Ken Block has a new Gymkhana toy, and it’s all-electric
American professional rally driver Ken Block has a new toy for Hoonigan’s next Gymkhana series of videos. After drifting all over the place while climbing Pikes Peak in Climbkhana, German automaker Audi wants Block to do it all over again with an all-electric vehicle.
As expected, Block’s new car needs a name after passing on his beloved 1965 Ford Mustang “Hoonicorn” to daughter Lia Block – who, by the way, can seriously drift a car like her dad. Enter the Audi S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron, paying homage to the brand’s Audi Sport quattro S1 that dominated Pikes Peak in the mid-1980s.
And yes, this one-off, all-electric racing machine is debuting in Block and Hoonigan’s “Elektrikhana” video coming next year. “It was about creating a modern, all-electric interpretation of the S1 Pikes Peak,” said Marc Lichte, head of Audi Design. “The challenges were tremendous, and we only had four weeks from the first drawing to the final design.”
While creating a new car from scratch in four weeks deserves a medal of merit, the Audi Design team need not look far for design inspiration. Inheriting the original S1 quattro’s distinctive body panels, sharp lines, and extensive wings, Hoonitron is essentially a “greatest hits” revival of Audi’s all-conquering vintage rally car.
What’s more, development for the S1 Hoonitron is at Audi Sport’s Neckarsulm headquarters, the same place where the production Audi RS e-tron GT earned its wings. Audi has yet to define what’s powering this excellent rally car. Still, it mentioned it has two electric motors, all-wheel drive, a carbon-fiber chassis, and a host of safety equipment mandated by the FIA, like an electric kill switch, a roll cage, and a fire suppression system.
Oh, and Audi also said the car has “power galore,” which is apt for a rallying wizard used to tame gasoline cars with more than 1,000 horsepower. “Spinning into a donut at 93 mph (150 km/h) directly from a standstill – just using my right foot – is an all-new experience for me,” said Ken Block. “There were a lot of new things for me to learn here.”
The Audi S1 quattro Hoonitron remains a prototype at this point, but Block spent a couple of days in Germany to take the production mule for a short maiden jaunt. All we know is we can’t wait to see it in action at Pikes Peak for the Elektrikhana stunt driving video.
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December 16, 2021 at 06:51AM