Ken Block Drives Audi’s Forgotten Group S Protoype Race Car
Ken Block’s new partnership with Audi is already bearing fruit. In a new video, Block visits Audi Tradition, which is the brand’s museum that’s not open to the public, and is in awe of what he sees. The Four Rings’ automotive treasures are lined up in chronological order, and Block gets to take two of them out for a drive.
He chooses two of the most interesting rally car specimens in the collection. First, there’s the Audi Sport Quattro S1 E2. The other is the brand’s Group S prototype. Block is just the sixth person ever to drive it.
It’s clear that the Sport Quattro is the one that Block is more excited about. This makes sense, though. The machine is among the cars responsible for igniting Block’s passion for rallying. Plus, this one counts the legendary Walter Röhrl as a previous driver.
Audi detuned this Sport Quattro to save the drivetrain, and Audi told Block he wasn’t allowed to do donuts. Still, he was able to push this car pretty hard at the empty airbase. The representative from Audi Tradition was apparently cringing while watching what Block was doing.
Meanwhile, the Group S prototype is something even more special. The class was supposed to be even more extreme than Group B by not forcing manufacturers to base their machines on the look of production vehicles. However, the fatal crashes during the 1986 season caused not only the plan for Group S to die but also the demise of Group B in general.
The Audi Group S shares the engine with the Sport Quattro but relocated it to a mid-mounted position. According to Block, the result is a more neutral handling machine than the understeering nature of the Sport Quattro. The machine shoots flames out of the exhaust pipes, which is always exciting to see.
At the end of the video, Block teases driving the Audi V8 DTM from 1990. It was larger than the other machines in the series, but Quattro all-wheel drive helped the sedan win the championship in ’90 and ’91.