, I definitely think Pastrana and Ken Block having raced Subarus in the past have contributed to the cool factor of a Subaru. Now you see the bros wearing the flatbilled caps, dickies shorts, and black socks hopping out of Subies instead of a bro truck in Huntington Beach. You NEVER saw that before Pastrana and Block started driving Subies.
Friday, August 19, 2011 10:31 AM
Perhaps I am narrow minded; but I tell you one thing: I would never like to be in Ken Block's shoes, (no pun intended).
I don't think "money shouldn't buy the ability to race."
I would straight up lie if I thought so. You need tons of money to race. And if the family or sponsors are not backing you up, it's tough.

Ken Block has every right to race and have fun with his money. I have quite a few friends that are well off (fully sponsored and have few Motorhome to use when they cross the states to go racing), but they keep it low key. No reason to show it off (hire some Hollywood producer and waste a shit load of money in useless crap).

You know? Mike (Kojima) once said; "these days kids don't like fast cars anymore, they like cool cars, and that's what's killing this industry" words to live by.

Just look at the sheer load of dumbasses buying Scion tC/ xB thinking it's a good platform to race (than they add those useless JDM knick-knacks for shits and giggles, thinking their car is seriously fast), and I love JDM stuff, but I draw a line between crap like that, and stuff that works.

Those hypeters are THE SAME ones that buy flatbilled caps from DC Shoes, Dickies pants and whore the internet with their SPE crap, that's the future Eric ! And you and I are not in good hands....lol

The same folks watch a Ken Block gymkhana video and pumped go to the Ford dealer hoping to get a AWD Fiesta. There's a lot of hype in this industry these days (and Ken Block is one of the reason why this hype exists)....and I have VERY low tollerance for people like that.

For entertainment sake, I would rather watch this vid than Ken Block's vids:

Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Friday, August 19, 2011 11:20 AM
Car culture is huge. There is plenty of room in this market for cool cars and seriously fast cars alike. Damn, when did you become the car Nazi? People enjoy cars for different reasons just like they like different kinds of movies. You like action and your friend likes comedy movies. Do you think your frined is lame for liking comedy?

You must have lame cars to have cool cars. You must have mild to have wild. Do you understand? Opposites must exist for anything to be. If everybody had hardcore race cars and "earned" their seat in a sponsored race car, nothing would be hardcore and nobody would be THAT skilled.

So for you to think anything is as cool as you might think it is, the polar opposite must exist. Trust me, I like the hardcore cars as much as you do and I make fun of lame shit all the time, but you have to understand that everybody has to start somewhere. Some people start with a lame Scion with lame JDM accessories like you said, but some of those owners will graduate that phase and move into something better after the discover the joys of motoring, racing, hellflushing, building, whatever. Not everybody is born super hardcore and get the Alex stamp of approval.
Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Friday, August 19, 2011 11:33 AM
That video is dope BTW. KB's Gymkhana 1 @ the Tustin AFB was still more entertaining though.
Friday, August 19, 2011 11:57 AM
If you want to get politically correct:
FG2 is the two door 2006-2011 Si. Google it.

"Civic Type R proved to be very competitive against the S2000."
^ The S2000 still is a much better platform once you start addressing its shortcomings. The FD2 still mostly hype, just like how people buy '94-'01 Integra GSR over '94-'01 Integra LS front brake calipers; same exact part, just cheaper because of the hype.

Car companies nowadays are more conservative with performance cars as it they have a lower profit margin than their "bread and butter" cars. In this economy its understandable.
Although I too would like to see a AWD turbo Fiesta, that would be badass.

Friday, August 19, 2011 12:06 PM
Mike Ryan has brass balls taking that Truck up Pikes Peak.
Michael Sheppard
Michael Sheppardlink
Friday, August 19, 2011 12:38 PM
Trollers gonna troll...
Friday, August 19, 2011 2:09 PM
so imma put on my asshole hat for a couple mins

here's what happened
KB has money
he want to have some fun
he rents airport and does some driving
decides to tape it
puts it on youtube
people like it, a lot of people, millions of people
said vid gets millions of views
he thinks: I can promote my company and my self as a driver while having fun, i'll make some more vids

mean while JDMized:
F#*&@(#%$&@ I'm so jealous of KB!!!! I wish I was rich like him so flat billers would watch my youtube vids!!!

but seriously, if you don't like it, don't watch it, go look up some rally vids on youtube... nobody is forcing this down your throat, nobody is saying he's the best WRC driver in the world... what difference does it make to you what he does with his money and what he puts on youtube? I've seen plenty of worse vids on youtube... just let it go and save yourself some stress...

btw, I'm assuming you're gonna post some sort of reply to this saying I'm stupid or something... I'm not gonna reply, this is all I have to say on "people that hate KB for no reason" subject (not just you)

and just for fun, KB at the dentist:
Friday, August 19, 2011 9:16 PM
@Econobox: thanks for the correction, I got that the other way around.

@Eric: I agree, I actually liked Ken Block's first gymkhana video (like many other million people), it was fairly simple and asides from the segway scene, it didn't have many gimmicks. Then I watched the second gymkhana, and I thought: "whatever", then the third...."whatever, then the "forth", same reaction.....but SINCE Ken Block now races in WRC, he MUST be practicing a lot right? So I thought: "he must be getting better with his driving" but after the first gymkhana.....nope, same lame-hyped up shit, but that's cool, to each his own right?
Like you said there are people that like comedy movies, and others like action movies better, same thing here. I really dislike Ken Block's vids. The dude is trying really too hard IMO.

@warmmilk: I am not jealous, I just dislike how Ken Block promotes himself, that's all. Can I have my own opinion, or do I have to like his stuff like you and many others?
You're comment about "if you don't like it don't watch it"....it's plain stupid. Why? I NEVER judge the book by its cover. Same thing with Ken Block. I watched the first one and actually like it, I watched the second one, and dislike it, BUT....BUT, I still wanted to see if Ken Block could come up with something interesting, SO I watched the third and forth....and STILL didn't like it, so I draw a conclusion.
Moral of the story: don't judge the book by its cover. I gave Ken Block the benefit of the doubt, hoping that his videos would be as cool as the first one if not better, unfortunately they were not, IMO.

"Nobody is saying he's the best WRC driver in the world" I know that, you know that, but surprisingly, yes surprisingly MANY other people think he's the best, (that's because he puts up those sick ass vids on youtube you know?).

What difference does it makes to me that he uses his money to make those videos? Because a second later you'd have TONS of high school kids whoring the net claiming they are the shit because they just drifted their FWD Scion at the local parking lot. It's dumb and annoying, but I let it go, then another kid says the same shit, then another one, and another one. So annoying that in the past few years became the norm !

Don't believe me? Eric responds to those guys on Import Tuners every months. Some of those VERY idiots sometimes ask the dumbest shit ever, instead of doing their little reasearch first.
Eric, share with us some of those questions...haha
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Saturday, August 20, 2011 1:17 PM
JDMized/Alex - It's kind of funny how Ken Block gets under your skin :) BUT for the record, I could pull out a picture of me back in Germany in '99 wearing a pair of Dickies shorts (and black socks for that matter) long before I ever heard the name Ken Block!

Eric - If Ford ever did bring an AWD ecoboosted Fiesta to the US, they'd be crazy not to do a Cosworth special. The Cosworth Fords are legendary over here! Oh and I'm marking August 19th down as the day Eric Hsu said the LS7 was a better bang for the buck than any import engine out of the box and that there is no replacement for displacement (here and on Dave's article)! The day has been noted :)
Saturday, August 20, 2011 8:11 PM
You were probably wearing those dickies because you liked them, not because there was Ken Block bombarding the net with DC advertisement.

I am narrow minded, so is Eric (and many other people on here).
I think Eric now is putting together those articles from people that mail him every month asking for dumb questions on Import Tuner :)
I'll sit back and relax and wait for the reply :) If not, I'll wait til next month for the next Import Tuner and see who's next on the list haha
Sunday, August 21, 2011 5:00 PM
Hah. You said "lame Scion!"

(...going back to building up my Yates headed Ford shitbox...)

Mark F
Mark Flink
Wednesday, August 24, 2011 3:45 AM
My biggest dissapointment in cars...making the Mazdaspeed3 FWD instead of AWD. From what the nerdy GTX mailing list, there was a couple mules with AWD drivetrains...too bad no GTX for the new era...

Eric Hsu
Eric Hsulink
Sunday, August 28, 2011 8:11 AM
Bruce: let me attempt to explain my comments :). Of course I know the LS7 is the best bang for the buck compared to any import engine. In fact there isn't an import engine that you can buy complete for $15k and have LS7 performance. My viewpoint has always been that you can take a VQ35 and with substantial work, destroy the LS7 in overall performance. I have always been talking about this from MY point of view where I have the resources to do this cost effectively. Admittedly, the average guy would probably spend a fortune attempting to make a VQ outperform an LS7.

As for the "no replacement for displacement" comment, I've always made that comment conditionally. In the context of Dave's article, he has a primary fixed parameter which is street gas, or California's shitty ass 91 octane. Using this piss water, there is actually no replacement for displacement.
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Sunday, August 28, 2011 11:14 AM
Eric - Haha, don't worry, I won't be expecting any LS swap projects from you in the near future! BUT I will forever have evidence that you are an extremely rational person who can even admit there are advantages to the LS :) I mean, how many guys on the web seem so opinionated with such narrow viewpoints. It can wear when reading or listening to these guys. I don't think the VQ and LS are the great whites of the sports compact world but they certainly are 2 of the top dogs in my opinion.

With regard to Dave's project, I'm actually suprised none of us has suggested a water-methanol kit to help curb detonation and get THE most out of the 91 octane. I just thought of it while I was typing this. I came up with another new one for you. There's no replacement for displacment unless you want the production of forced induction!
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 8:03 PM
Carlos only spun a car once for spectators on his last rally for Citeron and his last rally in the WRC. He was much more focused on obtaining results for the teams he was paid by to worry about entertaining. He was responsible for getting Danny Sordo in the WRC .... Carlos is about getting real drivers into the sport, not sideways cap wearing knuckle draggers onto the side of the road - the sport has survived this long without this lot. Check your facts.
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