Does this insane four-rotor RX-7 stand a chance against Ken Block’s Hoonicorn?
The Hoonicorn Mustang is an exercise in absurdity and, when paired with the driving skill of Ken Block, it’s mind-bendingly quick. Just how quick? Block and his team remain tight-lipped about the Mustang’s straight-line stats, but we know the Hoonicorn stomped a McLaren Senna, and the Brit turns a tidy 2.8-second 0–60 time and runs a 10-second quarter mile.
The Senna matchup was just one installment in a whole race series dedicated to matching up the “Mustang” with other wickedly fast machines. The results have been, honestly, a little underwhelming. The series has generally adopted a “Ken Block plays with his food” feel, but, when we saw the Hoonicorn’s latest competitor, we felt a stirring of hope. This latest rival has potential … on paper, at least.
Judging by the spec sheet, the four-rotor Mazda RX-7 built by Rob Dahm is a decent match for the Hoonicorn. Both cars are all-wheel-drive, both pack sequential six-speed transmissions, and each boasts roughly 1300 hp.
The Hoonicorn was built by RTR Vehicles with the sole intention of creating large amounts of tire smoke as Ken drifted his way through Gymkhana 7. The car was revised to its current spec for the Climbkhana video, which featured the methanol-huffing, 410-cube V-8 ripping up Colorado’s 14,115-foot Pikes Peak.
Rob Dahm’s story isn’t fueled by flashy sponsorships or supported by professional teams. In fact, anyone who watches his YouTube channel will tell you that Dahm’s insane rotary build was primarily fueled by Taco Bell. Dahm set out to build this wild version of an RX-7 back in 2016—forever ago, by YouTube standards. The car has since come together … but only just. Dahm built the entire car himself, with minimal outsourcing. If he needed to do something, he learned how to do it rather than pay someone else. The build’s home-built nature adds a degree of uncertainty on its own, but the rolling race between Block and Dahm is also the first time the home-built RX-7 has been driven in anger. The contest goes about as well as you’d expect.
This episode includes a plot twist that leans in Dahm’s favor. While introducing the cars, Brian Scotto mentions that the Hoonicorn likely lost a cylinder earlier in the day, meaning the RX-7 may have an edge in sheer power output, though the Hoonicorn still boasts a few hundred pounds of weight advantage.
The first race is from a roll, a request made by Dahm in the hopes of keeping his untested drivetrain from immediately exploding. That approach should give Dahm a fighting chance, but the Hoonicorn immediately gaps the grey Mazda and holds the lead. From my armchair, it looked like Dahm was learning to drive the car—but that didn’t stop him from putting up a better fight than some previous competitors on the show. This was certainly a closer race than the shootout between the Hoonicorn and the Senna.
The first race has its share of mechanical drama, though. The pieced-together hood on the RX-7 flies up, splits in two, and shatters the rear window. During the second run, in which Dahm gets a jump at the start, part of the passenger front fender is damaged. Even with the slight lead, just half a car length separates the two at the finish line.
Sadly, that momentum doesn’t translate to a better third race for the Mazda. The third race goes about as well as Dahm’s stint on ABC’s Bachelorette, but instead of Ashley dumping him at the start, it’s Block. From a standing start, the Hoonicorn pulls away immediately. Though the RX-7 gives chase, it doesn’t stand a chance of catching the Hoonicorn once it’s on the run.
What would you put up against Block and his purpose-built drift machine? Let us know in the comments below.