On Sunday, September 24, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California opened its doors for a special early viewing of Ken Block’s latest Hoonigan video Climbkhana: Pikes Peak. Based off the award-winning Gymkhana series of viral videos produced by Hoonigan Industries, Climbkhana focus was less on crazy stunts and more on Ken Block’s impressive driving skills.
The new concept is a hybrid of driving skills which brings rally-style racing to iconic roads around the world. And what better place to kick off this new style of videos than at one of the most well-known hill climbs in the world — Pikes Peak.
FordNXT was on hand for this weekend’s premiere, and from the moment we walked through the front doors of the museum, you knew Hoonigan Industries and Toyo Tires had taken over the building. The team had two of Ken Block’s Ford Fiesta STs in the main lobby greeting fans as they entered the museum doors.
Once inside, Toyo Tires and Hoonigan Industries ushered select members of the automotive community upstairs to the Petersen Museum’s penthouse floor for an informal meet and great. Media attending the event had the chance to meet with the Hoonigan himself, Ken Block as well as the rest of the crew that help produce the new video.
Hoonigan Car Show
Outside on the second floor of the Petersen Museum, Toyo Tires had an impressive Hoonigan inspired car show with well over 100 unique vehicles to kick off the event. Forza Motorsport and Xbox One were also on hand with two different driving simulator stations for fans of the series to come and play.
But one of the most popular outside attractions had to be Ken Block’s Hooicorn V2 that was on display for the fans to get up close and personal with. The 6.7-liter Roush Yates V8-powered Mustang puts out 1,400 horsepower at the crank, so naturally, it was the star of the show.
But the Hoonicorn V2 is only as good as its driver, and Mr. Ken Block was on hand for the majority of the car show signing autographs for the fans.
Pikes Peak Premiere
As the event progressed, it was finally time to make our way downstairs for the debut of the new movie. Even though the viewing was by invite only, there were a couple of tickets made available during the car show for fans to purchase.
This screening was first time that the team at Hoonigan Industries had allowed the media and public watch a Gymkhana-style movie before its actual online launch. The event took place on the lower level of the museum and, because this was a pre-screening, members of the media were asked not to take photos during the screening.
The film, which was produced by Hoonigan Media Machine and presented by Toyo Tires, Ford, and Pennzoil created a variety of difficult challenges. To tackle the extreme elevation gains experienced along the way up Pikes Peak, Ken knew he needed more horsepower for his 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR.
“When I was young, I caught the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on TV once or twice. Even as a kid, I remember dreaming about racing there someday because it looked so epic,” Ken said. “Eventually, I did, back in 2005, but it was in a Group N rally car which didn’t have much power up in that high and thin air! It was an underwhelming experience because of the horsepower issue, but I loved the road and mountain — and I had always wanted to go back and do it right. So, to drive it like I get to drive in my Gymkhana videos — and do it in the Hoonicorn with 1,400 horsepower. Well, that truly is a dream come true!”
This car is insane. I feel it genuinely wants to kill me! — Ken Block, Hoonigan Racing
So, Hoonicorn V2 was born. A 1,400 horsepower, twin-turbo, methanol-fueled machine that lights up its sticky Toyo Proxes R888R tires in every corner and properly updates the infamous build made famous inGymkhana SEVEN, Wild in the Streets Los Angeles. Unfortunately, extreme engine builds and altitudes can prove challenging. Ken and his crew experienced multiple production setbacks, having to go to the mountain on three separate occasions over 12 months due to both weather and development issues to be able to finish the film.
“This car is insane. I feel it genuinely wants to kill me! Before we added the twin turbos, it was the most fun car I’ve ever driven. Now it’s still quite fun to drive, but it melts tires ridiculously quick,” Ken said. “To have this thing be such a beast and then take it to this very dangerous mountain, well, I thought I’d maybe finally taken on a project that might be too much for me to handle. This is the most powerful AWD-type car in the world to be driven this way, so I’m genuinely glad I didn’t die making this video!”
To keep the Hoonicon V2 firmly planted, Hoonigan Industries picked the Toyo Proxes R888R tires to deliver the enhanced grip and stability Ken needed when maneuvering the 1,400-horsepower Hoonicorn V2 around the famous curves of Pikes Peak.
After the premiere of Climbkhana, the team at Hoonigan Industries held a Q&A session with the crew that made it all possible. Eight-time Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Champion and Climbkhana co-director Jeff Zwart was also in attendance to answer fans questions.
“I have raced at Pikes Peak for 16 years and through the years I thought I had seen everything, but to witness Ken’s skills on basically my home mountain and get to direct him at the same time, it was truly something amazing,” Jeff explained. “Nothing but respect for him and his whole team, both on the racing side and production side!”
The event was a complete success and the 100-plus people in attendance, watched in awe as Mr. Block performed death-defying drifts and tricks up one of the most difficult and storied hill climbs in the world.
Now the film (above) is live for everyone to see, and it only makes us wonder what the head Hoonigan can do to top it in the future!