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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Audi S1 Hoonitron: Ken Block’s electric drift car revealed

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Ken Block has a new ride, and it’s all electric.

The Audi S1 Hoonitron will feature in the rally driver and internet star’s next videos, and drags design cues from the legendary S1 Pikes Peak hillclimb into the 2020s.

That means there’s box flares, a wedge-like profile, and some outrageous aerodynamic elements at the front and rear.

The S1 Hoonitron is built around a full carbon chassis that meets FIA standards, and the car has been assembled at the same Neckarsulm factory as the RS e-tron GT electric car and R8 V10 supercar. It’s a one-off, of course.

Under the skin are two electric motors making an as-yet undisclosed amount of power. Given Block’s previous daily drivers have regularly packed upwards of 750kW, it’s unlikely the Audi will be short on grunt.

“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,” Block said of the Hoonitron.

“Spinning into a donut at 150 km/h 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.”

This isn’t the first time Ken Block has subbed fire-breathing petrol engines for electric motors. Before he teamed up with Audi, he leant on his partnership with Ford to get behind the wheel of its 1044kW Mustang Mach-E electric SUV concept.

It’s not clear what other fruit Block’s partnership with Audi will bear. The pair alluded to working on Audi’s high-tech Dakar racer when they announced the partnership earlier in 2021, but it’s not clear what role the Hoonigan team will play in developing the Dakar competitor.

The Audi RS Q e-tron concept has a 50kWh battery pack supported by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine from a DTM car.

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