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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Ken Block has truly built himself into a brand name in the drifting, racing and general car shenanigans world. When he goes racing, it seems there is always a camera crew lurking in the shadows ready to catch the action.
The newest Block video shows Ken running his tuned up Ford Fiesta through the 100-acre wood, a track located in Salem, Missouri in the foothills of the Ozark mountains. Sideways driving and jumps are featured to make the video really pop off the screen.
Check it out after the break.
Race cars, check. Beautiful women, check. Ken Block video, check. Gymkhana racing with Ken Block in video, negative. Wait, what? Ken Block is releasing a video that has no real action in it and it’s still worth watching?
The Ford Fiesta driver spoofs himself with the aid of actor and comedian Nick Swardson in this fairly hilarious video. From inventing his own vegetable called the “Blockli” to referring to rival Travis Pastrana as the drummer from Blink 182, this 2012 race season interview is not only creative, but well worth the laughs.
Whether you like Block or not, you have to admit that he certainly knows how to make a viral video.
Watch the interview below:
Just in time for the holiday season, Hot Wheels announced a lineup of Ken Block toys now available at retailers nationwide such as Toys “R” Us, Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart and Pep Boys. Three individual products make up the Ken Block Hot Wheels line, a 1:64-scale die-cast 2011 Ken Block Ford Fiesta Hot Wheels car, a Hot Wheels RC Nitro Speeders Ken Block Fiesta, and a 1:16-scale Hot Wheels Ken Block RC Stunt Car.
The 1:64-scale die-cast Fiesta is available sporting the black or white liveries, depending on your preference and comes in at a mere $1.00. The RC Nitro Speeders Fiesta is a small, self-containing RC car and controller and has the ability to go 0-60 mph in scale speed in just 1-second. The Speeders is for sale at $26.00. Lastly, the RC Stunt Car is a fully functional remote controlled car with two different drift modes, allowing the user to pull both wide and tight drifts. It features a scale speed of 0-80 mph in less than 2-seconds for just $45.00.
This is just the beginning of the collaboration, as Block elaborated that he’s already working with Hot Wheels for some 2012 items, including some of his current projects that are still secret.
GALLERY: Ken Block Hot Wheels
The viral success of Ken Block’s Gymkhana videos gave rise to the Gymkhana GRID competition, which is basically a bunch of fancy driving stunts masquerading was a real motorsport. The first one achieved commercial success, and a second event was planned for the end of October in Hollywood, Ca. Now, the event has been cancelled due to a pending legal dispute.
Gymkhana GRID’s founder Chris Willard had originally approached Ken Block and DC to collaborate on the events, and Block gave Willard his blessing to run the events. Somewhere along the line, things changed and DC Shoes attempted to trademark the name, while simultaneously issuing a cease-and-desist order to Willard to prevent him from using the name for his events.
While Willard seems unsure of why DC decided to pursue this course of action, a legal representative for Block told Autoblog that his client wanted to make sure that Gymkhana GRID was at a “… level where it’s supposed to be, and that it’s ran right and ethically.”
Without wading into murky legal territory, it’s safe to assume that there’s a serious case of not seeing eye-to-eye here and with a dearth of facts, it’s prudent to avoid making any judgement calls this early in the game.
***UPDATE*** AutoGuide.com has been contacted by former “0-60 Magazine” Editor and Brand Director for Ken Block’s new brand “Hoonigan“, Brian Scotto, who has informed us that the car does not in fact belong to Ken Block. There is, however, a connection, with the actual owner being none-other than Scotto himself, who does plan to show the vehicle at SEMA to promote the new Hoonigan brand. Stay tuned for info on the car and more details on “Hoonigan.”
Japanese Porsche tuner RWB (RAUH-Welt Begriff) has earned quite a reputation for building some wild retro German machines. Massive spoilers, bright paint and extreme widebodies are all a part of the plan for a shop that promises exclusivity with only one car per customer.
While still on the fringes of auto culture, RWB is about to get some mainstream attention with news that its latest client is none-other than Gymkhana expert Ken Block.
No details have yet been released, but it’s all but certain that this could be the wildest RWB creation yet. Rumors indicate that Block’s creation could be on display at this year’s 2011 SEMA Show.
GALLERY: RWB Porsches
Ford fans, start your engines! Ford’s new TV series, Octane Academy, is coming to FUEL TV and its adrenaline-pumping challenges will get your motor revving.
This 13-episode original television series follows driving contestants of Octane Academy as they are put through the paces of a series of challenges while staying at four action sports camps. There will be three episodes for each of the camps and will begin airing in early 2012 on FUEL TV.
“We’re really excited to bring Ford’s Octane Academy to life in an exciting show that will feature quick cuts, comic relief and risk-taking scenarios that take both the pro drivers and everyday Joes out of their comfort zones in the name of entertainment,” said Peter Vesey, FUEL TV Vice President, Advertising Sales.
You can start watching Ford’s Octane Academy this November, which starts with the first camp hosted by Brian Deegan. Taking up the challenge of the academy will be 32 ultimate fans who get the chance to be behind the wheel of a sports car. These lucky contestants will be paired up with famous Ford action sports drivers, including Brian Deegan, Ken Block, Tanner Foust and Vaughn Gittin Jr. They’ll get to test out their driving skills using the F-150 SVT Raptor, Mustang and the Focus.
The race to get into Ford’s Octane Academy started this July and garnered more than 6,000 applications and 850 video submissions. The racing hopefuls had to explain why they have what it takes to survive a weekend of on- and off-road challenges. Out of those applicants, only 32 were picked to compete in the four camps that will be hosted over the course of the year. Eight contestants participate in each camp and have to battle it out with a battery of challenges and dares over one long weekend. Each of the Ford action sports drivers get to design their ultimate playground for the contestants, and give them a crash course in how to master the road while testing their attitudes, athleticism and audacity. Drivers who stand out move ahead and pick up prizes, and the overall winner of each camp will be awarded a new Ford vehicle of their choice.
Ken Block has released the fourth installment of his Gymkhana video series, aptly titled Gymkhana 4, for the flatbill wearers of the internet to enjoy and play ad nauseam.
We won’t spoil any of the video for you, but it’s an appropriate follow-up to the last three mini-films. Check it out below.
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Ken Block’s Gymkhana 4 has been filmed and is ready for release in a few days, on August 16. To hype up the release of the video, a teaser trailer has been released, getting us ready for some serious hoon action. In the video, we get a thirty second taste of the turbocharged rally monster. Nine GoPro cameras catch the half-metre long flame flowing out of the Ford’s titanium exhaust. We are very excited to see what Ken has up his sleeves for us.
Check out the video after the jump!
Ken Block, the man who knows a thing or two about getting a car to go sideways, has revealed the release date for the long awaited Gymkhana 4.
Ken Block posted the following on his Facebook page this week, “I am exhausted, but almost done with filming Gymkhana FOUR, which is coming out August 16th. I traveled the globe for it, and am positive of this: GYM4 > GYM3.” Block also release a few sneak peak pictures of the video and there have been sightings of his Fiesta complete with “Gymkhana FOUR” decals in Brawdy South Wales last month. There is a strong possibility that the filming took place at RAF Brawdy in South Wales, and in one of the pictures the Fiesta is accompanied by a military vehicle. Regardless of where it was filmed, we are all pumped to see some serious hoonage!
[Source: Fast Car]
With their team of star drivers behind them, Ford is launching the Octane Academy that will bring their ultimate fans face to face with their favorite action sports driver. The all-star cast of Ken Block, Tanner Foust, Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Brian Deegan will be hosting four different camps throughout the year, one by each driver. At each camp, contestants that are selected through video submissions will get to go head-to-head in testing their driving skills.
Each driver will design their own playground, allowing participants to experience out-of-this-world driving lessons while being recorded for the Octane Academy series. And participants that compete to the level that each driver is satisfied with, will win prizes including an overall grand prize of a one-off vehicle created by each of the drivers.
Those interested in entering to possibly become a participant will need to do a video submission telling their story of why they think they have what it takes to survive in the crazy world of Ford’s top tier drivers. The first camp will be hosted by Deegan in November and will feature the theme of Ford RallyCross and Off-Road truck racing. Drivers will get to participate in a Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. Those wanting to meet up with Block, will get to get behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta in probably a Gymkhana-themed academy. No doubt Gittin Jr. will get his participants amped up and behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang looking to go sideways. Lastly, Foust will be able to train his drivers in a Ford Focus with an X-Games inspired theme.
Check out a video announcing the Ford Octane Academy after the break.
The BullRun is here and you don’t need any more evidence that this – a Ferrari F430 Spider doing some gymkhana-style hooning on the top of a parking garage.
According to the YouTube posting, the BullRunner used to drive rally cars in Europe and certainly isn’t afraid of showing off his skills, even if he has more than a few close calls.
At the start of this video the F-car has a brand new set of tires, by the end, they’re completely corded.
With today marking the start of the BullRun rally from Las Vegas to Miami, look for more automotive shenanigans to come.
Watch the video after the jump:
After racking up 32.3-million views on his Gymkhana Three Part 2 video alone, Ken Block will be joined by his major sponsor Ford on the World Gymkhana Tour’s inaugural season. The first World Gymkhana Tour will have stops in Austria, Australia and the United States. It will also coincide with the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) and X Games 17, both of which will be huge competition events for Ken Block.
The first stop of the World Gymkhana Tour will take place in Vienna, Austria on July 10th where Ford of Europe plans on a two-day celebration featuring Ken Block with special displays and a Gymkhana festival. They will also be offering up to 43 limited edition Monster Fiestas to consumers as part of the promotion at the event.
When they stop in the United States on July 23rd, the weekend prior to X Games 17, Ford, Block and the Monster World Rally Team will be going for a three-peat at the X Games. Ford will also be unveiling a major national consumer promotion involving their action motorsports program.
At their last stop in Australia on September 2-3rd, Block will be busy visiting Ford’s plants in Victoria where he’ll get an opportunity to drive a V8 Supercar as well as meet professional surfer Tyler Wright.
[Source: GT Channel]
Whether you know Ken Block from his infamous Gymkhana videos, or his other antics, there’s no denying his penchant for causing a stir among automotive enthusiast. And this time he got a lot of people’s attention simply by posting a photo on his Facebook profile and adding this as its caption: “Testing one of my ‘secret projects’ in the UK right now, the “Hybrid”. Who says the word “hybrid” has to mean boring?”
Now there’s no doubt in anyone’s minds that every automotive manufacturer developing hybrids right now want to push the technology and platform to the general consumer. So does this mean that Ford is working with Block to promote a Fiesta hybrid? Or maybe Ken’s definition of a hybrid is shoving in the STi’s powerplant under the hood of a Ford Fiesta. We’re sure it’s just a matter of time before Block reveals “The Hybrid” in its full glory.
[Source: Ken Block's Facebook]
Gymkhana expert, flat-bill cap aficionado and a man who knows the importance of thanking his sponsors, Ken Block, will drive a Formula 1 car.
Wait… what? OK, Block won’t actually race a car, he’s just going to drive one. The car will be the Pirelli F1 test car, and Block will drive it on August 5th at Monza in Italy. The stunt is being arranged through Pirelli, which signed on as one of Block’s sponsors in 2009 and is the current tire supplier for Formula One.
“I’ve been lucky enough to do some pretty spectacular stunts in my career so far,” said the stunt-driver turned WRC pro, “but this is something else! Everybody talks about Formula One being the pinnacle of world motorsport so I can’t wait to discover it for myself. I’m very grateful to Pirelli, which has been one of my partners since 2010, for this amazing opportunity. These cars are so specialised that I need to be realistic about what I can do, but I know that it’s going to be a lot of fun and take hooning to a whole new level…”
Ken Block isn’t only getting his hands dirty piloting his Ford Fiesta to ridiculous fame. He’s teamed up with SPY Optic to come out with a limited edition collection of shades with unmistakable Ken Block style.
The five models, Murena, Kubrik, Cooper XL, Kash and Logan, all sport different attributes that can relate to Block and his Fiesta. The Kubrik for example, features Block’s unmistakable black drips seen on his Fiesta.
Each style has options for color choices. So if you’re looking for a new set of shades to rock, hit the source link.
[Source: Spy Optic Blog]
Ken Block and Tanner Foust are becoming household names in the world of motorsports, with Ken Block’s infamous Gymkhana videos and Tanner Foust being on every other automotive television show, rally race and former Formula Drift champion. Both are stars in their own way and both drivers have a cult fan following while campaigning their Ford Fiestas through motorsports mayhem.
This time around both Foust and Block (and their Fiestas) star in a promotional video for the upcoming DiRT 3 video game in a wicked, virtual gymkhana battle. And while DiRT 3′s Gymkhana mode has mostly been revolved around the presence of Ken Block, there’s no denying Foust’s presence after beating Block at the invitational Gymkhana Grid.
We’ll all be looking forward to campaigning either one of these awesome machines virtually on May 24th, when DiRT 3 is released.
Check out the video after the break.
Known for pulling wild stunts behind the wheel of his Ford Fiesta rally car, Ken Block had zero intention of rolling the high-powered machine five times. But that’s just what happened during a shakedown of the car ahead of the Rally of Portugal event this weekend.
Block, and co-pilot Alex Gelsomino were both admitted to hospital, after he lost control of the car in a ‘fourth-gear incident’ (read: going stupid fast). Both have since been released without injuries – although early reports indicated Block’s flatbill cap may never be the same.
The car, unfortunately, was damaged too severely for Block to compete in this weekend’s third-round of the World Rally Championship.
See video of the crash after the jump:
You may not be able to get behind the wheel of Ken Block’s #43 Ford Fiesta, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the smaller version out for a spin. Ken Block has teamed up with Traxxas to bring you a remote controlled version of the famous car.
This 1/16-scale Fiesta model is powered by a brushless motor that turns all four wheels and give it enough juice to hit up to 30 miles per hour. If that’s not enough for you, there’s also the option of upgrading to a pinion gear, second NiMH battery and series connector – with all the extras added on, the mini Block car can reach a top speed to over 50 mph.
You can pick up the car for about $300. You can check out a mini Gymkhanna-style video of the car in action after the jump.
With all the publicity Ken Block has created with his Gymkhana videos, and now more recently the Gymkhana Grid events, it’s no surprise that the digital video game world has embraced it as well. Given the popularity of the Gran Turismo series (and even Forza Motorsport) we can’t say we’re a bit surprised that another popular video game racing series has brought Gymkhana to homes.
DiRT 3 by Codemasters will be featuring a Gymkhana Mode in addition to the traditional off-road racing gameplay. And what better way to show off the upcoming entertainment than with a demo of Ken Block’s Ford Fiesta doing its best job re-enacting one of his videos in the game? Suddenly we have a new game to anxiously wait for a release date on.
Check out the video after the jump:
Ken Block’s Gymkhana videos are a lot of sound and fury but ultimately signify nothing. A combination of great editing, a specially prepared car and an unrivaled hype machine has propelled Block to the top of the Youtube heap. But his newest video, barely 2 minutes in length, is genuinely awesome.
Piloting a 1978 Ford Escort through an upstate New York rally course, the video is unfortunately brief but manages to dose you with just enough vintage rally goodness to keep you satiated. Check it out below, after the jump.
After claiming this year’s Formula Drift championship, Vaughn Gittin Jr. is looking to further expand his driving resume by participating in this weekend’s Gymkhana Grid event at Irwindale Speedway. His weapon of choice will be Ken Block’s old 1978 Ford Escort Mk2, now sporting Monster Energy Drink livery.
For those not in the know, Gymkhana Grid is presented by Ken Block, known for his ridiculously awesome gymkhana videos. Several of Formula Drift’s top drivers will be in attendance, including Gittin Jr.’s Falken teammate, Daijiro Yoshihara, Matt Powers, Ross Petty and Joon Maeng, just to name a few. If you’re in the area, make sure to stop by Irwindale Speedway to get your motorsports fix until next season starts.
[Source: Wrecked Magazine]
Still confused about Gymkhana Grid? See after the jump for a quick promo video:
This weekend Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, CA will host the first ever Gymkhana GRID Racing Series – the Ken Block Invitational.
Bringing together racers from different series, the GRID Invitational will see the pros compete on a course designed by Ken Block – the man who popularized the Gymkhana fad.
And even if you don’t like Gymkhana, or Ken Block, or just can’t make it to the event, Block’s marketing folks have struck gold once again, with a commercial for the Invitational that’s definitely worth a watch and is sure to give you a few laughs. It even takes a swing at long-time Block rival Travis Pastrana, who recently left his rally ways for the NASCAR circuit.
Check out the video after the jump:
We all know Ken Block is a cool guy and a self-made millionaire, but what nobody seems willing to admit is that the guy can’t drive. Well, maybe he has some talent, but not nearly as much as Ford and Monster Energy Drink’s PR machine would have us believe.
Although he has some of the most successful viral videos to his credit, Block has only scored a total of two points in WRC over three whole seasons. It seems like without a purpose built, hydraulic-handbrake equipped car and some quality video editing, Block can’t pull it together. Hit the jump and decide for yourself.
Video after the jump
As if we needed another reason to be jealous of Ken Block. The millionaire entrepreneur and rally driver has a full sponsorship package with both Ford and Monster Energy Drinks just got a brand spanking new Ford Focus RS thanks to The Blue Oval’s generosity.
Wearing Michigan manufacturer plates, the Focus RS is painted in the car’s signature green color, with black Volks Racing wheels added in to make the car look a bit different from the other Focus RS that resides in the U.S.A, also painted the same shade of green. The car is fairly stock for now, with a KW Variant suspension being the other major modification, but a host of power upgrades and a skull and crossbones motif on the headrests of the Recaro seats are expected to appear on the RS post-SEMA.
Gallery: Ford Focus RS