Watch: Ken Block Kills All Tires Ascending Heaven’s Gate Mountain in Climbkhana 2
No road can stop Ken Block’s 914 horsepower Hoonitruck.
Ken Block, the purveyor of fine hoonage since 2008, is a man who breathes gasoline, sweats rubber, and requires living on the razor’s edge to keep his 1,000 horsepower heart pumping. Stunt after stunt, challenge after challenge, Block—already in his 50s—isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, which is why after taking on Pike’s Peak in Climbkhana, the master hoon is shredding his tires up Tianmen Mountain in China for Climbkhana 2.
Tianmen Mountain was the home of a Tang Dynasty Temple—built between 600-900 A.D.—up until the late 20th century when it was destroyed. In 1949, China’s communist party rebuilt the temple, as was the road climbing the towering mountain. The road, which has taken on the moniker of China’s Most Dangerous Road for the purposes of Climbkhana 2, features 99 turns, zero runoff, and a couple of precipitous cliffs that if Block got wrong, would spell his doom.
But this is Ken Block we’re talking about here. His gold-tooth-bespeckled smile laughs in the face of danger. Complete with Gymkhana 10’s star car, the twin-turbocharged V6, 914-horsepower Ford Hoonitruck—which is essentially just a tube-frame racecar with a heavily worked over EcoBoost V6, sequential transmission, and hydraulic handbrake—Block does what Block does best; kill all tires.
The video shows the now well-known drifting skill Block has used to make a name for himself in the enthusiast community. There’s scary-close proximity drifts, a man on a Segway in a Panda suit (because China), wing scrapes along the metal, concrete, and sheer rock face lining the mountain’s road and the sort of gorgeous slow-motion videography we’ve all come to expect from Hoonigan and director Brian Scotto.
On the project, Block said, “About five years ago, I found a photo on the internet of this crazy road made of multiple switchbacks that actually crossed over itself,” adding, “Before I even discovered where in the world it was, I knew we had to go film there. As we did more research, I realized we may have found the greatest road ever. It’s like a European tarmac rally stage—but turned up to 11—and, it’s set in a wild scene that looks stolen right out of the movie Avatar.” And in fact, the Zhangjiajie National Park where Tianmen Mountain is located, was the inspiration for the James Cameron-directed movie.
Block continued, “The juxtaposition of this massive American pickup truck and that tiny road was just too perfect, even if it made it way harder and sketchier to for me to drive.” And to Block’s point of making something “harder and sketchier,” how does the Head Hoonigan-in-Chief top Climbkhana 2? He’s gone from the peaks of Colorado to the alien-looking world that inspired Avatar. What’s next? Space?