Ken Block’s New Gymkhana Car Is An Audi S1 EV Concept Called Hoonitron
We knew this was coming, and not just from recent teasers saying as much. When rally racer and Gymkhana guru Ken Block announced he was teaming up with Audi for future fun, a new Gymkhana-focused race car was inevitable. Whether anyone expected it to be a legit Audi concept car, however, is a different story.
That’s exactly what we have here. The official name for this one-off creation is the – deep breath – Audi S1 E-Tron Quattro Hoonitron. And yes, as the name suggests, it draws inspiration directly from the legendary Sport Quattro S1 Pikes Peak racer. It’s not a modified version of that car, however – this is an entirely new machine designed from the ground up to be a modern all-wheel-drive monster, and as such, you won’t hear a screaming turbocharged inline-five engine under the hood. This is an all-electric affair, though sadly at this point, no information is available regarding just how much power it makes.
We can tell you it went from design to reality in an astounding four weeks. This is a process that typically takes a year or more, but according to the video featured at the top of this article, Audi designers were incredibly excited to be part of the project. Several designs were sketched, all using the original S1 as a basis. The winning sketch was then rendered in a computer, and instead of building a scale model, it went straight to a full-scale model. That’s primarily what we see in the video, along with footage of the Hoonitron in its final form.
Apparently, Block has already driven it, too. It’s unclear if any live-action video will follow this debut, but in an interview posted on the Audi Progress website, Block says that he’s “thrilled” after the initial test drives. That’s good, because this is the car in which he’ll tackle his next Gymkhana project, appropriately called Electrikhana.
Whether he goes all-out in this performance will be interesting, as this time around he isn’t driving a modified rally car with roots in production vehicles. This is a one-off concept designed and built by Audi, and we suspect it’s quite valuable.