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Hoonifox: Check out a behind-the-scenes look at Hoonigan’s newest tire annihilator
The newest creation from Ken Block plays like a mixtape of an ’80s gearhead’s poster cars. Take a louvered Fox-body and mash it with the greatest widebody warriors of DTM and Trans Am racing. Of course, it’s 2020, so we can sprinkle in a little extra horsepower and insanity, before finishing it off with the kind of carbon-fiber body that would’ve been unreal to fund just three decades ago for anything other than a full-assault on some racing rulebook.
The Hoonifox will be Ken’s new Gymkhana toy, a machine built solely for the purpose of roasting tires and serving smiles in his ongoing series of videos. Of course, with most—though not all—four-wheeled events being on hold due to COVID-19, the Hoonigan team is using the off-time to pull the camera back and show you a bit about what goes into the conceptualization of a Hoonigan build and what ideas bled into the design of Hoonifox’s retro roots.
Like any team, Hoonigan packs with an array of talented creators, and one of those is Ash Thorpe. While he’s known for his work on Ken’s Ford Escort RS Cosworth, his most recent big-ticket task was creating the newest version of the Batmobile for the upcoming 2021 release of the new Matt Reeves-directed series. While you can catch a few shared ideas between the two machines, Ash’s head was squarely in the space of period-correct motorsports when he began to sketch out the lines of the Hoonifox’s wide body, a responsibility he carried out with enthusiasm. “[For example] the importance of the wing is to meld. It’s like the bass player in a band, it’s connecting the guitar and the drums,” he mentions in today’s reveal. “When we look at DTM race cars … ‘It’s full function, and the brutalness of the functionality it what makes so awesome.”
With 3D modeling, this means that stylistic tweaks could made at will and the design toyed with and rendered at any angle. How far into a quarter panel should a flare reach, should the front grille “smile” with upswept edges, just what a particular livery looks like in different lighting conditions—would vinyls over the custom body or laying out the stripe work between the final layers of resin in a carbon body look better—things that you just can’t sketch out in the same kind of realism in 2D artwork. It was in this creative process that Hoonifox hit peak ’80s status.
“Let’s talk about, uhm, what I call road cocaine, I guess,” said Ash, introducing the kind of all-white cues we’d expect from Vanilla Ice’s five-point-oh. “Back to the idea of a Miami Vice Gymkhana—this is the car,” Ken explains. This is what I picture when doing an ’80s Gymkhana in Miami in a white-on-white car.” It’s an alluring break from the darker and more detailed liveries seen on Ken’s current fleet, but who knows if it’ll end up as the final look; at this point, Ken and the crew are still tweaking the details. Personally, we’re big fans of the final render from Ash featuring the ’90s-ski-pants color splashes, but there’s a good chance that your voice can be heard out in the comments of Hoonigan and Ford Performance!