This weekend marks the start of the rally season here in the States, with a pair of blue-and-yellow Subarus looking like favorites. But there’s an interesting car challenging them: Ken Block’s ultramodern Ford Escort Cosworth.

This is the second iteration of Ken’s Cossie, the first one having burned down last year.

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The newer car look oddly a lot simpler, if a lot less close to 1990s factory spec. I find the whole venture deeply interesting as a kind of thought experiment. What would a 1990s top rally car look like if teams had access to modern engines, electronics, suspension, and other hardware?

Charmingly, the guy who runs Ken’s rally team is none other than Derek Dauncey, who ran Mitsubishi’s world-beating team back during the ‘90s.

Keep an eye on the 100 Acre Wood Rally, run by ARA. It kicks off tomorrow in Missouri. I’d be there if I were you.