Fire! Zombie! Ninja! Shark! A jet-propelled scooter! The Bates Motel! Bollywood! Ken Block! Drifting! A 2011 Ford Fiesta! And yet, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what you’ll find in DC Shoes: Ken Block’s Gymkhana FOUR; the Hollywood Megamercial (GYM4), the latest installment in what’s become the uber-popular series of online videos, which debuted on August 16, 2011 on www.youtube.com (and already has had more than 2.5 million views!). GYM4 was filmed on the Universal Studios backlot in Hollywood, California; to watch the video, click here.
Ken Block and DC’s Gymkhana THREE was the most-watched automotive video of 2010 (with over 36 million views), and Ken has a familiar co-star in FOUR: his Monster World Rally Team Ford Fiesta. “Gymkhana is just one of those things that I really love doing, especially with my new Ford Fiesta H.F.H.V racecar,” Ken said. “This is my second year with Ford and my race cars have been working great. My newest Fiesta, the H.F.H.V., is the highest spec car I have ever had and the fact that it’ll do what I need it to do for Gymkhana and then it can transform into either a rallycross car or a stage rally car is awesome. Plus, we weren’t easy on it at all during filming for Gymkhana FOUR and it just kept asking for more!” H.F.H.V.: that’s shorthand for Hybrid Function Hoon Vehicle, and it has been purpose-built to transform between the specialized set-ups required for Gymkhana (stage rally and rallycross); thus, the Hybrid designation by the Monster World Rally Team.
The GYM4 H.F.H.V. Fiesta was a collaborative project between the Monster World Rally Team and some of the world’s top technical partners. The chassis of the H.F.H.V. Fiesta is based on M-Sport’s current 2011 Ford Fiesta RS WRC car, but in order to achieve the power outputs required for both rallycross and Gymkhana, the 1.6-liter engine has been replaced with a Pipo Moteurs–built 2.0-liter inline-four cylinder, based off the powerplant found previously in the Focus RS WRC car, an engine with more than 10 years of development. The result is a massive 600 horsepower and 665 ft.-lb. of torque when using the 45mm restrictor. While the 2.0-liter engine makes the H.F.H.V. ineligible for WRC competition, the addition of a 34mm restrictor allows the car to compete in the Rally America series. Engine management is handled by Cosworth Electronics.
Mated to this 2.0-liter Ford motor is a custom all-wheel-drive system designed by Sadev. The drivetrain features a six-speed Sadev sequential transmission and three adjustable Sadev mechanical differentials. Different gear ratios are used for each of the Hybrid’s three modes. To handle the varying surface conditions, specific Reiger suspension set-ups have been developed for each of the three modes. The transformations from each of the modes range from half a day to a whole day’s work. The rallycross and Gymkhana set-ups are the most similar, but each discipline still requires different gear ratios, suspension settings and wheel and tire combinations, in addition to engine mapping adjustments. The conversion to stage rally, however, is even more involved, including an entire relocation of the cooling system from back to front and a smaller brake set-up as well as the addition of a Recaro Ultima seat for a co-driver, a smaller turbo and items such as functional headlights to replace the faux lamps to make the H.F.H.V. road worthy.
In his time with Ford, Ken has maintained a high profile within the Ford Racing program, appearing in several national promotions like “Rock it Like Block” and “43 Fiestas,” as well as being one of the most popular drivers for Ford Racing. Ken is a key component and prominently featured in the comprehensive promotional campaign supporting the new Octane Academy initiative. The Octane Academy is the consumer outreach tied to Ford Racing Action Motorsports program in which consumers can submit a video at www.octaneacademy.com and be selected to participate in a driver-developed four-day action sports weekend, a true “once in a lifetime experience” over the next year. The participants will vie for the opportunity to win a custom vehicle designed by their host driver. Click here to read more about the Octane Academy on theFordStory.com.