Ken Block is an Audi man these days. The professional rally driver will help the division develop its electric cars, and he's heading back to Gymkhana with a fresh set of wheels. Not just any set of wheels, but a purpose-built electric drift car that looks positively delightful -- the S1 Hoonitron.
And on Wednesday, Audi introduced us to it.
If you're seeing more than a passing resemblance to the Audi Sport S1 Quattro of the past, you are not mistaken. The company's design brief was to bring the legendary design back with a modern interpretation of the rally car. "It was about creating a modern, all-electric interpretation of the S1 Pikes Peak," said head designer Mark Lichte. This car came to life very quickly, with a timeline of four weeks from initial drawing to assembly-ready final design. Audi Sport and the design team worked side by side with Block to make the Hoonitron a reality, and I have to say: Good job, everyone.
Aside from the wonderful throwback design, the car rides on a carbon-fiber chassis and boasts all safety standards to meet the FIA regulations. Audi's not ready to talk about what kind of power it has other than saying there's "power galore," but it does rock two electric motors and an all-wheel drive system. Block only test drove the car last month in Germany and said the S1 Hoonitron is an all-new experience for him.
Block will get busy with the car soon, though. Audi and Block plan a new chapter for the iconic Gymkhana series under the working title of "Elektrikhana." It'll feature the star drifter tackling wild courses, stunts and big drifts once again. It's unclear if Travis Pastrana and Subaru will still do their own thing with another Gymkhana.
"The Hoonitron is writing the next chapter in our history and taking our Gymkhana story into the future," Block said.