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Car and Driver: Ken Block Unleashes Smokin’ Hades Upon the UAE in Gymkhana 8 [Video]

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Gymkhana 8


If Ken Block knows anything, it’s his audience. As a pro skater, he launched DC Shoes with Danny Way. As his interests, er, drifted toward rallying, he assumed that the kids would want to see examples of ridiculous car control. As his Gymkhana series grew into the bated-breath juggernaut it’s become, Block has worked to make the situations more outrageous. And what’s more outrageous than taking over the streets of Dubai?


Take Houston, Las Vegas, and New York City, roll them together, bake under a scorching Gulf sun, and you might begin to approximate the UAE’s most populous city. It also happens to be one of the car-nutsiest towns in the world. Block takes advantage of the modern, wide boulevards to blow smoke at the city’s famous exotic police cars from behind the wheel of his humble Ford Fiesta, he pirouettes around an F-150 Raptor careening down the road on two wheels, and eventually finds himself on a runway, dodging the landing gear of a 747 that’s being pulled by an aircraft tug. If it’s not quite as eye-popping as the Hoonicorn’s pas de deux with a hopping lowrider or that ridiculous sideways leap in the San Francisco installment, there’s still plenty of stuntin’ madness, this time paired with a load of eye candy for fans of automotive exotica.


Regrettably, the Hoonigan-fettled ’78 Escort we wrote about last fall is nowhere to be seen in Gymkhana 8, although the end of the clip teases Block’s next machine, the Focus RS RX. It’s a wildly beflared thing with honking air intakes protruding from the rear fenders. With any luck, we’ll see the Focus and the Escort together in the next installment. Because, duh, of course there’s going to be a next installment.


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