Ken Block returned to Pikes Peak with his V2 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR and unfinished business.

In the first attempt at filming Climbkhana, Ken Block and Hoonigan Racing planned to take the thrills of the Gymkhana series to literal new heights at one of the most challenging and merciless inclines you can find. Equipped with two twin turbos and 1,400 horsepower, the Hoonicorn was ready to put on a performance unlike anything ever seen before at Pikes Peak.

But without the right oil under the hood, Ken Block couldn’t fully unleash the incredible power on the mountain.

“With Pennzoil Synthetics in the Hoonicorn I'm looking to solve the issues we had previously with our motor setup when we had oil blowing out and up onto my windscreen at higher altitudes” said Ken Block. “It's one of the reason I chose to make the switch to Pennzoil, actually.”

Under the hood of the Hoonicorn RTR lies a twin turbo Ford V8 that’s 421in3 and exerts 1,400HP and 1,250 lb/ft of torque. Forest Duplessis of Hoonigan Racing found that the difference of Pennzoil Synthetics resulted in a tangible effect on their engine’s performance and durability.

“Having an engine with this much power, especially with twin turbos, we run into a lot of heat being generated. That’s a big reason why we need an oil that can withstand those temperatures” he explained. “When we switched to Pennzoil we noticed we got a lot more longevity out of the motors, and they were running cooler. When we opened them up, the internals were a heck of a lot cleaner than we were seeing with motors prior.”

Learning from the initial attempt, Ken Block knew that the soaring elevations of Pikes Peak were going to put his engine’s performance through the wringer. To pull off Climbkhana according to his vision, he needed the Hoonicorn to maintain performance at peak levels all the way to the mountain top.

“So the performance needs – in this 1,400HP beast we call the Hoonicorn – we need it to run consistently” Ken Block expressed. “Mechanically, it needs to hold together at 8,000ft to 14,000ft. To be able to drive this car to the limit from top-to-bottom, it’s great to have Pennzoil involved. With their advanced technologies we have a non-traditional synthetic oil that works exceptionally well.”

At Pennzoil, we push our motor oil technology so drivers can push their performance to the limit. Our PurePlus® Technology is a patented, revolutionary process that converts pure natural gas into high-quality, full synthetic base oil. Because our base oil is made from natural gas, it's crystal clear, with fewer of the impurities found in crude oil. That means clean pistons, better fuel economy1 and excellent performance in extreme temperatures.

Now that Ken Block’s made the switch, he’s the sultan of the summit. We’re proud to provide top engine performance to the Head Hoonigan in Charge – because there’s nothing like the view from up top.

Here’s to the next performance test.


1Fuel economy measurements made using CAFE cycle under FTP75. Avg of 550 extra miles based on mixed city/highway miles and US avg of 13,476 miles driven per year with 4.1% better MPG vs. a dirty engine. Source, 2011. Follow OEM recommended oil drain intervals.

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