That man Ken Block has another Gymkhana video out today. This time, instead of drifting his way through a city or abandoned factory, he’s upped the stakes. You see, Mr. Block took his Ford Mustang up to the top of Pikes Peak in Colorado. Yes, that Pikes Peak, the one that runs up the side of a mountain, much of it above the tree line, with few guardrails and thousand-foot drops off the side.
It’s called Climbkhana:
You will recognize Block’s 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR from few years ago when he released his Gymkhana Seven video. Back then, his Mustang was powered by a “nonsensical” 845hp (630kW) naturally aspirated 6.7L V8. But last year, the Hoonicorn got an upgrade. Now it sports a pair of turbochargers too large to be contained by the hood, and it uses methanol as a fuel. The result is 1,400hp (1044kW)—presumably at sea level, anyway.
The rest of the Hoonicorn is also decidedly not standard issue. The body panels are carbon fiber and underneath is a tube-frame chassis. And that massive engine sends power to an all-wheel drive system that has more in common with the rallycross car that Block competes in than any other 1965 Mustang.
The video is something. I’m sure there will be people who decry how it’s shot in more than one take, but I don’t think that matters. After all, this is entertainment, not sport, and we have the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb for the latter. And even if we are seeing the best of his performances stitched together, that doesn’t make the drop off the side of the road any less terrifying. If anything, my respect for Block’s skills behind the wheel have grown. In the course of about nine minutes I shouted—out loud, for real—in disbelief at least three times.
Having been to Pikes Peak, I think Block could do even better; by the finish line, his 1400hp Hoonicorn is probably down by almost a third thanks to the thin air. But an electric car with 1400hp will be just as potent at the top of the mountain as it would at the bottom. Someone needs to get working on that…