Article By John Redfern

Audi builds rally-inspired electric ‘Hoonitron’ for Ken Block

Created especially for the American stunt driver, the Audi S1 Hoonitron will offer huge power and performance.

Audi has revealed a one-off electric car, built for professional stunt and drift driver, Ken Block.

Known for his rallycross exploits and Gymkhana series of videos, the 53-year-old American signed a deal with Audi earlier this year.

After 11 years with Ford, Block will work with Audi on future activities and videos.

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Key to Block’s next video will be the bespoke Audi S1 E-tron Quattro Hoonitron. Inspired by the Group B Audi S1 Quattro from the 1980s, the electric Hoonitron features equally outlandish bodywork as the original.

A fan of Audi rally cars from the 1980s, Block commented: “I think it’s cool that the Audi designers have been inspired by their own past and uniquely transferred the car’s technologies and appearance into the present.”

A carbon fibre chassis has been used for the Hoonitron, which houses two electric motors to provide Quattro all-wheel drive.

Although exact performance figures have not been revealed, Ken Block did note that: “I'm familiar with a wide variety of cars using internal combustion engines and transmissions, but there were a lot of new things for me to learn here.

“Spinning into a doughnut at 150kph [93mph] directly from a standstill – just using my right foot – is an all-new experience for me.”

The new Hoonitron was constructed on an incredibly short timescale. Compared to the 18 months the Audi Sport department would typically have for such a project, the electric machine was finished in just four weeks.

Marc Lichte, Audi’s design chief, said: “Knowing that we’re developing a car for a video with Ken Block that millions of people around the world are going to watch has provided our team with additional motivation”.

Those millions of people will not have to wait to long to see the latest Ken Block extravaganza. Currently, given the working title of ‘Elektrikhana’, the S1 Hoonitron means everything is ready for a new video.

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