GIF: Ken Block (YouTube)
Truck YeahThe trucks are good!  

Ken Block’s new second-generation Ford Raptor is edgy, figuratively and literally, with sharp-looking custom bumpers and a design that is, I think, the harbinger of a new trend. I’m not sure how long it will last, but I daresay Block currently has the coolest turbo Raptor on the... block.

Block’s regularly cited as an extremely talented driver, and there’s a deep catalog of Gymkhana videos to support that statement. But I actually think his aesthetic is a more significant contribution to car culture than just the fact that he can whip behind the wheel.

The wild high-contrast designs that are now a staple of his Hoonigan brand were some of the first ports of extreme sports fashion over to the car world. Extreme skiers were wearing highlighter colors before the rise of Radwood and pop culture’s embrace of ’80s caricatures–we used to call the look “skittlepunk” when I worked at Mammoth Mountain.

Anyway, I’m starting to think that reflective decorative vinyl is The New Thing on the cutting edge of what’s cool in cosmetic car modding, and Block’s Raptor here makes extensive use of it with an extremely interesting and unique pattern covering half the truck.

The slim front bumper, fenders and light bar are pretty typical “desert pickup” style, but the execution here is so freaking clean and perfect that it made me grow a jealousy gland and now it’s sweating through my shirt.

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The previous owner of my Montero tried to make a similarly slim bumper but, uh, did not succeed with the swagger that Block’s shop SVC Off-Road managed to achieve. I love the lean look here, and the fact that this Raptor’s vibe is positively badass without bristling with too many dangly overland accessories.

Those multimodal Rigid lights, which can adjust their beam width (depending on vehicle speed, if you like), are aptly named “Adapt,” by the way. I didn’t realize such a thing even existed even though they’ve been out for more than a year, but now that I’ve heard of an eight-beam light bar, I’m going to have to investigate further. We’ll come back to them later.

Meanwhile, I’ll leave you to enjoy examining the truck and listening to a comically noisy blow-off valve while watching Block rip around his parking lot and a Moab dirt road.