What you need to know
- Legendary rally driver Ken Block recently passed away in a snowmobile accident.
- Ken Block's famous Hoonigan vehicles feature prominently in Forza Horizon 5 and previous Horizon games.
- To honor the driver, Playground Games is gifting the 1965 Hoonigan Ford Mustang "Hoonicorn" and Ken Block's racing suit to all Forza Horizon 5 players.
- Additionally, the upcoming Series 18 update will also honor Ken Block with in-game content.
The passionate racing community was recently devastated by the news that Ken Block, proficient rally driver, YouTube star, and founder of the Hoonigan racing team, suddenly passed away in an unfortunate snowmobile accident. Ken Block and his Hoonigan vehicles were frequently featured in racing games, including the Forza Horizon series, and Playground Games is honoring the driver in the coming weeks.
Revealed in an in-game community message, all Forza Horizon 5 players are being gifted both a 1965 Hoonigan Ford Mustang "Hoonicorn" vehicle and the Ken Block Race Suit and Helmet Vanity Items, which can be redeemed immediately from the Gifts tab. Additionally, Series 18 of the Forza Horizon 5 Festival Playlist will honor Ken Block with exclusive in-game content and activities for players.
The unnamed Series 18 update, which should dominate most of March 2023, will include features like:
- A new "#43" Player Badge, paying homage to the racing number under which Ken Block spent his career
- New Accolades inspired by Ken Block's illustrious racing career
- A variety of Festival Playlist events featuring Hoonigan vehicles
- The new "Go Fast Risk Every Thang" Forza LINK message
- The 2016 Hoonigan Ford Focus RS Gymkhana 9 RX, offered as a reward car for a Seasonal Championship
The community response to Forza Horizon 5 honoring such a prominent figure in the industry has been positive, with players praising Playground Games for taking time to remember one of rally's most legendary drivers. Anyone can go and redeem their in-game gifts now, but the dedicated Ken Block content will have to wait until the arrival of Series 18.
Playground Games is hosting its next Let's Go! stream on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, which will go over the Series 17 update coming in the near future. Not much is known about the update coming before the Ken Block-inspired release, other than that it'll be themed after Japanese Automotives and will see the much-awaited arrival of the 2023 Nissan Z to the game. Playground Games is also working on creating a tribute video for Ken Block featuring clips and videos from the Forza Horizon community to be included in the next Forza Monthly stream.
Forza Horizon is one of Xbox's best racing games, owing in no small part to its vast collection of cars — including legendary racing vehicles, like from Ken Block's Hoonigan — and its constant stream of post-launch updates and additional content. It'll be interesting to see how the game continues to evolve into the future, especially as many wait for the release of Forza Motorsport (2023).
Forza Horizon 5 is included in every tier of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, making the epic gaming subscription the best way to race into Mexico alongside industry-leading visuals and hundreds of awesome cars.
The Logitech G920 remains one of the best racing wheels for Forza Horizon 5, thanks to its quality construction, plethora of high-end features, and an appealing price tag thanks to the existence of its more expensive successor.
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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.