The Coolest Features On Ken Block's Amazing Porsche 911

Rally driver, racer, and all-around automotive thrill-seeker Ken Block has made plenty of impressive custom-built cars with the help of his Hoonigan Racing Division over the years, but his latest creation might just be his most unbelievable yet. In 2021, Block ended his decade-long partnership with Ford Performance. Now that he's not exclusively tied to any particular manufacturer, he's free to experiment on whatever car he sees fit. The "Hoonipigasus" Porsche 911 is the result of that freedom, and what a result it is.

Block and his team built the car in partnership with a well-established racing team with the goal of taking on the 2022 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, but unfortunately, mechanical issues prevented him from making it to the start line this time around. Even if it didn't compete at the Peak like the Hoonigan team intended it to, the Hoonipigasus still stands as a remarkable feat of engineering. Let's take a closer look at exactly what makes it so unlike anything that's faced the infamous mountain before.

Pink Pig livery by Guccighost

Perhaps the first thing you'll notice about the Hoonipigasus is its striking pink livery. It was designed by former street artist and former Olympic snowboarder Trevor "Trouble" Andrew, who also goes by Guccighost (via Hoonigan Racing Division). It's meant to pay homage to one of the most iconic Porsches in racing history, the 917/20 "Pink Pig," which caused a storm when it debuted at the 1971 24 Hours of Le Mans. Despite being the fastest car in qualifying, the original Pink Pig could only manage a best position of fifth during the main race, and was involved in an accident before it could cross the checkered flag.

Hardly the faultless racing history you might expect, but the 917/20's unique livery quickly became an icon of Porsche's race cars nonetheless. Block's Hoonipigasus takes inspiration from the 1970s original, but the distinctive butcher-style cut lines present on the first car are missing, replaced instead by white doodles in Guccighost's unique style.

GPS-assisted suspension

To ensure the optimum balance is struck between keeping the car as close to the ground as possible and not scraping on the racing surface, the Hoonipigasus features a cutting-edge GPS-assisted suspension setup that uses data from previous years' runs to anticipate the road ahead. With pre-loaded data on potential ruts, bumps, and imperfections in the track surface, the suspension can adjust accordingly and pre-empt the road ahead rather than simply react to it (via Hoonigan Racing Division).

This is especially important since the car is all-wheel drive, so making the most of its power requires keeping all four wheels glued to the road surface at all times. With 156 turns across a 12.42-mile course, it's almost impossible for any driver to memorize every rut and culvert (via Porsche). But, the idea is that even if Block veered off the racing line onto a slightly rougher part of the course, the suspension could automatically adjust to ensure that the bare minimum amount of time is lost.

Vintage 911 design

The Hoonipigasus itself is based on a prototype design by Joe Scarbo called the SV RSR, which takes the classic shape of an old Porsche 911, but equips it with modern underpinnings, including a tig welded spaceframe and double wishbone suspension at both the front and rear. Scarbo's website lists the base design as starting at $935,000, and Block's car has been extensively modified from that base, so its total development cost will likely sit well into seven figures.

The car isn't a "real" 911 in the sense that it's built from the ground up as a custom one-off, but it reportedly got the official seal of approval from Porsche, who lent the team their expertise throughout the development process to ensure that the chassis was as strong and lightweight as possible. So, it's not actually a 911, but it's definitely still a Porsche, even if it wasn't directly built by them.

Wild aero kit

The result is one of the most visually striking retro-modern mashups of recent years, but rest assured, it's not just built for looks. The aero kit is very much function as well as form, and although no official figures have been released, some estimates have suggested that the car should be able to produce over a ton (2,204 lbs) of downforce (via Stuttcars). Considering the car weighs around 2,425 lbs with fluids loaded and Block sat in it, that's a seriously impressive figure. It should help Block stay firmly glued to the asphalt even through the high speeds and tight turns that a Pikes Peak run requires.

Block is used to running cars with wild styling and unique aero setups: One look at his heavily-modified Ford Hoonitruck will prove that. But, The Drive reports that this is the first time that Block has run a race car with high downforce, and that means it'll be significantly different to drive than the kinds of vehicles he's used to. He seemed to confirm as much in an initial testing session, saying he was struggling with snap oversteer and later sliding off the track altogether when he lost the rear end (via Road and Track).

Methanol-fueled 1,400 horsepower engine

Part of the reason Block was having such a difficult time keeping the car on the track during that initial testing session was the car's immense power, with up to 1,400 horsepower on tap from the Hoonipigasus' mid-mounted engine. That engine started life as a regular 4.0-liter racing flat-six from the 992 911 GT3, but then it was sent to a specialist team of Porsche and BBi Autosport engineers for a complete rebuild (via Stuttcars).

Every component was lightened and reinforced as much as possible, new intake manifolds were fitted, and two Garrett turbochargers were bolted on. Those turbochargers, it should be noted, were the largest that Garrett had ever built, with Stuttcars comparing them to roughly the size of a human head. This isn't the first time that Block has attacked Pikes Peak with a car so powerful, as in 2017, he shot his "Climbkhana: Pikes Peak" film in the 1,400 horsepower Hoonicorn V2, but the Hoonipigasus run would be the first time he'd attempt the mountain with speed as his primary focus rather than drifting (via Hoonigan Racing Division).

Built with BBi Autosport

While Joe Scarbo handled the initial design and Porsche gave their input on the chassis and engine, the actual build of the car was carried out by BBi Autosport. BBi's previous results at Pikes Peak speak for themselves, as in 2021, the company entered three cars in three separate classes, and walked away with two class wins and a third-place finish. Fellow celebrity driver and one-time rival Tanner Foust was one of the drivers who achieved a win with BBi that year, taking home the title in the GT4 Trophy Class.

The year 2020 wasn't quite so lucky for the team, as their sole entry, a Porsche 911 GT2 RS driven by David Donohue, pictured above, clipped a rock halfway up the Peak and damaged the wheel, forcing them to retire. It seems that BBi has had bad luck in alternating years of the race, with 2020 a write-off and 2021 a huge success. Hopefully, with the team's misfortune with the Hoonipigasus in 2022, they'll be back stronger than ever for 2023.

Pikes Peak misfortune

So, what exactly went so wrong at the 2022 running of the event? In an interview with The Drive, Block said, "We had a cylinder basically go. It had to do with the valves and then the cylinder wall got damaged ... we just didn't have enough time to fix it." The damage occurred shortly before the event's qualifying run, and with such a short time frame, the team couldn't repair the engine. Block later clarified in a social media statement that his team had even flown in emergency parts and Porsche's top motorsport technician from California, but to no avail (via Dirtfish).

That left the team out of the competition for 2022, which was the 100th running of the event, but they have confirmed they'll be back with the Hoonipigasus to have another crack at conquering the mountain in 2023. In The Drive's interview, Block tried to spin this as a positive, saying he was "grateful to have this time to really come back even stronger."

More appearances are imminent

In the same interview, Block also confirmed that he and Hoonigan's chief creative officer Brian Scotto were looking at ways they could incorporate the car into their coming schedule of stunts and film shoots, stating that "it's just a matter of what fits into the game plan." It's likely that we'll see more of the pink Porsche in some form before it appears back at the mountain next year, although in what format is unclear. There's always a chance that Block could film another Gymkhana-style video with the car, but he's already revealed his latest drift machine, an electric Audi called the S1 Hoonitron.

Block's also been busy racing in the American Rallying Association Championship alongside his daughter Lia, and he's likely to also be working on at least one project that hasn't been revealed to the public yet. That doesn't leave much room for the Hoonipigasus to be slotted into the schedule, but hopefully, Block finds a way, as the car's flat-six at full pelt sounds unlike anything else in his Hoonigan roster, and it deserves to be heard again.

Update: On January 2, 2022, representatives of Ken Block confirmed his death as a result of a snowmobile accident.