Ken Block’s Audi S1 Hoonitron has been given a historically-inspired look ahead of its debut in the upcoming ‘Electrikhana’ video.
The all-electric machine, first unveiled late last year, takes styling cues from the original Audi Sport Quattro S1 Quattro and Pikes Peak monsters of the 1980s but is very much a modern machine with full carbon fiber construction. It’ll also launch into a 93 mph donut from a complete standstill – because, you know, Ken Block’s involved in the project.
While it only took four weeks to design and six months to build, it’s allegedly the most expensive Gymkhana car ever built. Audi wouldn’t even give Hoonigan an exact figure, but in a video on Hoonigan’s YouTube channel, Block speculated that it could be worth in the region of $10-12 million. The laser headlights alone cost a staggering $300,000.
Modern motorsport played its part in the car’s development: the car sits on Rally2 suspension and is powered by four batteries taken from the Q7 road car – they deliver power to a pair of Season Five Formula E motors, one at each end.
It produces 3000Nm of torque at each axle for 6000 overall, but many other technical details remain shrouded in secrecy for the time being, unfortunately – from us and Hoonigan, we should add. When it comes to predicted horsepower figures, ‘lots’ would be an adequate answer. Since the methanol-fuelled Hoonicorn Mustang puts out around 1400 horsepower, you can expect this car to develop around the same, probably more.
Being electric and single-speed though, that power is instant, bringing something new to the table for Gymkhana.
“The thing is, if you were to launch a regular race car, I’ve got to put it in gear, I’ve got to enter launch [mode], put it in stage mode, you need to sit in launch control for four-to-five seconds for the turbo to spool up for the boost to build and all that,” Block explains. “So that’s a process. It may only take five-to-ten seconds, but there’s a process to it. [Here, there’s] Nothing.
“There’s pros and cons,” Block added. “Wheel speed control is a bit of an issue. The pro being that on the launch I can just punch it, whereas [if] you’re in first or second gear your wheel speed is limited to the gear that you’re in. But I think I saw like a hundred KPH, which is like 60mph, instantly on one of our launches in the film.
“So that’s one thing, with no gearing the motors can go up to their top speed in a matter of seconds. But I’ve had to do nothing but push down the throttle.”
That instant power meant that the car got through over 100 tires during the filming of Electrikhana – more than double what the Hoonigan crew usually gets through on a shoot.
But for all its modernity, the car’s look is definitely a nod to the past. Not just in its silhouette either. The car’s newly-revealed look pays tribute to Audi’s long motorsport history, with its white, red, gray, and black design taking cues from the company’s World Rally and IMSA cars of yesteryear.
“[It] takes a lot of styling and performance inspiration from the brand’s iconic motorsports heritage,” Block said of the S1 Hoonitron’s final form. “So when it came time to prepare it for its first film debut (more on that later!) the livery stakes were quite high. Audi designed the original launch livery, and now Hoonigan has updated it.”
Hoonigan’s in-house touches also involved adding reflective element’s to the car’s wrap – something of a Hoonigan and Block trademark – and five-spoke Rotiform wheels reminiscent of those seen on the Group B S1s.
Electrikhana – the first video in the popular series to feature an electric vehicle as its star car – will debut at 6AM PST on October 25. Meanwhile Travis Pastrana will showcase a custom-built Subaru GL Wagon ‘Family Huckster’ in the next instalment of the main franchise, also set to debut before the end of 2022.
One thing we should make clear though: The vehicle shown here is the Gymkhana vehicle that is not available as a production model. But you already knew that…