Over the weekend Ken Block unveiled his new racecar in its final livery – the Hybrid Function Hoon Vehicle (“H.F.H.V.”). Block described it as an “All new car, new livery, new awesome!”
In his announcement he also confirmed that his newest Ford Fiesta race car, also known by the nickname “the hybrid”, is designed as one car to do three tasks – gymkhana, stage rally and rally cross.
Hence Hybrid refers to its its ability to transform and race at the highest level for each of these motorsport disciplines, rather than any environmentally sympathetic method of propulsion.
The Hybrid Function Hoon Vehicle (H.F.H.V) – Details
“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,” says Block. “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.”
Based on M-Sport’s Ford Fiesta WRC platform but with a bigger, more powerful 2.0-litre engine, the Hybrid is capable of producing 600 hp and 665 lb/ft of torque. This engine is based on the powerplant found previously in the Ford Focus RS WRC car, a motor that has received over 10 years of development.
Block describes it as “..one of the most capable and unique race cars ever built.” While the 2.0l engine makes the H.F.H.V. ineligible for WRC competition, the addition of a 34mm restrictor will allow the car to compete in the Rally America series.
In Rallycross specification it is configured with a Sadev 6-speed sequential transmission, 355mm Brembo WRC rotors and 4-pot calipers, Reiger WRC suspension, Cosworth engine mapping and the Pipo Moteur built 2.0-litre Ford EcoBoost engine, 17″ Speedline wheels with Pirelli P-Zero rallycross tyres, custom-built Garrett turbocharger with 45mm restrictor, Sadev AWD system, dual-core intercooler, Recaro Ultima WRC race seat.
In Gymkhana specification dampers, spring rates and ride height are adjusted, 18″ custom Fifteen52 tarmac wheels with Pirelli Trofeo tyres are installed, shorter gear-ratios are fitted and the engine map is adjusted.
For Stage Rallies the radiator moves from rear to front for better cooling, side-intake vents are covered, lightweight faux headlamps are replaced with real functioning units, the engine mapping is adjusted for a 34mm restrictor, dampers, spring-rates and ride-height are adjusted for stage rally conditions and 15″ OZ gravel wheels are fitted along with Pirelli P-Zero rally tyres and a 300mm brake setup. And… it’s street legal!
Block said, “The H.F.H.V. is awesome. It’s like a modern-day Group B rally car and the perfect Gymkhana and Rallycross car all in one”.
“The H.F.H.V. 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 2.0L engine in the WRC Focus created. The H.F.H.V. brings those two things together, and the result is a manic beast that is just too much fun to drive.”
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, entirely different suspension settings, as well as a different wheel and tire combo 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, a smaller brake set-up, 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.
The H.F.H.V. was a collaborative project between the Monster World Rally Team and a assortment of some of the world’s top technical partners.