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Ken Block's Gymkhana Escort is a 333-horsepower tire-shredding beast (pictures)

Coming soon to a Gymkhana video near you is Ken Block's second-generation 1978 Ford Escort. It started life as a tarmac rally racer but has since been repurposed for one job only -- outright tire destruction. Packing 333 horsepower and rear-wheel drive, this car's insanity is matched only by that of its owner.

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andrewkrok.jpg

Andrew Krok

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Ken Block's Gymkhana Escort
1 of 18 Shelly Haywood/Hoonigan

Even without all the upgrades, the Euro-spec 1978 Ford Escort you see here is nothing like the cheapo Escort sold in the United States.

Ken Block's Gymkhana Escort
2 of 18 Shelly Haywood/Hoonigan

Block's Escort is festooned with a flat-black motif featuring Hoonigan logos and Old Glory slapped right on the hood.

Ken Block's Gymkhana Escort
3 of 18 Shelly Haywood/Hoonigan

Unlike every other one of Block's Gymkhana creations, this Escort is rear-wheel drive. Typically, all four wheels get in on the action.

Ken Block's Gymkhana Escort
4 of 18 Shelly Haywood/Hoonigan

The bodywork is a one-off creation from wide-body experts Rocket Bunny.

Ken Block's Gymkhana Escort
5 of 18 Shelly Haywood/Hoonigan

The Gymkhana Escort rides on custom two-piece Fifteen52 wheels and Pirelli tires.

Ken Block's Gymkhana Escort
6 of 18 Shelly Haywood/Hoonigan

Bolt-on fenders are a staple of Rocket Bunny's hard-core aesthetic.

Ken Block's Gymkhana Escort
7 of 18 Shelly Haywood/Hoonigan

Block and his company Hoonigan plan to feature the Escort in its own video in 2016 -- it will likely be the follow-up to last year's Gymkhana 8.

Ken Block's Gymkhana Escort
8 of 18 Shelly Haywood/Hoonigan

UK enthusiasts will get a chance to see this car in the flesh this weekend at Monster Energy's Gymkhana GRID Finale.

Ken Block's Gymkhana Escort
9 of 18 Shelly Haywood/Hoonigan

The Escort is powered by a custom four-cylinder engine, built by UK race-engine manufacturer Millington.

Ken Block's Gymkhana Escort
10 of 18 Shelly Haywood/Hoonigan

At full tilt, the Escort puts out a more-than-ample 333 horsepower.

Ken Block's Gymkhana Escort
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As the car was originally designed to compete in legitimate rally races, the interior is built to racing specification, with all safety systems present and accounted for.

Ken Block's Gymkhana Escort
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The display in Block's Escort is fancier than most everything found in a typical modern passenger car.

Ken Block's Gymkhana Escort
13 of 18 Shelly Haywood/Hoonigan

Cages, bucket seats and harnesses are all part and parcel of the rally-car equation.

Ken Block's Gymkhana Escort
14 of 18 Shelly Haywood/Hoonigan

Nearly every part of the car is adjustable via this panel, from windshield wipers to the power steering.

Ken Block's Gymkhana Escort
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It's a race car -- did you seriously expect insulation and carpeting?

Ken Block's Gymkhana Escort
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A hydraulic handbrake is much more effective than a standard, cable-based one. This is especially important in gymkhana, which requires frequent handbrake use.

Ken Block's Gymkhana Escort
17 of 18 Shelly Haywood/Hoonigan

Those harnesses (and, by extension, Block's body) aren't going anywhere.

Ken Block's Gymkhana Escort
18 of 18 Shelly Haywood/Hoonigan

A fuel cell helps keep the explosive bits safe in the event of a wreck.

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