If ever proof was required of a) how seriously Audi is taking its electrification push and b) how much sway Ken Block holds, then here it is. As part of the Block's deal with Audi, a new car has been built specifically for his upcoming Electrikhana video - this is the S1 Hoonitron.
Inspired by the Group B Sport Quattro, this latest Audi is built on a carbon chassis, with two electric motors, four-wheel drive (of course) and "power galore". An exact figure hasn't been released, but given the kind of cars featured in the old Gymkhana videos - up to and including a 1400hp Mustang - we can surely expect many hundred horsepower. The S1 Hoonitron has been built at Neckarsulm, just like the RS e-tron GT; the four-door grand tourer has 646hp already, so surely the one-off video star will have more than that. Block reckon the Hoonitron will go "into a donut at 150km/h directly from standstill", which sounds like the work of huge amounts of torque. And not much imagination.
Designed in just four weeks at Audi Design Ingolstadt, the Hoonitron's nods to the old Sport Quattro are clear: see those wild front and rear spoilers, a compact wheelbase and trademark box arches. The latest design cues for the electric Audis aren't forgotten, either, with the now-de rigueur light bar, a livery familiar from the RS e-tron GT reveal and a front end not a million miles from the production cars in the way the lights frame the grille. Only with a snow plough on the front and far more lights than is necessary - just like an old-fashioned rally car.
Block, understandably, is thrilled by the prospect of showing off what the S1 Hoonitron can do: "That Audi has now developed this car for me and my team, and has joined us in our next project, has made a dream come true for me. The Hoonitron is writing the next chapter in our history and taking our Gymkhana story into the future." Furthermore, although Audi is at pains to stress the Hoonitron is a one-off - down to captioning its press pictures with the message - the last word from designer Marc Lichte is encouraging. "The development of this car will encourage us to approach future projects with an even more open and progressive mindset." Who wouldn't be intrigued by a slightly less silly roadgoing version - the RS e-tron TT, perhaps? Anything like that, though, is of course; expect to see the S1 Hoonitron in action as the star of Electrikhana early in 2022.
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