And it will star in the next tire-slaying gymkhana film that's set to air on October 25.
Ken Block has to be one of the most famous faces in motorsport today. That is partly due to his insane skills as a driver, but it also has a lot to do with the insane cars he drives. Block is probably most famous for piloting the Hoonicorn, a twin-turbocharged all-wheel-drive Ford Mustang producing north of 1,400 horsepower, but the skilled drifter has recently made the move to Audi, and we all know what that means: quattro goodness. We recently covered his retro-modded 730-horsepower Audi Quattro, which features a ton of modern tech and looks to die for, and now Block, who daily drives an Audi RS e-tron GT, has unveiled his craziest and most expensive car yet: say hello to the Audi S1 'Hoonitron.'
Ken Block is no stranger to fast electric cars: back in 2020, he was introduced to the insane Mustang Mach-E 1400, a highly tuned version of Ford's popular EV that, you guessed it, produces an insane 1,400 hp. Now Block is back with the S1, which is promised to star in the next Gymkhana video (called Electrikhana), due for release next week, on October 25.
The S1 Hoonitron showed its face back in December 2021, but in a YouTube video posted by Hoonigan, we get to see the car in its special livery. Audi wanted its new toy to be revealed in Audi Sport colors that matched those of its other electric projects, and only now could the Hoonigan team try to alter that.
The new livery, which consists of whites, greys, and reds, is a tribute to the Audi Quattro S1 E2 driven by Walter Rohrl at Pikes Peak in 1987. Block recently competed in the Pikes Peak Internation Hill Climb with a new Porsche project, only to drop out during qualifying due to technical issues.
"Normally, we would just take the Monster Energy livery and be like, 'okay, what's the version on this car,' but that didn't make sense with the whole kind of storyline of what we were doing with this car," said Block. "It was a very tough process taking the incredible design they had and mixing it with what we needed to do with our sponsor logos. It took many more iterations than we would normally take to put together a livery, but I'm really happy with how it turned out."
Clearly, Audi wants this to be instantly identifiable as a product of Ingolstadt, and while Block and the Hoonigan team got a fair amount of creative freedom, the manufacturer is the one that gets most of the attention here. With all the work Audi put into this beast, that seems only fair.
The exterior of the Hoonitron features a throwback aero design that mimics the hardcore aerodynamic body kit found on the original S1 Pikes Peak rally car. This modern take features a fully custom carbon-Kevlar body and tube chassis, headlights that cost more than your average Audi, and a fully customized suspension setup with more adjustability than a yoga instructor borrowed from Volkswagen's Rally 2 championship cars with a few Audi Sport parts thrown in for good measure. The vehicle runs special Toyo Proxes R888 tires wrapped around a set of Rotiform custom wheels that were inspired by the original race car.
Under the body hides one seriously powerful powertrain. The Hoonitron features an 800-volt dual motor setup, with each motor sitting on its own axle. Under the driver's feet and stretching across the cabin are four batteries from the Q7 plug-in hybrid SUV. The motors are borrowed from Formula-E and feature a traditional differential system. The figures? Well, this EV is good for a monumental 4,425 lb-ft of torque and over 1,400 horsepower. According to Block, the Hoonitron destroyed over 100 tires in filming Electrikhana, compared to about 40 tires max in previous films with other cars. Naturally, all that performance results in some heat, so there are two cooling systems in place to keep the components cool and for when the car is being charged.
Inside the Hoonitron, you'll find a Le Mans-type prototype cabin with an extreme driving position. Ken Block says it's the most challenging seating position he's ever had to get used to, partly due to the battery pack and wild roll cage layout. The interior features a bucket seat, a ton of buttons, an FIA-spec roll cage, and a quick-release steering wheel. The detail that has gone into this build is amazing, but Audi won't say how much it actually cost - that $12 million figure mentioned in the video is a wild guess, but we're sure Audi has big plans for it in the future. We expect a Pikes Peak campaign is in its future, but for now, we're just looking forward to seeing the Hoonitron intentionally melt tires on October 25.