Ken Block has just released the fifth instalment of his Gymkhana series: Ultimate Urban Playground. The video has been shot across the rolling landscape of San Francisco itself, the first time Block has used real streets as the backdrop for his hooning mayhem.
Filmed over four days, locations like the Financial District and The Bay Bridge were shut down specifically for Block to put rubber to pavement. Block also tackled extreme angles and terrain through such iconic locations as Russian Hill, Potrero Hill, Twin Peaks and the San Francisco Bay itself, thanks to a barge. Block’s Hybrid Function Hoon Vehicle is back, with 600hp on tap and a 0-60mph time of just 1.8 seconds. That means San Francisco’s streets get torn up at some speed…
There are several cameo appearances as usual: Jake Phelps of Thrasher Magazine and Travis Pastrana put in appearances in the video alongside Block; Pastrana’s trick is the first time he’s been back on a motorcycle since his injury at X Games nearly a year ago.
Block’s most incredible Gymkhana yet?
So thats what it be like if your the only man alive with a awesome car with nothing else better to do, and Im not bashing Block I have a ton of favorite drivers and he's one of them.
I love all the hate and people talking about how much it costs to shut down a city and comparing drivers and cars and what not. As many people have stated this is a Car site!!! That was a video of a car doing stuff I am sure everyone here has dreams of doing. Come on!!! jumping the streets of SF, what car guy or girl would not want to do that. Jumping a car at high speed and landing sideways on a residential street and not destroying anything around it takes I'd guess a little bit of skill!!! For shutting down a city, do you people watch tv???? Every time you see a scene in tv, commercial, or movies they have to shut down the area they film in. Its not that big of a deal. Its not like they shut down an entire city to drive around 3 blocks!!
The car.... how many high performance race cars out there can you actually go to a dealer and buy off the showroom floor. I have yet to see a Toyota Camry like they race NASCAR, or a Ferrari like the F1 cars. These cars are purpose built for specific types of racing, they will never be consumer cars, they wear a badge as a marketing plan. This is business so why wouldn't a company want to tag a name to something amazing to attempt to increase their profits. As for a business man (Block) why not do something you love and make it fun commercial type of video. As far as drivers go, yes there are many amazing drivers out there, most of them have been competitively driving their entire life. I would give anything to have been that fortunate. Ken Block on the other hand spent his time starting a little company and building it up to something amazing that could fund his love for cars and driving. yeah he is not winning things he is entering but damn, for the amount of time he has been actually competitively racing he is doing damn well!!! Good on him for working his ass off to build a life where he can spend the rest of his time doing what he loves. and afford to do it. I remember hearing someone in one of the action sports movies talk about Ken Block, they said something to the effect of " most guys start in action sports as athletes and then work in to the companies as they get older, Ken started in the companies and is now becoming an athlete." I think its pretty f*%^&^ing Awesome. Who cares who your favorite driver is. or what car you drive, watch the video and enjoy or dont watch it and be happy. its really simple.
I've about had with you children bashin Block about him driving for Ford and any other nonsense.
Do you realize that he's doing just as good of job with the Ford as he did the Subaru? He's driving an intense schedule for the year; WRC, X-Games, Rallycross and even taking time to shut down San Fran for this video?!?!?
I WISH I could drive like him, even just a little bit. He's my favorite driver on so many levels and commend the fact that he has fun with this, just look at the smile on his face when he drives.
To all of you "professionals" out there if you think you can do a better job, then show me what you got. Lord knows I can't.
And to the ones who are crying about how this takes $$$ away from Subaru, I think they're doing just fine. I may not be a big fan of the Fiesta,but if the actually made an effort to produce an AWD version...MAYBE I will look into one. Better yet, just build one. I'm sure if you resource and research it'll be quite simple if you take your time.
So until I see you doin better...STFU!
There is a lot of hate on Block going on around out there... "Shoulda kept the Subie" or "Any other winning* driver in WRC can do that" or "The Fiesta shares nothing with this AWD juiced up monster hoon-irific vehicle". I do not see why we all can't just sit back, enjoy and commend Block & Ford for the tire shredding entertainment they provide us with... They are really bringing more people, who would not otherwise be exposed, into the diverse world of motorsports... Yes I consider Ken Block's Gymkhana series a form of motorsport and not just some fancy showboating of what 600hp can do...
For the Subie Fanboys: Shut up and just enjoy it man, yes we all know you love you Scoobie as much as the next guy but you gotta remember, Subaru can totally back any awesome driver out there and make just as cool of a video as Block & Ford.
But they don't.
For all the WRC nuts: Sure, any "winning" driver in the WRC can totally perform as well as or better than Ken Block on the streets of San Fran as well as on the dirt.
But they don't.
For the geniuses out there who figured out that what Ken Block hoons isn't exactly what you would find on the showroom floor: you know if you had the chance you would totally transform any econo-box into fire breathing, 600hp, AWD beast of an automobile...
So why can't he?
What Ken Block brings us is a little bit of magic. He pulls all these things together and lives out our wildest dreams for us in the real world. Although our dreams may have a slight differences, (brand of vehicle, type of motorsport, location of events) do not deny you wouldn't hesitate, even for a second if you could live Block's life. I say show some appreciation for the guy... Okay he may not be the most talented, he may not drive your favorite car and he may call his car a Ford Fiesta when we all know the only thing this car shares is the Ford badge... But Ken sure does know how wrap all these things together and make something epic out of it and you gotta give it to him, he is extremely talented when it comes to making shit happen.
great driving, great video, great editing, wrong car. If you'd stuck with Subaru, Ken, you might even have done better at real rally. Ford's focus is usually dead last in BTCC, Didn't earn it's money back in WRC, and this fantasy fiesta looks NOTHING like any car they actually sell (street fiesta is fwd + slow). Will this make me buy a fiesta? No. Will this make me want a mustang? Nope. Don't see it. This is just a good marketing strategy, stolen from Subaru with ca$h dolla$. Problem is, Subaru actually HAS a rally car to sell!!! Ford's got nothing.
Amazing video with brilliant editing skills to make it such an entertaining watch.
if i ever win the lottery i am going to ask who ever built that fiesta to help me make a new shape VW Polo GTI that is just as capable.
how in gods name do you close down that bridge ?
set this to 1080p because you really notice the difference !!
I'm only going to say one last thing about this video and those who are hating on it... If you feel like its the same thing over and over or that Ken Block is not a good driver, then get your own WRC car and sponsors and go do your own video. Don't ever hate on someone if you can't do better unless you can PROVE THAT YOU CAN DO BETTER!
Somebody GOT to do a movie like this with the ALM-Brothers, known from GATEBIL-scene.They would serriously kick ass.
All I gotta say is 3 million views in 1 day. Block is definitely a marketing genius and he worked his way to where he is now. If any of you've worked that hard and can say that then i'm sure you're doing something you enjoy day in / day out.
It was awesome having the team over the fatlace paddock and watching them drop the motor and tranny to fix whatever was wrong and re-assemble it in under an hour. Those guys were amazing.
Good stuff Ken. See you next time.
People can hate Block all they want, but you know damn well they wish they could shut down a major city just to hoon about in it.
As a showman/stunt driver, he is the man. I'm not saying he doesn't have driving skill, obviously he does...I just have more respect for competitive drivers that actually WIN competitions. Ken Block is great at marketing as well. But seriously, he does shit in WRC...Sebastien Loeb entered Xgames for the hell of it and slapped Block in the face by taking the gold without much effort...Hell, Block couldn't even win his own Gymkhana-thon Grid competition (whatever it was called). Plenty of drivers can do what he does, they just don't because they're too busy ACTUALLY competing in ACTUAL competitions. Give anyone with decent driving skills a limitless bankroll, unlimited practice time, and the chance to build and test their own course setup and they could do what Block does. Great showman, great stunt driver, marketing genius...but until he actually starts winning shit, whatever...it's the same shit over and over from Gymkhana 1 through 5.
It's better the 4th part but...and some of you mentioned his raw skills and etc. but I was wondering where do those skills disappear in wrc races? I guess some video editing, and several retakes could make many drivers on the par with him :) just say... nonetheless he is still pretty good showman ;)
Better take a look at this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95cqUlkMWJs ; felt like 3:30 of real life gymkhana action :)
it was decent. Recycled stunts for sure. The San Fran setting was cool. He is in no doubt a talented driver, but with that talent/car control he should be able to spice things up a bit. DC has also turned Gymkhana into a short-high budget movie. 4 was a little to over produced for my liking. But., the editing and videography was done pretty damn well tho. All in all, a great driver and a awesome video.
Anyone who talks bad about this video should just stop visiting the speedhunters website, get a prius, and turn over their man cards. These gymkhana videos represent a very high level of skill, raw power, and tasteful stunts for the whole world to enjoy. Ken Block is a genius of a driver and these videos not only serve as advertising for his sponsers but help bring awareness to motorsports as a whole. Everyone should be praising Ken Block for giving gymkhana a presence in the United States and for making rally even more entertaining.
The cost of shutting down a major port city's business in the US? Only corporate juggernauts would know... What a colossal waste of money. Awesome show, though, I mean that.
Seeing him drift off the bay dridge was enough to make me woop this morning. Couldnt count the amount of times ive been jammed in traffic and wanted to just drift away
Not to bash Ken, he's a very good driver and showman, but whoever edited this shit should be hanged.Showing every corner in slowmo from 50 different angles only detracts from the film.
Hmm, for the first time since Gymkhana 1, I absolutely enjoyed the video: The scenery is epic, the driving is really good (I know he repeated each corner over and over, but I don't care). Everything in this video was spot on. Sure, Ken might not be the fastest driver, but he knows how to keep his driving fun by making these videos. And that's what really is important
yay for recycled stunts in a new setting! i though pastrana was gonna spice things up but all he did was replace the segway guy. the inclusion of jumps had the potential to be cool and different except that you can see jumps like this at any rallyx race. only parts i really liked about this video was the camera work, editing, and the fact that it was in sanfran.
I have always wondered about who has done a slide on that Bay Bridge off ramp on my way home. Now I don't need to wonder no more. That Bay Bridge shut down kinda caused hell that day even though the shoot was super early in the morning. Didn't know what it was since the traffic radio wasn't specific as to which movie shoot caused the shut down. That Potrero Hill esses is tighter and steeper than Lombard Street, so I guess that's why he did a hill climb instead...I mean, every year during the tricycle race down that street most don't make it down to bottom without spill off the road.
@KietaPhillips dang... sorry kid. just realized I was arguing with a 12 year old. FYI - that "kit car" that looks like a Fiesta, cost more than a Murcielago. The chassis was built by M-Sport. The engine was made by PIPO and cosworth. Suspension by Reiger I think... The only thing Ford made was the logo, and the bank account. It was a massive undertaking to fab that fake fiesta.
@KietaPhillips The fact that you said, "...Better yet, just build one. I'm sure if you resource and research it'll be quite simple if you take your time", in regards to converting a Fiesta to AWD on your own, makes me feel like you have no idea what you're talking about. Also the tid bit of information that Block is your favorite driver...I don't even think people that especially like Block would say he's their favorite driver when there are so many other BETTER professional drivers in the world. If he's your favorite Hooner or Stuntman or Showman, then ok.
@danielhiggins09 Amen brotha!
@danielhiggins simple math, for the slow people. hooning videos + ACTUAL AWD, turbo car = sales & support of rally cars for US. hooning videos + crap car shape + marketing dollars = bye bye Lancer Evo (gone already), bye bye STi, no more good cars on the street. Many wonderful cars would never have existed, without homologation rules forcing them to. Your argument does nothing. Achieves nothing. Ken Block knows he's a baddass. He doesn't need your help.
@bakayaru He switched to ford to do wrc as Subaru are not in wrc anymore. The fiesta is the current ford wrc car. None Of the cars in wrc are available in street versions haven't been since Subaru left years ago.
@dan1407 im gonna explain this to you in an analogy you might understand: you dont have to know how to cook the food to know if it tastes good or not.
@dan1407 Never said he wasn't a good driver; I said he obviously had skill, no one can deny that. I'm basically annoyed with all the fanboys that sweat him so hard when there are much more talented and skilled drivers out there. Like I said, Block had never won a competitive series against other drivers, it's a fact. I just have higher respect for drivers that win competitions, any of those drivers can do what Block does, plus they WIN competitions. I never compared myself to Block, just other drivers...don't try to twist what other people say.
@ToneDiez while you were busy measuring dicks, your girlfriend was in this video with Ken and you didn't even notice
@dan1407 You should slap yourself in the face for even comparing this to Rally. What he does technically doesn't even qualify as traditional Gymkhana. As for Rally, he's horrible at rally. And the American mentality as a whole still isn't ready for Rally. They tried hyping interest in the sport with Xgames and failed miserably. The Xgames made a mockery of the Rally name...why do you think there's no WRC here, because there's no place for it. I wouldn't go as far as to call him a genius driver...I'd call Sebastien Loeb or Sebastian Vettel a genius driver; Block isn't even close....20th in WRC compared to Loeb.
I couldn't have said it any better myself. This isn't about Block showing off his skills and proclaiming to be number one. This is simply the man, at the wheel HooNing + promo his brand all in one package. Wouldn't YOU tear up the S.F. streets in a 600hp Fiesta if you had the chance? I sure as hell would...Go BLOCK!!
I have looked all over the web to figure out *when* this shutdown occurred and it looks like you actually know! Do you remember what day this occurred? People are speculating it was the same day they had it shut down for construction.
@bakayaru @KietaPhillips And to me all of those companies are just names. Anyone with knowledge in general engineering and welding can put together a chassis. And who said it had to be the same engine and suspension?
I just happen to be one of those guys that'll research because I want to know and hopefully try it myself. That's what makes the car/tuner world so great...that there are some garage builder who are willing to undertake and try such a thing. But I have a feeling that somebody out there is working on a "fake fiesta" or something close to it.
BTW, who is the one arguing here? I'm simply stating my opinion is all.
@ToneDiez @KietaPhillips I think I was pretty clear when I said that he is my favorite driver. And for the record, I do know what I'm talking about as far as car building. If I were to have the funds I would indeed put one together. In fact there are kits available for the Focus, its only a matter of time before you see it for this platform.
At least I can say that I tried.
@AlexLeov Subaru and Mitsubishi left due to rules changes enacted by deals with Ford, Citroen and Peugeot, ending long-standing homologation rules. Subaru is currently separating the STi range from the rest of it's lineup. Chances are likely that the STi will disappear from U.S. shores. No self-respecting speedhunter will buy a fiesta, and stupid kids saying "build your own!", have ZERO clue about the work involved in building a car. Just keeping my rotary alive is a challenge. I'm VERY happy I bought my Subaru before grassroots rally disappeared.
what you've just said ... is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
@ToneDiez @dan1407 Don't bother Tony. These kids are 12, posting on daddy's computer. Any kid who thinks it's "no trouble" to build AWD into a fiesta, has never turned a wrench. Their only concept of rally is x-games autocross on dirt. If they ever tried driving by copilot notes, they'd end up in a ditch, just like Block and his fake rally car. Rally is dead.
@ToneDiez You still live with your parents don't you? It's ok, one day you will realize you are dumb and hopefully be able to make that oh so important change in your life that puts you on the path of manhood.
@ToneDiez Fine... whatever...
@KietaPhillips @ToneDiez Again, there are no AWD kits, which is what you claimed originally, so there's no point in posting a link to a V8 kit. I know there are V8 kits, a friend of mine was going to do one before he got rid of his focus. That conversion was not what was in question. Doing a motor swap is very simple compared to completely changing a cars drive layout.
My response was in regards to how you claimed doing an AWD conversion on a Fiesta (or Focus) would be "simple". It's not. And there are no kits. Period.
@ToneDiez SMH, why do I bother...
First of all, there are NO kit's for an AWD Focus conversion. As far as I know, there are NO AWD Focus' in the States...mainly due to the fact that the known cars to source the donor parts from are not available in the states. Importing the parts, not to mention fabrication, has made that particular conversion not worthwhile to anyone in the States.
Secondly, you said "BUILD" one...not find a kit. When you say build, that typically means from scratch and fabricated...Pretty much what they had to do for THIS Fiesta. I believe Block said it was around $500k spent on that car altogether, with around $100k+ on the drivetrain. So you saying "...it'll be quite simple..." is a bit ridiculous and doesn't coincide with you saying "I do know what I'm talking about as far as car building".
@dan1407 i didnt realize that a direct one sentence response could be considered incoherent rambling. these gymkhana videos are not a race or competition of any sort. they are a display of showmanship and advertising. its not about whether hes a good driver or not, its about whether the target audience enjoyed watching it or not. and honestly as a member of the target audience, this video was a boring letdown. the first gymkhana video was great because it showcased techniques and styles we rarely ever see in that setting, but this video has brought NOTHING new to the table at all.