Ken Block's New Audi S1 Pays Homage To A Racing Legend

Concept / Comments

And it looks positively wicked!

Rally driver Ken Block is well-known for his popular web series Gymkhana, where he drove a series of incredibly fast rally cars through impressive stunts. Block recently moved from Ford to Audi, where he will help the German automaker develop exciting electric cars. And the first of those cars has arrived. Say hello to Ken Block's Audi S1 Hoonitron, which is set to star in Block's upcoming Electrikhana film and push the boundaries of what's possible in an EV.

"The S1 Hoonitron combines a lot of what Audi was already famous for in the 1980s," says Block. "For instance, the car's spectacular aerodynamics have now been translated into a totally modern form. 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."

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Block is referring to the legendary Audi Sport quattro S1, which won the 1985 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Whereas the original Sport quattro used a turbocharged five-cylinder engine, the S1 Hoonitron boasts two electric motors sending power to all-wheel-drive. No output figure is quoted, but Audi says the Hoonitron produces "power galore." We assume it will be quicker than the 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT, a potent car in its own right.

"Audi gave me the opportunity to test it for a few days in Germany," says Block. "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 donut at 93 mph directly from standstill - just using my right foot - is an all-new experience for me. Our work was focused on getting the car and I used to each other. My thanks go to the whole Audi Sport squad for their outstanding teamwork."

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The development work for the S1 Hoonitron was conducted by Audi Sport in Neckarsulm, Germany, while Audi Design worked on the retro-themed styling in Ingolstadt. The result is a car that looks like the modern interpretation of the legendary Audi quattro, and pushes the company's EV technology forward.

"When we first heard about this project, the whole team was thrilled immediately: we had the opportunity to develop a car that combines an icon of our brand with the future," says Audi's chief designer, Marc Lichte. "The timeline was extremely tight: while our design process normally takes one to one-and-a-half years, we only had four weeks from the first drawing to the final design. We were constantly in touch with Ken Block and his team and engaged in intensive exchanges."

The car looks incredible for something developed in only four weeks. We can't wait to see it in action.

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