HomeCar CultureAudi builds S1 Hoonitron for Ken Block’s next video

Audi builds S1 Hoonitron for Ken Block’s next video

Block says upcoming ‘Elektrikhana’ flick is dream come true


Inspired by the Audi Sport quattro S1 that raced up Pikes Peak, Audi has unveiled the S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron that Ken Block will drive in his next video. The film is to be released “in the next few months,” Audi added.

“The S1 Hoonitron combines a lot of what Audi was already famous for in the 1980s,” Block is quoted in the news release. “For instance, the car’s spectacular aerodynamics have now been translated into a totally modern form.

“I think it’s cool that the Audi designers have been inspired by their own past and uniquely transferred the car’s technologies and appearance into the present.”

Ken Block and the S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron

Audi gave me the opportunity to test it for a few days in Germany,” Block added. “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. Spinning into a donut at 150 km/h directly from standstill – just using my right foot – is an all-new experience for me.”

The car also presented some new experience for Audi Design.

“We had the opportunity to develop a car that combines an icon of our brand with the future,” said Marc Lichte, Audi’s chief designer. “It was about creating a modern, all-electric interpretation of the S1 Pikes Peak.”

The S1 won the Pikes Peak Hill Climb three years in a row, 1985-87, and with three different drivers — Michele Mouton, Bobby Unser and Walter Rohrl. Lichte added that such inspiration is important in the studio’s daily work and said the design of the Block car “will encourage us to approach future projects with an even more open and progressive mindset.

“Knowing that we’re developing a car for a video with Ken Block that millions of people around the world are going to watch has provided our team with additional motivation.” 

Audi Sport quattro S1 (left) and the new S1 Hoonitron

Speaking of motivation, Lichte pointed out, “The timeline was extremely tight: while our design process normally takes one to one-and-a-half years, we only had four weeks from the first drawing to the final design. We were constantly in touch with Ken Block and his team and engaged in intensive exchanges.”

Also involved was Audi Sport, which built and developed the car and its technology. 

“Fans will soon be able to see the US star’s success with the project for themselves,” Audi promised. 

“The collaboration with Audi is a very special partnership for me,” Block said. “The brand and its passion for motorsport motivated me to get into rallying. 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.”

While you wait for the Audi video, we share some of Block’s previous antics as he drove a 1977 Ford F-150 up Tianmen Mountain.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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